Today, I am kicking off my 2014 Dressember Campagin: Little Black Dress, Pop of Color (a month of black dress paired with pops of color to symbolize hope). This is my second year particpating in Dressember and I hope you will either consider partipating by signing up or donating to a campaign. I imagine you have at least one friend or a friend of a friend participating this year as the movement as grown exponentially.
What is Dressember?
It started simply enough in 2009 as a quirky style challenge: wear a dress every day for the entire month of December: Dress + December = Dressember. However, in 2013, the quirky challenge found a new purpose by aligning with International Justice Mission (IJM), an organization that fights for human rights: to rescue those in sex trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, police brutality, civil rights abuse, etc. The challenge remained the same: 31 days of dresses, but this time for a cause: to raise money for IJM and make a stand against modern-day slavery. The original goal for the 2013 campaign was $50,000. That amount was raised within the first few days. 1,233 participants throughout 32 countries (six continent) raised over $165,000 and every single dime went directly to IJM. Oh and for those friends that need the tax incentive push to donate: Dressember is a California nonprofit corporation with IRS 501(c)3 status. Dressember US Tax ID #46-4704743.
What if I do not own 31 dresses? What if I have some outdoor sporting to do and a dress will get in the way? I want to participate, but feel that dresses are very restricted to my lifestyle. What if my job requires me to wear pants? Can men participate?
Dressember founder Blythe Hill has demonstrated that participants do not need to even wear 31 different dresses. Last year, she used the hashtag #sameblackdress to show how you can fight for change in the same black dress, just styled differently each day. Here are some examples from her campaign.
A popular hashtag for Dressember participants is #youcandoanythinginadress. Last year, I saw women skiing, snowboarding, skating, hiking, riding bikes, and chopping firewood, to name a few. Women use to do anything and everything in dresses and somewhere along the way we have established the false idea that dresses are for dressing up, going out of our way to look nice at times. We have put our own restraints on our femininity.
Truth is, when the temps drop down below zero in Wisconsin (where I live), I honestly prefer my dresses and fleece-lined leggings over jeans (more protection from the wind). And for those who are tempted to participate, but feel like they cannot go a month without their jeans, there are a few loop-holes in the "Rules":
Plus - did I mention men are welcome to participate! Whether donning frocks or supporting the women in your life in their month long campaigns. No discrimination here.
My first year I participated as an individual, but this Dressember, I decided to team up with some amazing women. We go by "Frocks for Freedom" and I feel blessed to not only have the freedom to participate in this campaign again, but to do so with women who I find to be wonderful supportive friends. Please check out the Dressember site, along with IJM. Plus you can follow along on Instagram and Twitter through the simple hashtag #Dressember.