Honestly when I was younger, I could have cared less whether or not my dress shirt was ironed or not. Once I learned how important a dapper lifestyle is, that all changed. Everywhere I go I see a lot of wrinkled dress shirts. Gentlemen if we want to take our personal wardrobe to a new level of dapper, we need to iron our dress shirts. There are quite a few men out there who either don’t know how to iron their dress shirts or haven’t attempted, because they’re too intimidated do so. That’s about to change if you’re reading this article. An ironed shirt tells others that the little details matter to you as a gentleman. Also those little details speak to others about your character. It may not be your intention, but a sloppy wrinkled shirt can make your character come off as careless or lazy. Let’s get started.
The Iron: The iron is the most important part of this process. When you are searching for an iron to purchase here are a few things to keep in mind. First make sure that it is solid, well built, and will keep a clean base. Many irons are made from steel, titanium, or cast iron. Second, I encourage you to stay away from low-cost irons. Low-cost irons equal low quality which will eventually equal an unclean “soul plate.” The “soul plate” is the piece of material on the bottom of your iron that gets really hot. Third, keep in mind that you want your iron to produce heat and steam. Steam is essential in this process. Steam is used indirectly for wool and delicates. When properly used this will save you many expensive trips to the dry cleaners.
Ironing Board. You will obviously need something to iron your cloths on and it’s not your kitchen counter or your bed. Purchase an ironing board. Make sure you own something that is foundational and comfortable to use. You can find nice board covers at an affordable price. You can also add aluminum foil under your board cover. This will actually reflect the heat of the iron back up so your cloths are heated from both sides.
Water. Most irons will come with a “steam generating” feature built into them. Some prefer to generate their own steam too. If you are going to opt out of using the built in steamer, then use a spray bottle with water. Make sure that you buy a new spray bottle. The last thing you want to use is an old chemical spray bottle for ironing your cloths. Some also prefer to use spray starches to create that “crisp” look. I am a fan of these when I can afford them. Water works just as well and it’s free.
How to Iron Your Dress Shirt.
Step One. Always iron the collar first. Keep in mind this is the most visible part of a shirt. To iron the shirt collar, first begin with the underside, slowly pressing the iron from one point to the other. If any wrinkles appear, press them to the bottom. They will be less visible and hidden. Second, flip the shirt over and repeat this process on the outside of the collar.
Step Two. Iron the cuffs. The cuffs when worn properly with a jacket will be seen a lot. First unbutton it and lay it out flat. Second iron the inside of the cuff, then the outside. Be sure to move all the wrinkles from the fabric to the edges. Be sure to gently iron around the buttons and on the backside (NEVER IRON THE BUTTONS).
Step Three. Iron the shirt front. To do this start with the side that has buttons on it and carefully work the iron point around the buttons. Next, move back up to the top of the shoulder and work your way down the shirt. Now repeat this same process on the other side. In some cases your dress shirt will have a placket. If so, press the material under it with the iron point and then over the top.
Step Four. Iron the back of the shirt. Start by laying the shirt flat on the board. Next, begin at the top with the back shoulder area or what is called the “yoke.” Slowly slide the iron down.
Step Five. Iron the sleeves. First, make sure the fabric is flat and smooth before you begin ironing. I have messed this up many times and the outcome is hard to redeem. Second, start by taking either sleeve by the seam and lay the whole sleeve flat on the ironing board. Third, start ironing at the top where the sleeve is sewn onto the shirt and work your way down to the cuff. Fourth, turn the sleeve over and iron, and then repeat the process with the other sleeve.
Step Six. Inspect and hang up your dress shirt. Inspection of your dress shirt is necessary. Don’t remove your shirt from the board and hang it up without inspecting it for remaining wrinkles. Finally, place the shirt on a hanger and in your closet.
There you haven’t gentlemen. I’d love to hear from you and how this process worked for you. Please leave a comment at the bottom. Also if you would like to know more about the products I use and suggest, please leave a reply at the bottom of this article and I will be glad to share that information with you. Until next time gents…