Polyester gets a bad rap because it’s a man-made fibre that can look nasty, lack drape or substance, and doesn’t breathe. These aspects greatly diminish the quality and aesthetics of a garment, and that’s why there is an anti-polyester movement. 

Despite the obvious negative aspects of polyester, I’m sticking up for it. Here’s why:

  • Polyester has come a long way. These days it can look and feel better than silk. It can drape as beautifully as a natural fibre and can feel just as substantial. 
  • Polyester is durable, fast-drying, machine washable, and crease-resistant. It’s a low maintenance fibre that neither stretches nor shrinks. Natural fibres can seldom boast these positive attributes, which is why polyester works as well when blended with natural fibres. 
  • Polyester is inexpensive, which brings down the price of clothing. 

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I recently bought two patterned blouses that are 100% polyester. The H&M Victorian blouse is the nicest polyester I’ve seen and I was wowed. It drapes like a dream and is neither shiny nor flammable. It’s substantial, soft, and looks better than some of my silk blouses. I was flabbergasted to find out it was polyester and cost $35.

The ruffled blouse from Banana Republic is a weightier polyester that feels very silky. In fact the sales assistant thought it was silk and so did I. It also drapes like a dream and feels lovely against the skin. The ruffles flounce as I stride and look lovely. 

I machine-wash both blouses. They hang dry perfectly without needing to be pressed. They look pristine throughout the day and do not crease. They also feel wonderfully cozy when I layer a thermal tee underneath for warmth. I haven’t found them to lack breathability. 

I also fell in love with a cropped striped pullover from Zara with pleather patch pockets that’s polyester-rich. I read the laundry instruction before purchasing it because I wondered about the pleather. I had my doubts about it being machine washable, but was prepared to experiment for $50. Well sure enough, it came out of the machine and air dried perfectly. To my surprise, the pleather pockets did not stretch or ruin the yarn of the rest of the pullover. It has retained its shape and looks fab. 

I will not be deterred by the word “polyester” on the label if the garment looks good, feels good, and is inexpensive. Polyester has definitely earned its place in my wardrobe. How about yours?