Her students weren’t the only ones to start noticing. She would hear whispers in the hallways and during class. Wherever she went, she felt as though she was being eyeballed. “Is she wearing that dress anymore?” she had heard about the girls. Any day now, the question would come, and she’d have to explain herself. She had never expected, so far, that this would be a snowball and that soon the same question would be asked by people from all over the world. But when they heard her answer, they were all taken aback. What might this possibly be about?
As a teacher, you must show up at school, wearing proper clothes. Some schools do have uniforms for teachers, but others do not. And this means that teachers must prepare various outfits in advance every day. Julia had been a teacher for a while and always ensured that she was dressed nicely and accessorized. As an art teacher, she loved colored clothes and interesting outfits. But her outfit at school for the first day was pretty strange.
Planning Her Outfit
At Moorestown, New Jersey’s William Allen Middle School, Julia Mooney, 34, had just accepted a new position as an art teacher and planned to dress for the occasion. However, this dress would soon trigger such a controversy that her story made headlines around the world. With an outfit, what might be wrong? Julia had no idea just how much she would impress everyone when she bought that dress!
With the new job came a lot of excitement, but her night-before jitters were even worse than normal. With the all-new students and colleagues, she knew all the eyes would be on her. What she didn’t actually know was whether her dress would be talked about by the school. Everybody was spreading rumors about it, and Julia couldn’t do anything but acknowledge her fate before finally talking about it.
Finding The Dress
Julia had seen the dress available on the internet and realized it was necessary for her to have it. Nobody anticipated to see her wear this outfit on the first day of school, that being said. Soon enough, this new art teacher would generate so much recognition that if she did not explain herself, she wouldd even get dismissed!
Who Is She?
If you wanted to know who Julia Mooney is, then perhaps you should understand that she’s not only a middle school art teacher but also a mother of two. She is a New Jersey resident and teaches at William Allen Middle School in Moorestown. But her personal decisions are not pretty much exactly what you might call normal.
A Family Woman
Julia is keen on the idea of having to spend quite enough time as possible with her family. She tends to take them as well as teach them on farms about animals, and she likes to knit clothes too. On one of their journeys, they traveled to an alpaca farm, and that she was provided some wool. She also educates her kids to do garden work and other skill sets that are going to be useful in the future. Situations at the new school, that being said, were really a bit more complicated. This is how things all started.
Minding Her Own Business
Mooney realized that the new school would indeed give her some strange answers, but she hasn’t felt that she was going to be really self-conscious about her outfit. Mooney said, “I don’t really usually think of myself as somebody who really cares that much [about] what people think.” Situations were, however, about to become different!
A Perfect Fit
After having got her two young children ready for kindergarten, she was also on her way. Her new outfit suited her flawlessly, and she was delighted with her purchasing decision, which was not relatively affordable at $50. She needed to reach her objective, although it was not generally the nicest looking outfit she could purchase. That being said, her first day at school was approximately a disaster!
A Hot Day
Julia also felt cautiously optimistic. Since she cautiously presented herself to her 6th and 7th-grade students, she started to feel everything was swimming… And that’s before the external temperature starts to rise. Julia placed herself strategically under the air conditioning unit, but she didn’t really feel any cooler than that. Her skin was beginning to flush, and she realized, “Oh no… I’m sweating! The horror!”
It Was Getting Hotter
She did try, embarrassed, to stay in the class, fanning herself with a book. But everything she could think about was the summer sun that had slowly moved past the 90-degree mark. Hours passed by, so the day began to feel like it was unending. While the students were thrilled to meet the new art educators, Julia thought she would not make a decent perception that day.
The Rest Of The Day
After such a long sequence of intros, the classes felt unending! Every 13-year-old who walked through the doors to meet her had a new opportunity to make perception, and she felt like she was going to lose it. The day was finally over; she came back, reassured, to her vehicle. She was absolutely devastated to feel her dress sticking up against her back like a damp cheesecloth. She tried to tell herself that a new day would be tomorrow at least, as she softly scrubbed it in the sink and hung it to dry.
The Next Day
That’s just the beginning! When Mrs. Mooney did arrive at school the next morning, a few of the students noticed she wasn’t really like all their other teachers. A few of her students discovered that the art teacher was wearing the same clothes as the previous day. The next day went by, and it became clear that people were starting to talk about all this.
