Wash and wear workclothes that hold up?

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  1. I work in a business casual environment and want to upgrade my wardrobe with a few tops that I can wash and wear. I typically buy knitwear from everywhere, from stores like Old Navy to J Crew and Ann Taylor, but it all ends up looking junky in just a few wears, even with handwashing or washing on the gentle cycle. I'm not ready to upgrade to dry clean only clothes (the expense is greater and my work environment really doesn't require it), but I would like some sturdier knit options. Any suggestions?
  2. I think jcrew has good quality....same with banana republic. Some pieces are dry clean only so you have to check the label.
  3. I am finding that more and more stores are using cheap fabric blends, especially rayon (I HATE rayon with a passion) that pills easily, develops holes easily, and bleeds in the wash. To add insult to injury, the cheapo fabrics often have "dry clean" listed as their recommended care instructions. :nogood:
    Out of the inexpensive brands, I have had the best luck with Gap, personally, or even Target.
  4. Dry cleaning is actually harder on clothes than washing them. One thing that might help is to use a very gentle detergent; I use J&J baby shampoo, actually. I wash everything except for leather and sequins, and lined garments if they haven't been preshrunk before assembly.

    Beyond that, I am also interested in responses, because it seems that clothes these days are being made of junkier and junkier material, and zero tailoring.
  5. I hand wash all my clothes and hang them to dry even if it says to put them in the dryer, and I've had all my work clothes hold up very well. For blouses, I have had very good luck with the "silky" material ones from ASOS-very durable and I get lots of compliments on the prints.

    It could be the type of material you're buying as well-I find the "silky" material tops I've bought are holding up better than my knitwear-even from the same store.
  6. I have a lot of Ann Taylor knits and wash them in the gentle cycle and they have lasted quite well, thats strange! There are a few brands at Nordstroms that are was and wear but they are similar in wear to my Ann Taylor. I have been very disappointed in my Old Navy and Banana Republic purchases, not sure what is between Ann Taylor and dry cleaning...good luck, if you find anything let me know!!
  7. i think the key is not the wash after every wear...you can wear something like a cami under and clean it couple of times a season to last the knitwear.
    even a cotton shirt can't stand constant wash....
  8. I wash more or less everything (except expensiv woolen skirt/trouser suits) - also my silk jersey DVF wrap dresses and dry cleaning only dresses. I have a very good washing machine with a delicate cycle and the option of a cold wash. For me, the key is to use the right washing liquid - something like woolite for wool&silk and not to use too much (especially on silk and cashmere items). For my silk jersey dresses I'm also using one or two color catching sheets for each wash - just in case.

  9. I agree - I'm really careful with the laundry, wash everything carefully and everything lasts until I've worn it our:smile:
  10. Yup, I completely agree with this. I usually wear camis under everything, especially sweaters because they're very delicate. I'd rather replace a cheap camisole than knitwear.

    And I've had the best experience with Gap when it comes to inexpensive brands. Most of my clothing is from there (work and casual) because I find that their items have lasted me the longest and work for me. I have to be very selective though.
  11. #11 Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
    For washable pants: Zara and Mango. I've constantly wear my Zara pants one pair is 5 yrs old and still going. My trousers from Express are holding up, but they are 6-8 years old, I'm not familiar with their quality now.

    Sweaters: Brooks Brothers I hand wash my merino wool ones with The Laundress' wool & cashmere shampoo. I haven't had good luck with Old Navy or Banana Republic sweaters, but Gap ones have held up better. With sweaters avoid ACRYLIC fabric; it will pill immediately. Try to look for natural fabrics like merino wool (I find it sturdier, doesn't fade, easier to care for, and seasonless) or cotton.

    Shirts: Brooks Bros, their non-iron shirts are intended to be machine washed and dried. Also they carry wrinkle resistant cotton pants that can be machine washed. Check their factory stores, they carry these exact same basics but at a significantly lower price. Plus the factory stores are always running some kind of promotion.
  12. For knit tops , my Splendid ones outlast all others. plus they make cute styles that can be dressed up a bit more.
  13. You can try Massimo Dutti. They have quite decent ones.
  14. Zara pants do hold up quite well-you need to iron them after every wear though (from my experience).

    I never thought to mention the washing machine-mine is a 15+ year old model that makes ALL sorts of clunking noises when it runs-which is why I don't put anything but underwear, PJs, and towels in it.
  15. My jeans I wear until they need washing, knitwear once a week, but my cotton shirts I wash after every wear or I don't feel fresh.:smile: