Edmonton woman hangs up black dress she wore every day for entire year

After 365 days together, an Edmonton woman is ending her close relationship with a single dress.

Elizabeth Withey will put her beloved little black dress back in the closet, after wearing it every single day for all of 2015.

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Withey, who is a newspaper columnist and the writer-in-residence at the Edmonton Public Library, started the project last Jan. 1, to test her ability to live a simpler life. She bought a single, locally-designed, ethically made black jersey dress, which she soon named "Laverne."

Throughout the year she documented her experiment on her blog, "Frock Around the Clock."

To mark their whole year together, Withey has made some big plans to celebrate the end of their journey.

"I'm going to take her out to dinner on New Year's Eve, just she and I," she told CTV Edmonton. "So I'm sure the people at the other tables might say, 'Why is that woman eating by herself?'"

"Maybe I'll explain again. It'll be an opportunity to make some friends or talk about the project."

Throughout the year, Withey wore the same dress at all times, with the exception of when she exercised or went to bed. She was also free to accessorize the dress as she saw fit.

Looking back, she said the dress was one of the most consistent things in her life for 2015.

"There were many ups and downs in my life, but there weren't too many in terms of the project," she said. "It became quite quickly a very routine, sort of ritualistic thing to do."

Some of those major life changes Withey saw included the end of her marriage, a move, and the start of kindergarten for her son.

She shared all of it on her blog, never shying away from discussing personal matters, like her brother being homeless.

Withey blogged about her brother, who is bipolar, recalling all the time they spent together during the Christmas holidays as kids. Her brother has six children, five of whom are in foster care, she says.

"I wish we did have a family that we could joke together about something as trivial as wearing the same dress every day, instead of us calling the police and trying to explain to his kids," she said.

Looking back, she said she has no regrets about the experiment in paring down her wardrobe, but she is looking forward to moving on.

"I'm just going to wake up on January first and decide what I’m going to put on … I don't know what it will be yet," she said.

With a report from CTV Edmonton's Dez Melenka


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