Jul 17, 2018 | By Olivia Barnes
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Dec 12, 2013
Is it possible to wear a dress every single day in December? Blythe Hill asked herself this question in November of 2009 after seeing her friend wear a dress consistently for an entire week. She coined the challenge “Dressember” and before she knew it, women all over the world were following her lead via social media, flaunting their winter style and celebrating femininity. Search #Dressember on Instagram and you’ll find thousands of pictures of girls styling all kinds of dresses with winter attire and showing the world how to wear one dress multiple ways.
This year, Blythe decided to give Dressember a conceptual makeover and give this style movement a nobel cause: to raise $100,000 in donations to support the work of human rights charity International Justice Mission. We caught up with Blythe to ask her about her project and some of her favorite Dressember outfits.
What’s your favorite part about Dressember?
I love the community Dressember creates. Over the past 4 years, I’ve gotten to know women around the world. It’s a joy to see women participate in Dressember year after year and maintaining that enthusiasm over time. This year, seeing it successfully align with a global cause has been an incredible experience, like watching a child grow up to become a world changer.
How many dresses do you have hanging in your closet?
I haven’t counted! Given the fact that I wore a different dress all 31 days of the first year of Dressember in 2009, and I probably added a few to the collection since then…maybe around 50 total?
What’s the best way you’ve seen a dress styled for Dressember?
I love when people get creative and layer skirts over dresses, even dresses over dresses. The women who participate in colder climates always impress me with their creativity; if you can style a dress to look both cute and warm, that’s quite a feat!
Can you tell me about the charity, why did you pick this cause?
International Justice Mission is an incredible human rights organization that has worked for over 15 years to rescue victims of sex trafficking, slavery and other forms of violent oppression. It’s absolutely horrifying what happens to women, children and men around the world: over 29 million people are trapped in a $32 billion industry. That’s more than Nike, Google and Starbucks make in a year, combined. International Justice Mission have lawyers who live and work in countries around the world, operating within the legal nuances of each country to bring freedom to victims and justice to perpetrators. They also work with a network of aftercare organizations that provide a safe haven and extensive counseling. 100% of the funds raised by Dressember go directly to IJM.
Do you have plans to expand Dressember’s mission past the month of December?
My immediate plans are to build a team and to be more involved IJM throughout the year. I want to attend some of their events and take a trip to one of their aftercare locations in the Philippines so I can personally meet some of the people they’ve rescued. I’d also like to create an online store with socially conscious products; Dressember overlaps with the holidays so it’d be a great opportunity to point people towards gifts with a cause.
Can you show us a picture of your favorite Dressember outfit?
– Veronica So & Shannan Elinor Smith
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