a peek inside the fishbowl

07 Mar, 2019

One dress, thirty days (day 13 update)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Challenge me, challenge you

I was at a book launch downtown last night and reactions to my 1Dress challenge varied from “what the heck” to “WOW you rock.” I felt I was appropriately dressed and had zero regrets or bouts of regret or shyness about it.

Someone asked me on Twitter if I was bored of The Dress yet. Surprisingly I am not! In fact, I am enjoying the predictability of it. This might sound dull, but it’s actually quite liberating to wear the same thing every day, in a way, because I’m released from the “oh no, what am I going to wear today” question. Related: I have the same breakfast every day and do the same workout every day, which makes my morning routine a total no brainer. I like to think that this frees up my brain cells for other things.

Misty brought up an interesting point in her comment on my previous post about the 1Dress challenge: germs. Now, if I worked in a doctor’s office, hospital, school, or other setting in which there are a lot of people walking around every day I might give germs more consideration but as I mentioned before, I work from home most of the time, so germs aren’t exactly top of mind.

Interestingly, the maker of the dress, Tangente, left a comment on one of my Instagram posts about the challenge. They wrote: “Thanks so much for choosing my dress for your challenge. I’m also in strong agreement that people wash their clothes too often.” I am glad they agree with me!

The other day I took my mother to the doctor. She lives in the Peterborough area and I go there and back in one day. It makes for a lot of driving but I’m happy to do it.

Washing the dress after I got home that night was a bit of a question mark, especially since I had washed it the night before. My mother is a chain smoker (thankfully, not in the car) so there was that too, in addition to any germs I might have sat in at the doctor’s office. So what’s a gal to do?

When I was in university and my friends and I came from bars and clubs reeking of cigarette smoke (back in the day when smoking was allowed in these establishments!) I’d simply take my clothes off at home and leave them outside. This was especially useful for hard-to-wash items like coats and jackets. By morning the smell was always gone. So that’s what I did the other night. I hung my dress outside until I went to bed. I figured it would kill some bacteria as well. When I brought it back indoors it smelled as fresh as before, if not better.

So what about the question of killing bacteria? Well, I found this story about it online. It seems as though putting clothing in a freezer only renders the bacteria dormant, but then Rachel McQueen, a professor of human ecology at the University of Alberta, who is quoted, says “airing your jeans outdoors in the sunlight would be a more effective method of getting rid of odors and a lot of bacteria.” Something to think about!

Here’s another interesting bit: One of McQueen’s students wore his jeans for 15 months straight without a single wash and then tested the level of bacteria on them. The unwashed jeans carried nearly the same amount of bacteria as those same pants after they had been washed and then worn for 13 days.

As for me, I’m just on my way out the door for an International Women’s Day event. The dress is getting seen and my cost-per-wear is going down every day. I’m pretty excited about that.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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