Everlane has a line of soft, washable silk shirts that never have to be dry cleaned – here’s what they’re like in real life

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  • Everlane’s washable silk tops come in three styles: The Wrap Top, The Relaxed Shirt, and The Henley.
  • The washable silk is heavier and less sheer than traditional silk, and more low-maintenance.
  • We wore and machine-washed the tops, but ultimately still prefer Everlane’s Clean Silk Shirt.

If you asked me to create a wardrobe out of only one material – and I could be as impractical as I wanted – the answer would probably be silk.

Why? It’s soft; it’s smooth; it looks like a dry martini served in a dimly-lit piano bar.

Unsurprisingly, though, you don’t get the glamour of silk without the maintenance. The queen of textiles isn’t cheap, and the care isn’t easy: You’ll probably need to hand-wash or dry clean it.

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Everlane’s washable silk material up-close.

Startups have made it easier to find affordable and relatively hassle-free silk. You’ve probably seen ads for Lunya‘s washable silk pajamas or bought a silk pillowcase from Slip ($89) or Brooklinen ($50). The latest washable-silk option is from Everlane, the startup that’s responsible for a disproportionate number of our team’s all-time favorite basics.

Everlane’s Washable Silk shirt collection currently comprises three styles (The Wrap Top, The Relaxed Shirt, and The Henley). These styles currently come in up to six colors and range in price from $61 to $110 (though Everlane estimates the shirts would cost closer to $215 at traditional retailers). Everlane’s washable silk is less sheer and slightly heavier than traditional silk, and you can – as the name implies – just throw it in the wash alongside your other clothes. There’s no need to hang-dry, either. But, to keep the silky feel, you may want to tumble-dry it on low.

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After machine-washing the shirt multiple times, there were virtually no wrinkles.

To see how Everlane’s washable silk stacks up in real life, I asked my coworkers to wear – and wash – the silk at home. Keep reading to find our reviews, but the gist is this: These are pretty, versatile tops that deliver on the drapery and luxe look of silk without the need for dry-cleaning. But, if you want a traditional experience and sheen, you should opt for Everlane’s $98 Clean Silk version and foot the occasional dry-cleaning bill.

Here’s what we thought after trying Everlane’s Washable Silk Tops:

Washable Silk Relaxed Shirt

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When Everlane describes these blouses as heavier than traditional silk and less sheer, they’re not kidding. This makes it more versatile than traditional silk — no worrying about wearing the exactly right flesh-colored bra — but it also feels a bit like a hybrid of a suede and silk. You’ll still get the beautiful draping, but there isn’t the same lustrous sheen if that’s what you’re after. Better to stick to their other silk options.

After throwing this style in the wash and tumble-drying on low, I noticed a relatively minimal difference in the make and feel of the shirt, though it did take a little extra care to get the wrinkles out. It’s still far less hassle than a traditional silk shirt, but not a dead-ringer alternative.

If you like the sound of something that’s a little heavier and less sheer that you can throw in the wash — but that still offers beautiful draping — then you’re most likely to enjoy Everlane’s washable silk. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Washable Silk Wrap Top

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I was intrigued when Everlane released its washable silk tops because I only had one silk article of clothing that I put through the wash even though the tag explicitly says “dry clean only”. 

I tried Everlane’s Washable Silk Wrap top in rose in a size 0. Normally I wear a size 0 and rarely I’ll wear a 00, which is the size I should have chosen since the 0 was a bit too big for me. I love tops that are cropped, which this wrap top definitely is, so if you’re taller than 5-foot-3 or just don’t like cropped pieces, this might not be the ideal top. There are hidden buttons to help keep everything in place, but I constantly fought with the ties that kept threatening to come undone. 

I ran the top through the wash in warm water along with way too much fabric softener and put it in the dryer along with the rest of my laundry on medium heat. When I took it out of the dryer, it looked no smaller than it was before but it also wasn’t as soft as it was prior to being washed and dried, especially considering the fact that I used too much fabric softener.

Regardless, I still love the color and how the top is cut. As someone who rarely sends clothes to the dry cleaner, I was satisfied, but not amazed by how this washable silk top stood up to the washing machine. — Ciannah Gin, former editorial fellow

Read the original article on Business Insider