With the success of our blazers, a Bluffworks guy might think: why aren’t all blazers machine washable? Given our performance fabrics look and feel so natural - yet go in the washing machine - our guy would tell you there’s no downside to a life without dry cleaning.
To build confidence that yes, you too can own a blazer that goes in the washing machine, here is a rundown of what it takes to make the best machine washable travel blazers on earth.
Blazer Fabrics That Are Machine Washable
Blazers have traditionally been made of lightweight wool that looks great but doesn’t do well in the wash. Or, you may have seen more modern “travel blazers” that use technical fabrics yet end up looking like outdoor wear.
Instead, we develop highly specialized performance fabrics that conceal technology under a classic look and feel. Think London, not Denver.
This isn’t easy. The development of a Bluffworks product typically spits out a few dramatic crash-and-burns as we hunt for materials that breathe, wick, stretch and go in the wash, all while not being too shiny, noisy, or synthetic to be a proper blazer.
To validate our products meet standards we leverage four perspectives:
- Manufacturer specifications that includes their testing
- Third-party lab testing
- Wash panel testing
- Full garment wash and wear testing for months on end.
Our three current blazer fabrics - the Hopsack, the Gramercy and the Presidio - have all stood up to the rigorous lives of thousands of our customers, proving that they can in fact go in the wash, while looking great.
Soft things aren’t typically durable, and durable things aren’t beautiful. Except for our blazers.
How Our Machine Washable Blazers Are Constructed
The second consideration for putting a garment through the washing machine is its construction.
Traditional blazers are lined with horsehair canvas in the body and use cotton batting shoulder pads. This is what makes them so heavy and hot to wear, and also not stand up in the wash.
Instead, we use stretch fusible - an imperceptible stiffening layer applied to the fabric to add body - that can provide structure while handling a wash. (There is fusible in every pair of pants you own too, as stiffness of a waistband comes from more than just multiple layers of fabric.)
We also source technical linings that are quick drying, anti-microbial, breathable (in some cases perforated) and specifically made to go in the washing machine.
The result is blazers whose relationship with the washing machine is no accident.
Our Line of Travel Blazers
We brought together fabric, construction and design to produce three different blazers.
All are wrinkle-resistant. All are machine washable. And, all comfortable and breathable. Everyone is built to pop out of your bag or be worn on a long flight and still look great. We offer them in three different aesthetics to match your needs.
Our Most Casual and Lightweight Machine Washable Blazer
Our most casual blazer is our linen-like Hopsack blazer. Like linen, it excels in high temperatures but with the key differences that it doesn’t wrinkle (and it goes in the wash).
The Hopsack is a hero on trips like that of my friend Ben, who as a diplomat in West Africa would take three flights and an armored car straight to an official meeting in a conference room with no air-conditioning.
Hopsack blazer fabric:
Linen-like appearance for high temperature engagements. The fabric is so light you can see through it when held up to the light.
Hopsack blazer construction:
Meant to be the lightest, coolest and most packable, the Hopsack employs a butterfly lining in the back and unlined sleeves to be our most minimalist blazer.
Hopsack blazer washability:
100%. It's so light, a very short wash and dry cycle will do.
Our Most Popular, Do Anything Machine Washable Blazer
The Gramercy remains our most popular blazer. It may be due to how it looks great both with it’s matching suit pants, or when worn as a blazer over chinos or jeans. Or maybe it’s because guys just keep talking about it.
It’s so soft and natural looking that we repeatedly hear about a party trick of “guess what material this blazer is made of.” Everyone assumes it’s wool.
Gramercy blazer fabric:
Wool-like appearance that is ultra-soft.
Gramercy blazer construction:
Partially lined with perforated lining (body, not sleeves) to provide structure alongside with four season performance
Gramercy blazer washability:
100%. Comes out of the washing machine spin cycle nearly dry, so tumble dry low is all it needs.
Our Most Formal Machine Washable Blazer
When you need to walk into an important meeting right off a flight. Or, attend a formal event after a week of travel, wearing only what you can carry in your bag, the Presidio excels.
The fabric is beautiful, like a formal Italian wool suit, but with the added confidence that it won’t wrinkle. Guys get married in it all the time.
Presidio blazer fabric:
Wool-like appearance that is the most formal in our line.
Presidio blazer construction:
Fully lined with lightweight stretch lining, but cool year round.
Presidio blazer washability:
100%. It feels like it defies reality coming out of the wash as good as it does.
You can’t buy a blazer from Bluffworks that isn’t ready for adventure. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help choosing the right one.
Washing Our Blazers
The moment of truth -- this is what will happen when you wash your blazer.
STEP 1: Turn it inside out. We do as a cautionary measure in the event your blazer gets jammed between the moving parts of the washing machine. But, we have washed our blazers many times without doing it too.
Now, toss it in. Duh, you know this step. But we mention it because it might still feel weird.
STEP 2: Machine wash using the temperature setting recommended for each garment. A more gentle setting like permanent press is typically a good idea.
- Hopsack: Machine wash cold or warm
- Gramercy: Machine wash cold or warm
- Presidio: Machine wash cold.
One of the most important steps is to remove your blazer promptly from the wash. Leaving it in the machine can create wrinkles. If you forget and leave it too long, just wash it again.
STEP 3: Put in the dryer. For all blazers, tumble dry low.
Remove promptly from the dryer. We like to take it out when it’s still a touch damp, allowing the rest to air dry.
Washing our blazer while traveling is no problem.
Washing our blazer while traveling is no problem.
You could wash it at a laundromat, which is a good choice because you can control the process, following the instructions just like at home. But, it's best to err on the side of caution and use lower temperatures for washing and drying as commercial machines can be hotter than those at home.
Sending your blazer out to a hotel laundry or other service can be convenient, but may also be risky as they typically wash and dry their items on fish-fry, maximum heat that will shorten your blazer’s life.
You can hand spot it if your blazer suffers a stain. Use a dry cloth to absorb the stain and then a warm and damp one with a little soap to lift it.
We don't recommend dry cleaning your blazer due to variation in the process and the same high heat issues as above.
Of all the technology we trust in our lives (like packing into a metal tube to fly across the world) washing your blazer should not be a big concern.
Our goal is to help you feel great whether you’re walking down the street or walking down the aisle.
We know the best blazer will always be machine washable. We’d love to hear from you if you need help finding the right one.