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, and I’m a bit sad to say that I only recently realized we should bring over our Hunt feature to go hunting for washable workwear of a specific type. First up, because it’s coooold outside: sweaters! Ladies, 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? (If you are me, “hand wash” generally means “throw in machine in sweater bag on delicate cycle.”) Still: all of the sweaters below are honest to goodness machine washable, mostly with air dry instructions.
Um, whoa; this sweater is part of Ann Taylor’s crazy sales happening right now: it was $80, but is now marked to $30, with an additional 50% off at checkout — meaning it’s $15. Nice. I like the contrast detail on the sleeves (a fun detail for under blazers!), the fact that the sweater comes in three colorways in regular and petite sizes XXS-XXL, and — oh yes — that it’s machine washable. It’s a blend of cotton, acrylic, nylon, and cashmere.
Lands’ End is always a great spot to find machine washable workwear, and this supima sweater (available in regular, petite, and plus sizes) comes down to $35 today from $60. Tunic sweaters can be great for more casual days at conservative offices, particularly with reader favorites like the comfortable magic pants or other slim-fit bottoms. Note that a lot of Lands’ End cotton-cashmere is hand washable, also (which I often throw into the washer on gentle anyway!).
There are actually a ton of maternity sweaters that are machine washable — maybe because so many of them are meant as nursing tops afterwards as well. This sleek option from Kimi & Kai looks great, and it’s on sale for 40% off.
Halogen is a great resource for washable work clothes — not only is it affordable, but there are often a ton of sizes and colors to choose from. This lightweight sweater with a twist detail is only $59, and comes in four colorways and sizes XS-XXL, but note that there are a TON of machine washable sweaters from Halogen, including this nice cable-knit crew from the popular Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific collaboration.
One of the reader favorites at Talbots is their Charming Collection cardigans and tanks as separates and sets. But did you know that many of them are machine washable? The fun stripey option we’ve pictured here is a cotton/rayon blend, and comes in misses, petites, woman, and woman petite sizes. (Don’t forget to check out our roundup of how to build a work wardrobe at Talbots!)
Bringing us full circle, this Boden sweater has fun contrast details on the sleeve like the $15 Ann Taylor sweater — but it’s a slightly more elevated look with fun stripes (to say nothing of the “racing stripe” detail up the back of the sweater). Love. It’s 100% wool with viscose trim, available at both Boden and Nordstrom for $110.
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