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Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. Plus, when you’re a working mom, the focus often becomes machine washable clothes and kid-friendly fabrics and prints. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
Washable Workwear Wednesdays have been popular since we started CorporetteMoms, so we’re going on a hunt for washable sweaters for women!
Readers, what are your favorite washable sweaters to wear to work? Which styles do you prefer, and where do you find them? Are sweaters one of the few places you’ll go with something with difficult care instructions like dry cleaning or hand washing?
How to Wash Washable Sweaters
Many sweater instructions read “hand wash only” — but if you are me, this generally means “throw it in the machine in sweater bag on delicate cycle and then air dry.” I’ve never had a problem with washing sweaters this way — they always come out great.
Some sweaters may also have instructions to “dry clean” — but unless it says “dry clean only,” you can also wash these sweaters by hand or in the machine on the delicates cycle.
If you wash your sweaters by hand, you may want to roll them in a towel to absorb as much water as possible, otherwise they’ll take forever to dry.
No matter how you wash your sweaters, you should lay them flat to dry — you can go for your classic clothes drying rack, go for an over-the-door style of drying rack like this or this (great for apartments and smaller spaces!), or even a wall-mounted drying rack like these options from Pottery Barn or this one from Amazon. (If you have a handy person in your life, you can also look into drying drawers, which… #goals.)
In a pinch, I’ve also turned a mesh hamper over and laid the sweater on top of that to dry.
The Best Washable Sweaters for Women
Our Favorite Washable Merino Sweaters for Women
Our all-time favorite 100% merino sweaters for work include Uniqlo, Everlane, Banana Republic, and APC. Eileen Fisher has high quality merino, also, although the clothes tend to be on the more casual side.
Our Favorite Washable Cotton Sweaters for Women
Where to Find Merino-Cotton Sweaters
Hunting for cotton-merino blends? Everlane has a bunch as of Feb. 2024.
Where to Find Cotton-Cashmere Sweaters
The Best Washable Sweaters for Women in 2024 – Our Favorites!
The Best Washable Lightweight Pullover for Work: Amazon
Cotton sweaters are always great options if you only want washable sweaters — and we just did a roundup of the best 100% cotton sweaters for work!
One of the best plain cotton sweaters I’ve found that’s thin enough to wear under a suit jacket are the Amazon Essentials ones. They come in crewneck and V-neck styles, in a bunch of colors, for under $35 — and in general they’re available in sizes XS-6X.
The care instructions say to machine wash these sweaters — for my $.02, I would still do them on delicate cycle.
The Best Washable Sweater Jacket for Women: J.Crew Factory
Sweater jackets for the office have been a huge trend lately, and for good reason — like jardigans, they add polish and structure while also being cozy and comfy — but finding washable ones can be tricky.
Fortunately, one of the the longest-running reader favorites, the J.Crew Factory Sweater Blazer, is machine washable! This 100% cotton sweater is also extremely affordable, and comes in regular sizes XXS-3X as well as some petite sizes.
Other great washable sweater blazers include the entire M.M.LaFleur line of jardigans — the brand notes that “after extensive testing, we have deemed this piece hand-washable with delicate detergent.” Nice!!
The Best Washable Cardigan: Sézanne
Readers adore this best-selling cardigan from Sézanne, and it’s especially nice because you get two sweaters in one: the brand encourages you to wear the sweater both backwards and forwards.
The sweater is made of a mohair/alpaca/polyamide blend, and they recommend that you hand wash it in cold water — but again, for me would just be a sweater bag on the delicates cycle.
Another great washable cardigan is the Tory Burch Simone cardigan — the silk/wool blend can be hand washed. Other classic cardigans for the office as of 2024 include Brooks Brothers, Talbots, and J.Crew Factory — and they’re all washable!
The Best Washable Silk Sweater: Brooks Brothers
This perfect sweater has been around for a decade at least — I love that high shawl neckline beneath suit jackets and blazers as well as by itself.
One reviewer noted that she wears it every day beneath her scrubs, and that the sweater washes easily and continues to look great.
The sweater is $168, available in sizes XS-XL, at Brooks Brothers.
The Best Washable Merino Sweater
Merino sweaters are some of my favorites because they’re generally thin but warm sweaters, and they have natural moisture-wicking properties to keep your body temperature regulated.
Readers have raved about Uniqlo‘s extra fine merino wool sweaters for years — they’re also incredibly affordable and come in a ton of fun colors every year. The brand instructs that you can machine wash them cold on the gentle cycle, and one of the reviewers even noted how “nicely” it washes in the machine on a wool cycle with no color fading.
The Best Washable Lightweight Summer Sweater: Nic & Zoe
This 4-way convertible sweater is incredibly versatile — hidden buttons help you wear it multiple ways. I’ve found it’s a perfect sweater to wear over sleeveless dresses in summer when you want a bit more coverage, sun protection, or more.
It’s available in regular and plus sizes at Nordstrom, Amazon, and many other department stores for just around $100. (The fabric is usually a linen-viscose blend, but Nic + Zoe just came out with a cotton-viscose blend.)
The brand instructs that you can “hand wash” these, but again I’ve always washed mine with great success.
The Best Washable Cashmere Sweater: Talbots
Washable cashmere sweaters can be a bit tricky to find — yet again, I should note that I always wash them on the delicate cycle with Woolite!
This cashmere sweater from Talbots has been a reader favorite for years — it’s polished and warm, but has a high neckline for a more conservative vibe. The sweater comes in solid colors and interesting prints in regular, petite, plus, and plus petites for around $200.
The brand instructs to “hand wash cold,” and on the more vibrant prints like this they also recommend you turn it inside out.
The Best Washable Cashmere Tee: Quince
Finally — sweater tees are great to wear beneath cardigans, on top of blouses, and by themselves — and they’re often opaque, also. This lovely cashmere tee from Quince is only $44.90, and has a 2700+ great reviews.
The sweater comes in 14 different colors in sizes XS-XL; the brand recommends that you “hand wash using cold water and neutral soap” but, again, I’d put this one in the delicate cycle.
Lands’ End short-sleeve sweater (in cotton) is also machine washable.