Polyester gets a hard rap.

Poor old polyester. It can make you sweaty on an unexpectedly warm day, go static if not washed and dried properly and stick to your stockings and give you static shocks when you take off your coat.

So perversely I have developed a love of vintage Polyester frocks from the 70s and 80s.

❤ Purple Polyester Vintage Dress – 99p on eBay ❤

Why do I love it? Largely because I am lazy. Polyester dresses, even ones that are now pushing 50 years old, can still be flung in the washing machine. I don’t have to spend hours handwashing delicate fabrics. They stay strong as well. My 70s and 80s polyester doesn’t have to be saved for best. I have pretty frocks that I can fling in a suitcase, pull out the other end and wear to the pub for a raucous night without worrying I’m going to get it caught on something and destroy it, or spill something down myself and not be able to clean it.


❤ Burgundy Print Polyester dress – From a Charity Shop ❤

Oh yes, and they’re cheap. Don’t forget that.

Because of Polyesters reputation as stinky and clingy I’ve never paid more than about £5 or £6 for any of my polyester dresses. You can find them easily in Charity Shops, Boot Fairs and on eBay for silly prices. They often end up on the £10 rails in vintage shops or at vintage fairs as well. And they come is such gorgeous colours and prints, often still as bright as the day they were made.


❤ Black Polyester print dress – 50p from a Boot Fair ❤

So, we’ve established I like polyester because I’m lazy, clumsy and cheap. What about those downsides?

It’s stinky. Well, most of the polyester dresses I have are of the long sleeved variety, and I mostly wear them during Autumn, Winter and early spring. If you get caught in an unexpected heatwave or an over heated shop or office, you may well find polyester can get a little boil in the bag and a bit smelly, but to be honest in those situations I’m not always that fragrant in cotton and at least polyester dries quick. I live in the UK, so extreme temperatures are not often my issue. Sadly.

It’s clingy. Sometimes it is. I use a fabric conditioner when I wash it and I never tumble dry it, it’s normally nearly dry by the time it comes out of the machine anyway so there’s really no need. If it’s having a bit of a clingy moment wearing a slip underneath normally resolves the issue. Though I do confess to having problems under lined winter coats that have occasionally involved so much static electricity that I can actually make my hair stand on end. If a polyester dress is sticking to my tights I find spraying my tights lightly with hair spray, or putting on hand cream and rubbing it on them can help get rid of it. I’ve also heard that pinning a safety pin to the hem can help, but I’ve not tried that particular method.

I love Polyester.

What about you?