They Were Talking About Her
Even though some were not precisely responsive for the very first couple of days, shortly enough, almost everyone recognized it. Was there anything wrong with the art teacher? No one could comprehend why her dress wasn’t changed. One of several students observed that her boots had been changed, and she decided to add a scarf.
She Wore It Everywhere
At thirteen, ladies are fully mindful of their looks and the clothes and shoes they wear, desiring fashionable items and designer brands. So it’s no surprise some of the ladies started to notice Mrs. Mooney immediately. You will be shocked once you see why Julia dressed in the very same outfit as the days passed by. She not just to wear that outfit at school, but also during the weekends and when she was also in the neighborhood!
Why She Wore The Dress
Julia came to know that it was just a question of time before someone said it, while no one had questioned her what the reasoning for her course of action was. Julia realized that she’d have to explain a lot when people had the confidence to speak their concerns regarding her unchanging outfit. In this current job, would she be in a difficult situation?
Didn’t She Have Other Clothes?
Pretty shortly, Julia was the discussion of William Allen Middle School. She donned her grey dress all day every day, and folks could not shift their focus away from all this. That speculation began to fly. Some teachers were worried. Has Mrs. Mooney struggled? Students, as well, started to question. But as every high school student knows, teenagers might be cunning.
The Elephant In The Room
As she managed to avoid the elephant in the room, Julia continued teaching. She was fully cognizant of the snickers as well as mumbles that accompanied her in the corridors as well as the play area. And her coworkers had started to look at her negatively, trying to treat her as if she were frail but unwilling to expressly interrogate her about her clothes. But she was aware that she had to keep riding it out. She was interested in staying on the course. As such, she put her head down and walked the best way she knew how.
Following The Rules
As you can all expect, the remarks all over her were whether Julia was not really a bit too bizarre to be a teacher and was her behavior impacting the children? The principal also spoke with a few of the parents, trying to suggest a committee meeting. Was Julia going to get into trouble for wearing the same outfit every day? However, she did not break any guidelines.
Was She Struggling?
Did the new teacher struggle with funds? You can’t realistically own just one single attire, no matter how poor you seem to be. And furthermore, Julia arrived from start to end donning different shoes as well as scarves. For her art class, such as aprons, she also had various sweaters as well as other items. So what was the tale behind the grey dress clearly? All of them were intrigued, and it could not last permanently.
Others Were Bothered By It
A few other individuals were just driven nuts by her never-changing outfit. Those around felt it was repugnant to Julia’s way of living. Amongst these numerous opinions, most claimed it was uninteresting for an art teacher to dress up the very same grey dress. However for Julia, there have been a few explanations to pick this dress. Parents are stunned to discover the reality of the situation about their children’s teachers until the riddle is answered!
Addressing The Question
By the later part of Julia’s third week, folks could not comprise their enthusiasm anymore. It’s on all their facial expressions that she could see the problem. And she realized the time to tackle, it was going to come. So what was the true story of that grey dress, precisely? Why wouldn’t she consider taking it off, Julia? By now everyone was dying to listen.
Still Wearing The Dress
You see, Julia had a clever strategy up her sleeve. It was all carefully arranged, and she had selected the simple grey dress for a reason. “I’m walking down the halls and they’re like, ‘Is she still wearing that dress?’” Julia said. Regardless, while more and more individuals caught sight, she just can not stop grinning.
The teacher justified, “I needed to pick a dress that was going to be versatile because I’m going to be wearing it through the winter, and when we started the school year it was 90 degrees.” When they eventually obtained the opportunity to confront her why she had been wearing the same dress for weeks, she directed her students to her Instagram account. Her feed on Instagram carried all of the explanations.
An Outfit For A Hundred Days
A post called one outfit 100 days was shown on her Instagram page, which reads: “For at least 100 days I’ll be wearing this dress, through ceramics projects, blizzards, whatever. Boring? Sure. I love to express myself through what I wear as much as the next American. This is a challenge.” But still, why would somebody do anything as uninteresting as all that? Well she has four terrific explanations.
The very first justification is a straightforward one about why Julia decided to spend 100 days donning the same dress. It’s time-saving. Since she had to look after two toddlers, an uncluttered way of life makes perfect sense. As she did enjoy saying farewell to the excruciatingly painful issue of what to wear, she had more leisure time with her dear ones. Her explanations do not even end there however. She also has a much deeper message for customers everywhere.
