Last week, my friend and colleague Sue sent me a message on LinkedIn about a store she found in a shopping centre with some fabulous attire for business women. She’s a networker and shares some excellent content. Grateful that she had thought of me, I checked out the website. It looked good. Seriously good. Also seriously cheap in price.
The cynic in me got to work immediately. What’s the catch? I soon found it. Almost everything on the site is 100% polyester.
The Good: Polyester is strong, both dry and wet. It is considered to be easy-care since it can be washed, dried quickly, and resists wrinkling. It holds up well in use because it has high resistance to stretching, shrinking, most chemicals, abrasion, mildew, and moths.
Polyester could be called the tofu of manufactured fibers since its appearance takes on many forms. Depending upon the actual manufacturing process, polyester can resemble silk, cotton, linen, or wool. When blended with other fibres, polyester takes on even more forms, combining the good qualities of each contributing fibre.
The Bad: Problem with that I hear you ask? Well, the polyester fibre is plastic. This means it does not breathe. Not the best solution, given how close it is to your skin. Add menopause to the mix and you have a ticking time bomb ready to erupt into a hot, sweaty mess! It does not stretch either, not so comfortable for the woman on the move.
The Ugly: How do they make it? The production of polyester uses harmful chemicals, including carcinogens, and if emitted to water and air untreated, can cause significant environmental damage. Not something we think about before making a cheap purchase.
The more synthetic clothing you wear like polyester, the greater your risk of absorbing toxic chemicals that harm your health.
So, 100% polyester is probably not the wisest choice you can make.
The website marketing is pure genius. Clever photography and presentation makes the garments look fantastic on line. They also look good on the mannequin in the store. So, you make a purchase and it arrives on your door step. Feeling clever you are as you are convinced you have just nabbed a bargain! Your purchase becomes expensive when we deploy the *cost per wear principle. You wear it once. You overheat and get a bit smelly. Into the wash. It goes back in your wardrobe never to appear again. You just busted your money honey!
Things to think about:
1. How important is comfort to you? If it matters, check the fabric composition.
2. Are you time poor? Purchasing a number of polyester items will have you hitting the shops again sooner. An oil spill on polyester is tough to get out.
3. Are you aged 45-60 in a leadership role? If so, avoid polyester at all costs. Perception and comfort are crucial for you right now.
Interested to learn about power dressing using classics with a twist? Join me in Sydney 26-27 November or Canberra 3-4 December, details here
I’ll show you some functional business attire that will stand the test of time. *Cost per wear is when you take the original cost of the garment and divide the number of times you wear it during its lifetime in your wardrobe. For example, you pay $1000 for a leather jacket you wear once a week for 10 years. It equates to $1.90 per wear. Not bad eh?