What Are the Pros & Cons of Wearing Polyester?

Man Shirt Jeans
Photo: Shutterstock

Clothing manufacturers use polyester fabric because it is inexpensive, durable, and versatile. Most polyester fabrics are machine-washable and do not require ironing, making them easy to maintain in our busy worlds. Polyester fabrics hold their shapes and do not shrink, so they last a long time. Polyester has several pros and cons, which is why many designers and clothing manufacturers choose it. 

Pro: Polyester is Affordable

Compared to natural fabrics like cotton or wool, polyester is affordable. It’s easy to see the price differences when comparing a polyester shirt wholesale versus a similar wholesale shirt made of linen or cotton. 

Con: Polyester is Not Breathable

People who wear polyester notice the fabric isn’t breathable. While this can benefit when temperatures drop, the material can be uncomfortable in the heat.

Man Shirt Trousers Sunglasses
Photo: Shutterstock

Pro: Polyester is Durable

The polymers in the fabric create a strong and durable weave that holds shape and does not require much maintenance. You can wash and dry polyester fabrics and not worry about them shrinking or stretching. 

Con: Polyester is Flammable

Because polyester has petroleum-based polymers, it is flammable and can catch fire quicker than other natural fibers. The fabric can melt and fuse to human skin, requiring medical attention. It’s common for people to melt their polyester clothing when ironing it or using a dryer setting that is too high. 

Pro: Polyester is UV Light Resistant

Natural fabrics can become discolored in sunlight, but polyester is UV resistant, so the colors don’t fade. Since it’s easy to put colorful prints on polyester fabric, many designers choose polyester fabrics for their outdoor summer collections. You’ll even see swimwear and beach coverups made of polyester. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen, as UV rays can penetrate fabrics. 

Con: Polyester is Not Sustainable

Unlike natural fabrics made from plants, polyester is not sustainable. The polymers come from petroleum, and the fashion industry relies on billions of barrels of oil annually. Polyester is not biodegradable, so many fast-fashion polyester clothing items end up in landfills. Learning to reuse polyester clothing can reduce its negative impact on the environment. 

Man Shirt Jeans Man Bun
Photo: Shutterstock

Pro: Polyester Has Elasticity

Because polyester is a manufactured fabric, it can be combined with other artificial fibers. Polyester has a bit of elasticity, which is why it holds its shape so well. Many fashion manufacturers add spandex or elastane to make stretchy clothing like fitted exercise wear and swimwear. 

Con: Polyester Retains Scents

Polyester does not breathe, so it holds fragrances and odors. You’ll find it difficult to remove if you spray perfume or cologne on it. Body odors stick around, so apply your deodorant and hope you don’t sweat. People who wear polyester often struggle to remove stains, especially oil and grease stains. 

Pro: Polyester is Easy to Maintain

Because polyester is machine washable and does not need ironing, it’s an excellent fabric for busy people. It’s a great choice for children’s wear due to the wash-and-wear maintenance needs.