A Party Dress That Can Go In The Laundry? Yes, Please

Photo: Courtesy of Moda Operandi.
I'll be the first to admit that I rarely — and I mean rarely — follow care instructions on my clothing. Unless something is very special (read: cost way too much money to possibly get thrown around in my building's basement washer and dryer), basically everything finds itself in the same cycle: medium load, warm water, extra-fast spin, air dry. Swimsuits? Meet my jeans. (And sundresses, and T-shirts, and...)

Party dresses, however, fall into the category of things I will dry-clean — as soon as I get my act together and actually get them to a dry cleaner. Lazy, I know, but hey, we're all about honesty here, amiright? That's why I was pretty intrigued when I heard that a few designers had specifically created cocktail options that could be washed at home. Could this Tide partnership with designers Juan Carlos Obando, Michael Costello, and Suno be the answer to my woes?

To be honest, after seeing Laverne Cox wear a "washable" gown by Costello to this year's Billboard Music Awards, I called bullshit. As an editor, I know how far companies will go for a press opportunity — only to eventually learn that most don't exactly practice what they preach. So, when I decided to give it a go, wearing this floral, long-sleeved maxi-dress to a wedding late last month, I was prepared for worst, assuming that I'd likely shrink the dress or ruin the fabric entirely. Sleeves are great for air-conditioned venues, but not so great for the lull between ceremony and reception, especially when it's nearly 90 degrees. To put it simply: The dress definitely needed a wash afterwards.

The instructions from Tide were simple: Either wash by hand in cold water with its Original Liquid Laundry Detergent, roll the garment in a towel to eliminate any additional moisture, and lay flat or hang to dry; or machine wash on gentle in cold water and air dry. Obviously, I tried the latter, mostly because my apartment isn't exactly the easiest place to wash things by hand. And like my silk pajamas and "leather" Zara shorts that say DRY CLEAN ONLY in bold (which I've definitely ignored), the dress was perfectly fine. I was happy, the dress was happy, and more importantly, my sanity was more than thrilled to be able to throw a cocktail number in with my laundry, rather than paying a little too much on dry cleaning. Seriously, I have no complaints, minus the fact that the dress doesn't come with a slip (which is annoying for me — considering the dress cost roughly $700 — but for other people, that might not make a difference at all). Now, I'm praising the laundry gods for yet another way to make my life easier.

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