Julia is indeed an influential slow-fashion supporter. What is then, ‘quick fashion’? ‘Fast fashion’ is basically cheap, stylish garment as well as cost-effective clothing, but, regrettably, does not last long. An example is Forever 21. Julia stated, “We demand lots of clothes cheap, so retailers have to produce in foreign factories where US labor laws don’t protect workers.” Just the contrary is ‘slow fashion’-promoting great product as well as fair wages.
With massive volumes of garments being produced overseas to meet the growing demands for cheaper goods, many companies immorally hire underage workers in their manufacturing facilities. What’s even worse is that there are no regulations in place to protect these children. By buying fewer items of clothing, Julia tends to help to stem the urge for cheaper labor. While Julia’s choice is the primary reason for this, this is not the only one.
Julia is keen to become a rational consumer, and she is also fighting the clothing industry’s environmental impacts. With the usage of garments at an all-time global high, it really is no surprise that unsustainably high environmental policies are destroying the earth’s precious resources. Julia managed to avoid making a contribution to her carbon footprint by deciding a fair-trade hemp dress from a London-based clothing firm called ‘Thought.’ So how have people responded to Julia’s venture?
The most typical reply she has received is disgust. A few other people just believe that it is just not sanitary to wear the very same piece of clothing each day. And her answer is food for thought. Julia replied to them by saying, “I just tell them: this is not a project about hygiene. I wash it as needed. I come to work clean. Lots of people wear uniforms, and they are not assumed to be dirty.” Julia’s 100-day challenge with one outfit has yet another thought-provoking takeaway.
Food For Thought
“Do we really need so many new outfits? Are we just perpetuating a culture that defines us based on what we’re wearing rather than what we’re doing? What if we spent our energy trying to BE good, interesting humans instead of trying to LOOK good and interesting?” People all over the world were stunned by the letter from the teacher, as they supported her assertion.
Responses rapidly blew up on Julia’s Instagram, and she acquired more than 6,500 followers. A supporter even wrote, “All for integrating sustainable strategies into everyday items, what a movement this teacher started!” With 17 teachers choosing to join her purpose, such as her spouse, Patrick, a history teacher, who already decided to wear the same shirt for 100 days, a few of Julia’s students and peers quickly followed her example. Local news stations shortly took notice of the tale of the teacher.
Staying The Course
“Some people will not want to listen and prefer their own rationalized [sic] conclusions. Respect that we are all riding on very different journeys through life. Stay friends while you stay the course.” She added that she came to the realization that perhaps the “ultimate rockstar fiber” is hemp and therefore all clothes need “deep pockets”
Julia challenged everyone and said, “The challenge I’m presenting is this: Let’s think before we buy, wear, discard, and buy again. Can we buy clothes used? Buy responsibly? Buy LESS? Learn to sew a few things? Do we really need so many new outfits? Are we just perpetuating a culture that defines us based on what we’re wearing rather than what we’re doing?”
After The Challenge
On Julia’s Instagram account, she provides more food for thought: “When this is over, I’ll change more often, but it won’t consume me like it once did. I’ll shop, but I’ll do so mindfully. I’ll have less, but not to this extreme. We shouldn’t let our inability to do everything stop us from doing what we can.”
Finishing The Challenge
Julia’s challenge came to a close on February 13, 2019, and she posted a picture of fellow teachers and school staff she is starting to work on wearing the same outfit as her in the final three days as a symbol of solidarity. The caption said: “Turns out I work with a pretty cool staff. Here’s a shot of 17 teachers just in my building who chose to support this project by wearing the same thing for these past three days. Great way to end #OneOutfit100days on #day100.”
Dealing With Criticism
Through using pieces of the outfit to make new ones as well as outlining what she took away from the project, she commemorated the closure of her challenge. The teacher said, “In the face of criticism, petty or otherwise, consistently challenge yourself to respond with equal parts grace and hard evidence. Never get defensive.”
She also said, “Who mends clothes anymore? With clothes so cheap and nearly disposable, it doesn’t seem worth our time … So much so that this is a lost art. Maybe we should reconsider this. Maybe it’s worth fixing our clothes, so they continue to serve us. Maybe if we spent more on durable, ethically produced clothes, we’d value them more and be more motivated to fix them. Seems like a better option than the landfills.”
In an interview, she said, “I like to wear clothes; I like to express myself… I know that we are all looking at what the other person is wearing,” she continued, “To wear the same thing every day is uncomfortable because we have this deeply ingrained cultural expectation to change every day. It’s weird, but because it’s weird, it’s making us all think.” What do you believe about the purpose of Julia? Could you accept the challenge and dress for 100 days the very same attire?