Challenge Update: Week 22

Stay through till the end for some much-deserved reader appreciation!!!

Challenge Rule 1: Buy No Clothes/Don’t Covet

Something very special happened this week! My father and my sister conspired to send me a new dress: an absolutely fabulous little black faux-wrap dress from Amazon. I mention that it was Amazon, because as much I am not a fan of their worldwide domination, they do sure make international gift-giving a breeze! Plus, the dress is really cute. Check it out for yourself!

Both Poppy and Popeye Fields have latched onto the idea of my completing the 100 Day Challenge (in which you wear the same wool dress for 100 days in a row)…but everything on Wool & was on backorder.

I upped the ante and challenged them to do a 100 Day Challenge with me (Wool & makes men’s shirts and other ladies’ things than dresses…) We have picked out a date for later this year, (wool oblige), that will make the bridge between 2021 and 2022. Stay tuned for the Fields family challenge!

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

My recent refashioning projects have taken as victims some items that I wasn’t sure I would ever wear again, but have been keeping around for sentimental reasons. One of them in particular, a charcoal gray tee that I have owned since 2012, and which I distinctly remember wearing when we travelled back to the US for my sister’s wedding in 2013. I have great memories in that tee, but it just didn’t fit right anymore.

The refashion was nearly no-sew (I might need to re-cut the bows so they don’t look so “pinking-shears chic”), but when I wore it I got more compliments on it than on any other single item I have worn. Ever. Hands down. Not to mention the polka dot skirt, itself a refashion from a sweatshirt my SIL handed down a few years ago.

The point of the Inventory was to make sure that I wore everything in my closet at least once this year. The point of refashioning is to make everything that is in my closet something I can’t wait to wear. After sitting unworn for about five years, this tee is finally back in the rotation…yay for an inventory that brought this little guy back to my attention!

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

This rule is definitely most important for the cooler months, when layers are needed. Layers are the hardest things to imagine…how they will all fit together. Summer, when it’s just a dress or just a top and a skirt, are far easier. But I can still surprise myself!

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

We finally had a bout of nice weather, so some of my more recent refashions got to come out and play. How fun was it to see them on a hanger waiting for me in the morning????

Challenge Rule 5: Repair and Mend, Alter when Necessary:

Ugh. I have this great green linen dress which I was given (after heavy heavy hinting and conniving) for Mother’s Day in 2019. Great in theory. In practice, I had never purchased anything linen before. My sister had handed down a pair of linen pants, and they have aged relatively well -although I can only wear them once between washes due to the way they get all out of shape.

I digress. This dress. I know exactly how much it cost. It was not cheap by my standards. I had not worn it twice before it got a hole in it. For the last four wears, I have been mending holes before I could wear it

This time, I went to put the dress on and I put my hand through the side seam under the armpit. I mean, clear through. Whole hand. Is this the fate of linen? Or is this linen just terrible, terrible quality and not worth the money shelled out for it?

I love this dress, but I am concerned that one of these days I will be carrying a bike or a scooter or something and the handlebars will get caught and poof, and I will have a major wardrobe malfunction.

I am now debating: how do I know when it is time to retire it? I still have twenty more wears to get down to 1€ CPW at this rate. Can I wear it twenty more times without at least one very very humiliating wardrobe malfunction.

I need to wear it twenty more times…in some iteration. That means I either need to do an overhaul of the weak spots (only to see new weak spots appear), or I need to repurpose this dress. Shout-out to my friend Deana who suggested making ruffles out of it and making something fun and ruffled, where this material is not structural but only decorative. More to come on this potential refashion!


The Challenge is humming along nicely, with a new challenge looming on the horizon for the end of the year. It’s always fun to have something to look forward to: anticipation is everything!

In Other News:

The boys and I discovered a new park, one with swings, a gravel pit and a sand box. Because they soooo love this kind of thing, and because it is not a skate park where I need to be secretly watching but pretending not to, I finally got some time to read.

The book I am reading is called “Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You)” by the McElroy Brothers. The McElroys are my podcasting heroes. They have launched at least a dozen different podcasts; they are hysterically funny, kind and relatable. They wrote a how-to guide to launching a podcast. Finishing my first read of this book is the first concrete step I have taken towards getting my podcast launched in a while.

One of the important things they reminded me of while I listened to the sweet sweet silence of little boys playing in a sandbox was this: it is critical to tell your audience how grateful you are for them.

So…if you made it this far, I want to thank you for reading! I am honored that you would spend your most precious resource, your time, to read my musings. There are so many other ways you could be spending your time, but you chose to read this.

A special shout-out to Liz, Missy, Deana, Beth, Christine…your feedback means the world to me and I am so thankful for every single time your reach out!

Also, a special thank you to whomever is out there sharing my articles in the Netherlands: I wish I knew who you were! When fully vaccinated, I want to give you a big giant hug!!!!

Every time I see an article being shared, either on social media or through other mysterious channels, I feel a kind of sense of destiny…a connection to someone I have never met before who is being encouraged by something I lived through to tell the tale. It all feels cosmically worthwhile.

If you think someone you love could be motivated by something you read here, please share the article! It means everything to know that my writing might move the needle towards making someone’s life a little bit better.

And hey you! Thank you for reading!!!!!!!

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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