You Should Know: How To Iron A Shirt

Above: Learn how to iron a dress shirt

Fact: A wrinkled dress shirt will make you look like an unprofessional slob. That is why every man should know how to iron his own dress shirt.

Here’s a quick how to:

How To Iron A Dress Shirt

1. Be Prepared

If you are going to take the time to iron, you might as well make the effort to iron all your shirts that need to be ironed at once. Make this a weekly habit. After doing the laundry iron your shirts BEFORE you put them away. This way they will be ready to throw on at a moment’s notice. Half of the time it takes to iron is getting the iron ready and warmed up, so you might as well do all the ironing at once.

First thing’s first, make sure your iron has plenty of water in it. You can also use a spray bottle but most irons have a spray feature so you should be fine. Once it’s filled you are going to want to turn your iron on and start getting it warmed up. Check on the tag of your shirt to find out what temperature your shirt should be ironed at. If you are ironing multiple shirts with different temperature settings, start with the shirts that need the lowest setting and continue to work your way to the ones that need a warmer setting.

While things are getting heated up, unfold your ironing board. You will also need to get your shirts ready, unbutton every button, including the buttons on the cuff. Warning, don’t iron a dirty or stained shirt. The ironing process will make it far more difficult to get the stain out, clean your shirt first.

2. Start With The Collar

When ironing a dress shirt you are going to start with the collar. It’s not imperative that you start with the collar but it is a good central spot to start, and is one of the more focal points of the shirt. Make sure you remove any collar stays before you iron the collar. You are going to start by popping the collar and spraying some water on the back of the collar before ironing it flat. Start from one side and work your way over. Then flip the collar and lightly touch up the outside of the collar.

3. Iron The Cuffs

Next you are going to want to iron the cuffs. They are one of the more visible spots of the shirt so you want them looking good. Your cuff should be unbuttoned already so you can lay the cuff open and iron the inside of the cuff first. Again spray the cuff with water before ironing to help steam out those wrinkles. Repeat on the outside of the cuff. Make sure you iron around and not over the buttons.

4. Iron The Sleeves

It doesn’t really matter which sleeve you start with but you will want to iron the sleeves before ironing the body of the shirt. This is because the sleeves can be difficult part of the shirt to iron, so if you’re struggling with them you may end up wrinkling the body of the shirt. But since you haven’t ironed the body of the shirt yet, this isn’t a problem.

You most likely don’t have a sleeve board. If you do, awesome, slide the sleeve in the sleeve board and iron away. Since most men don’t own a sleeve board you’ll be ironing over both sides of the sleeve. You will want to take the sleeve of your shirt by the seam and lay it flat. If there is a previous crease mark on the sleeve follow that. Make sure you get both layers flat. If the bottom layer is bunched then you’ll iron a bigger mess than before.

Start at the seam where the arm meets the body. Once again spray those tough wrinkles with some water. Work your way down the sleeve to the cuff. Once you’ve ironed the one side, flip it and iron the reverse side. Once again, be care not to iron over the gauntlet button on the sleeve, as it’ll leave a mark.

5. Iron The Shirt Front

Start with the side of the shirt that has the buttons on it. Carefully iron around the buttons. Then starting from the top of the shoulder work your way down the shirt. Don’t be afraid to put some muscle into it but spraying a little bit of water goes a long way. Once you are done you do the same on the opposite front panel. It’s important to spend a little more time concentrating on the front placket (where the button holes are) and around the collar, as they are highly visible.

6. Iron The Back

Fit the shoulder of the shirt onto the board so the back is fitted into place. You will want to start with the shoulder and work your way down. As you work your way across you will want to work around any centre pleats the shirt may have. You can iron those pleats but it’s best not to accentuate them too much. Slide the dress shirt over to complete the remaining portion of the shirt and then you are done.

7. Hang And Admire

Now that you have ironed your dress shirt you can put it back on its hanger and admire your hard work. Now grab your next shirt and repeat.

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