The Disadvantages of Fleece

Overview

When the chill of fall and winter hits, you may find yourself grabbing your favorite fleece pullover or leggings day after day. However, wearing fleece sometimes means sacrificing form in the name of function. That comfy outerwear does not flatter your shape, and it may have additional negative impacts you have never considered. Weigh the pros and cons and take a long look in the mirror before settling for fleece.

Too Hot to Handle

There is a reason outerwear and winter wear often contain fleece: Fleece is a thick woven fabric that traps your body heat and makes you sweat. While this warming layer is welcome on the ski slopes or during a jog at sunrise, it can feel suffocating in other contexts. This is why many people relegate fleece to their outer layer of clothing -- they can take it off when they go inside.

Floppy Fit

You may love your college sweatshirt or that worn-out pair of fleecy yoga pants, but they probably do not show off your figure. Fleece clothing hangs off your body rather than hugs your curves. Wearing tighter fleece may seem like a simple solution for a more flattering fit, but the problem persists due to the thickness of the fabric. Fleece tends to bunch up and wrinkle, interrupting slim silhouettes.

Aging Disgracefully

Cotton and cotton blend fleece gets softer with age, but that frequent laundering also makes the fabric fade, lose its elasticity and loosen its weave. Polyester and other synthetic fleece hold their shape better after washing, but the fabrics develop pills that make your clothing look ratty and worn out. Make the fresh appearance and fit of your fleece last longer by washing your clothing in cold water and with a gentle soap. Dry your fleece on a clothesline and briefly fluff it in the dryer to make it soft.

Environmental Impact

Being fashionable and going green may seem like two different goals, but skipping fleece and choosing clothing in sustainable fabrics can help save the earth. When you wash and dry synthetic fleece clothing, it releases up to 2,000 polyester fibers. These tiny particles make their way to the world's watersheds, contaminating water supplies. More sustainable choices include clothing made out of hemp, bamboo and unbleached, organic cotton.

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