Do you ever look at the fabric content or care instructions when shopping for clothes? You should. Just because a pair of pants, a shirt, a skirt or dress look sophisticated doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to throw it in the washing machine. Just by looking, you can save yourself some money and trouble. It’s called smart shopping, and we’ll show you how!
When shopping, look for 100 per cent cotton, a mix of cotton and synthetic fibres, or 100 per cent synthetic fabric (this could mean a mix of synthetics). Most cotton products are pre-shrunk, so they do very well in the wash in warm or cool water. And they can usually be put in the dryer, too. Also, don’t assume that cotton is only used in t-shirts, either. You’ll find that many button-up shirts are made of a cotton and synthetic mix, like spandex or polyester. Unless otherwise illustrated on the tag, these should be machine washable.
Polyester isn’t the scratchy, cheap material it used to be, and it can easily be machine washed—just be careful when you put polyester and other synthetics, like nylon and acetate, in the dryer. If the temperature is too hot, you could end up with permanent wrinkles. Watch out for rayon. While you’ll notice more and more machine-washable rayon pieces, many are dry-clean only, but you can often get away with hand-washing instead.
Want to take the guesswork completely out of shopping? These 10 work-appropriate pieces can be thrown right in the wash. Goodbye, dry cleaning bill!
10 work-appropriate pieces that you can throw right in the wash
Cropped TrousersThe ankle length on these easy-to-clean pants shows off great leg. Tuck in your favourite button-up, add a great bracelet and you're ready to go.
Gap Slim Cropped Pants, (3% Spandex, 97% Cotton), $70 at Gap.The Gap
A Watercolour FloralLooks like silk but isn't! This fluid, floral shirt will add softness to your work wardrobe.
Banana Republic Dillon-Fit Watercolor Floral Shirt, (100% Polyester), $110 at Banana Republic.Banana Republic
A Classic Striped TopBlue and white vertical stripes look crisp and fresh with just about anything. You'll need to iron this one—or get it pressed at the cleaners – but you can wash it at home.
Banana Republic Riley-Fit White Stripe Shirt, (97% Cotton, 3% Spandex), $85 at Banana Republic.Banana Republic
A Cotton Button-UpDepending on the dress code of your office, this laid-back take on pinstripes could be great for everyday wear or casual Fridays.
Wilfred Free Hollie Shirt, (100% Cotton) $63 at Artizia.Wilfred
A Cocoon DressThis sophisticated-looking, oh-so-simple to wear dress is also oh-so-easy to wash. Wear it with opaque tights and booties.
Wilfred Delphine Dress, (73% Viscose, 27% Ramie), $130 at Aritzia.Aritzia
A Wicked Wrap-DressGreat under a blazer or on its own, this faux wrap-dress could go to the office or out on the town.
MICHAEL Michael Kors Draped wrap-effect stretch-jersey dress, (95% polyester, 5% elastane), $120 at Net-A-Porter.Net-A-Porter
A Quilted JacketA great alternative to a blazer, this cute jacket looks great over a button-up and doesn't need to be dry-cleaned, like the rest of the jackets in your wardrobe.
Wilfred Jonquille Jacket, (63% Lyocell, 37% Linen), $70 at Aritzia.Aritzia
A Poppy Pair of PantsJust because they feel like pyjamas, doesn't mean you can't wear them to work! Tuck in a fitted button-up or wear these with a sleek turtleneck for the office, then pop them in the wash.
Zara Printed Crepe Trousers, (100% polyester), $20 at Zara.Zara
A Modern JacketMost of the pieces in the Montreal-based Bylyse collection are machine-washable. This jacket will look great over a sheath dress, pair of pants or a pencil skirt.
Bylyse Signature Ponte Open Cascade Jacket with Faux-Leather Trim, (60% rayon, 35% nylon, 5% spandex), $123 at Bylyse.Bylyse
A Leather-Like SkirtYes, even with fun faux leather and multiple zippers, this skirt can be thrown in the wash!
Bylyse Ponte Skirt with Two-Way Zipper & Faux-Leather Trim, (60% rayon, 35% nylon, 5% spandex), $73 at Bylyse.Bylyse