Men's Wash & Wear Suits

J.C. Penney has come out with a new line of men's suits you're supposed to be able to wash and wear. Consumer Reports wanted to see if you can really skip the dry cleaner altogether.

A good drycleaner can get creases just right and make a suit look crisp and new. But dry cleaning is expensive.

Consumer Reports just tested suits from J. C. Penney you can wash at home. They're made of polyester, wool and Lycra.
You can find the suit on J. C. Penney's Web site for around 200 dollars. Penney's calls it a "classic, everyday suit."

To wash, you put it in a mesh bag that comes with the suit. Then it goes right in the washing machine.

To dry, you hang it on a hanger. Once the suits had been washed five times, Li Wang and Geoff Martin inspected them.

Geoff Martin: "No puckering in the seams here and no pilling." But Consumer Reports staffers who tried the suits found washing didn't get out all the wrinkles.
Geoff Martin: There's just a very slight wrinkle the pants. The crease is very sharp and the fabric is smooth."

It's a good idea to do what the label recommends and give the suits a light touch-up with a steam iron. As for styling —

Chris Bucsko: "It's not a top-of-the-line tailored suit, but it is a pretty good suit for everyday use."

Werner Freitag: "I'd be comfortable wearing it to business meetings." So Penney's suit really is a classic everyday suit — and one you can just wash and wear. This is James Andrews.
Consumer Reports says if you decide to get one of Penney's wash-and-wear suits, it's probably a good idea to have it professionally pressed once in a while to keep the suit looking sharp and crisp.

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