You know those moments when you’ve assembled an office ensemble so chic you catch yourself practically sashaying into your workday? There are few feelings more lovely, more invigorating, more beautiful. Of course, nothing causes these near-cinematic experiences to crumble quite like wrinkles. Unless you’ve stocked up on some of the finest wrinkle-free clothes around, you might be rendering your killer office look assailable. Because nothing takes a look from A+ to C- as quickly as a crinkled silk blouse or a pair of paper-bag pants laden with creases. (And really, if you managed not to hit the snooze button five times in a row this morning and actually assembled an outfit from your closet—not from the pile of clothes on your floor—don’t you deserve to look like it?)
The issue is, of course, that some fabrics get wrinkly, even when you’ve done everything right. You hung them in your closet the moment they exited the wash, you ironed or steamed them before putting them on, and you checked yourself in the mirror—thrice—before even leaving your house. But then you sat down in the car, or on the bus, or on the subway, or at your desk, and all your care fell by the wayside, because that wrinkle-prone fabric was just waiting for an opportunity to get crinkly. And it found it.
Now, there are some hacks that can reduce wrinkles in even the most wrinkle-prone of fabrics. These include adding fabric softener to the wash, using the permanent press setting on your dryer, or sprinkling a little de-wrinkling spray onto your ensemble. Unfortunately, while helpful, these methods are far from foolproof. So the best way to avoid wrinkles is by stocking up on wrinkle-free clothes, crafted from textiles that tend to stay crisp and smooth, no matter what you subject them to.
Synthetic fabrics—like polyester, nylon and acrylic—tend to be the gold standard in this arena, but some organic fabrics—like wool and cashmere—work well, too. We know this can be a little hard to keep track of, so we’ve assembled a handy-dandy wrinkle-free fabric guide you can consult the next time you find yourself shopping for work-wear (or any-wear, really).
Cashmere is, without a doubt, one of the most luxurious textiles around. It’s irresistibly soft and cozy—but breathable enough to keep you from getting too hot. Cashmere can get a little pricey, but it looks as expensive as it is, meaning it’ll elevate anything you pair it with. It also boats an off-label benefit of being great at withstanding wrinkles, making it a great option for business-casual attire that’s comfortable and low-maintenance.
An undone, “French tuck” is the perfect styling hack for an effortless cashmere top.
Cashmere Crop Mockneck, $100 at Everlane
Pencil skirts are an office staple, but they’re not exactly known for resisting wrinkles. This cashmere midi let’s you work in confidence at your desk without looking sloppy.
Skyline Cashmere Midi Skirt, $49.99 at Free People
Frilled, short sleeves give the classic cashmere sweater a warm-weather makeover.
Missy Cashmere Top, $268 at Anthropologie
Lyocell (also referred to as Tencel) is a super breathable fabric commonly found in button-down shirts, chambray styles and lightweight denim. It exudes a breeziness appeal akin to linen and cotton, but is much more adept in withstanding wrinkles. It’s also generally machine-wash-friendly, making it a great summer fabric for days when you’re up against the potential for both wrinkles and heat-induced sweat stains.
A breezy button-down is a wardrobe staple that everyone should own, and you can count on this one to hold up against crinkles.
Cloth & Stone Emma Button-Down, $98 at Anthropologie
Wrinkle-proof and imbued with this season’s hottest pattern trend.
Snakeskin-Patterned Lyocell Trench Coat, $59.99 at H&M
Just looking at these super-flattering trousers gives us wrinkle anxiety, but rest assured, these will stay fresh.
Cupcakes and Cashmere Trula Pant, $118 at Revolve
While wool is generally considered a winter fabric thanks to its warmth-retaining properties, there are plenty of lighter-weight, wrinkle-resistant options suitable for warmer-weather seasons as well. Caring for wool requires a bit more thought and diligence than its other counterparts, but if you’re looking for a suitcase-friendly fiber that won’t leave you searching for the closest iron, it’s one of the safest routes to go.
A dream come true for the lazy girl who also happens to be a stylish working woman.
Italian GoWeave Easy Pant, $88 at Everlane
The perfect summer sweater that makes a statement without feeling fussy.
Ganni Hand Knit Mohair Wool Sweater, $505 at Shopbop
Paper bag trousers look effortless yet understatedly well-groomed, and these won’t let those with a desk job down.
3.1 Philip Lim Paper Bag Cropped Wool Trousers, $550 at Shopbop
Polyester has long been posited as the cheap-looking outcast of textiles, thanks to its old-school association with poor insulation and looking visibly cheap to the eye. However, it’s come a long way when it comes to quality and wearability, while still generally being inexpensive. As a bonus, polyester is also one of the most stain-resistant fabrics you’ll find.
A chic patterned blazer that won’t transform into a crinkled mess each time you get up from your desk.
Entreprenuer Longline Blazer, $130 at Anthropologie
Wrinkle-defying blouses are a must for those who prefer a “sloppier” tuck.
Chiffon Tie-Front Shirt, $19.90 at Forever 21
This versatile bone-hued blazer will look just as chic with a pair of 9-to-5 trousers as it will with your go-to vintage jeans.
Double Breasted Blazer, $49.99 at H&M
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