Complete guide - How to iron a dress shirt

Complete guide - How to iron a dress shirt

A wrinkled shirt looks tired and scruffy. Many find ironing tedious and time consuming, but it doesn't have to be. Let us show you! Putting on a dress shirt with lots of wrinkles not only lowers the quality of your overall outfit, it also lowers your confidence and makes you stand out for all the wrong reasons. Wearing a wrinkled dress shirt could make you look like a person who doesn’t pay attention to the details, and who would want that? To avoid all this, you need to know how to iron your dress shirt correctly.

How to get a good result fast

Does the mere word ironing make you break out in a sweat? No need for panic, ironing your dress shirt doesn’t need to be a hassle if you know the basics. If you only have a few minutes to spare, follow this quick guide to get a good result fast.

  1. Gather the items needed: an iron, a spray bottle with water and an ironing board.
  2. Spray your heated iron with water and proceed to pop the collar on your dress shirt. Start ironing on the inside using sweeping movements and not too much pressure. Then flip the collar and proceed with the outside.
  3. After unbuttoning, iron the outside of the cuffs by starting in the middle and work your way out.
  4. Proceed with the front and drape the front of the dress shirt in your ironing board so that it lies flat. Start ironing at the top and work your way down.
  5. To iron the back, simply lay it open and iron the dress shirt from the inside with fast sweeping motions. Don’t put too much pressure on the iron here.
  6. Finnish off with the sleeves by laying them flat and iron from the shoulders and down using moderate pressure.

The guide to master the ironing skills

Looking to master your skills in ironing a dress shirt? There are some tips out there if you want to become a complete pro at ironing. Continue to read this guide if you want to learn them!

How long does it take?

How long it takes to iron a dress shirt mostly depends on how experienced you are. If you’re only just starting out, expect somewhere between 10-15 minutes for a properly done ironing. When you’ve worked up your skills a bit you should be down to 3 to 5 minutes. Practice makes perfect!

Before we start, the tools needed

Before we start off with a more in depth guide, let’s point out what items you’ll need. Even if you consider yourself experienced when it comes to handling an iron you may find some new, useful information.

The iron

A non-brainer, perhaps. You’ll need a quality iron to get a good result, so avoid going for a cheap version. New irons under $20 should generally be avoided as they tend to come from low cost manufacturers with poor quality. A poor quality iron may risk heating unevenly which can risk causing damage to the dress shirts. If you’re searching the market for a new iron, get one with high heat capability. Why? Certain fabrics such as cotton and linen require high heat in order to reform the shape of the fabric. Using a high quality iron with good heating capability can cut the ironing process in almost half, making it easier and faster than ever to get a good result.

The ironing board

While some would argue that this part is optional, getting a good result without an ironing board is not an easy task. Maybe even an impossible one. Opt for a clean and sturdy ironing board with a smooth surface. You don’t need anything fancy, the ones you would typically find in your local department store will do just fine.

The spray bottle

The most important aspect here is choosing a bottle that you haven’t used for any cleaning. These bottles tend to have remnants of cleaning detergent in them. You’ll want a bottle with only water in it to disperse evenly on your dress shirt. A spray bottle is really effective when you want to get rid of wrinkles, just spray directly onto the wrinkle and proceed to iron it to get a silky smooth surface.

How to iron your dress shirt like a pro

Now that you’ve got all the equipment ready, let’s get started with a more in depth guide on how to successfully iron your dress shirt.

1. Collar first

You should always start off the process with ironing the collar, as it’s the most visible part on your dress shirt. Especially when wearing a suit jacket or blazer, you’ll want your collar looking nice and smooth. Pop up the collar and proceed to iron the underside, then flip the dress shirt and proceed to iron the other side of the collar. Make sure you use the spray bottle on the collar to make it moist, this will make the process a whole lot easier. If any wrinkles on the collar appears, push them down to the bottom where they won’t be as visible.

2. Proceed with the cuffs

Next up is the cuffs, as they are almost as important as the collar. The cuffs tend to be visible most of the time and you’ll want them looking as smooth as possible for a well-dressed look. Start with unbuttoning the cuff and lay it out flat on the ironing board. Then proceed to iron the inside of the cuff followed by the outside. Move all wrinkles to the edges of the cuff where they won’t be as visible. Make sure you iron gently around the buttons to avoid any damage, same goes for the backside of the cuff.

3. Next up: the front

Start off by ironing the side of the dress shirt that has buttons. Keep in mind to carefully iron around the buttons and avoid going over them directly. Proceed to iron the shoulders and work your way down. Flip the dress shirt and repeat on the other side.

4. Ironing the back

Next up is the back of the dress shirt. By laying it flat on the ironing board with the arms draped on each side you get a good base to work on. Start at the top of the dress shirt with the yoke, also known as the back shoulder area.

5. Don’t forget the sleeves

Save this part for last as it tends to be the trickiest part of the whole process. The sleeves can be ironed in many different ways and problems can easily pop up when you don’t know how to do it properly. The key to iron the sleeves correctly is making sure that the fabric is completely smooth before applying the iron to the sleeves. To do this, take any sleeve by the seam and lay it flat on the board. Use the seam on the sleeve as a guide to lay it completely flat. Start by ironing at the top where the sleeve is attached to the rest of the dress shirt and work your way down all the way to the cuff.

6. Final touch: the inspection

We’re almost at the finish line, all you need to do now is a final inspection to secure a smooth ironed look. Do you still see some creases in the fabric? Lightly spot-iron on areas needed. Last but not least, put it on and enjoy the feeling of a really well ironed dress shirt. You’ve deserved it!

Benefits of ironing your dress shirts

Maybe you’re one of those people who simply don’t get why they should iron their dress shirts. Well, if you’re one of those people, here’s some convincing aspects on why should start:

  • The quality of your dress shirt will last longer. By dissing the dry cleaning and instead choosing the iron will most likely add a couple of extra years to your favorite dress shirts. Why? You can focus on cleaning specific parts that requires it such as collar and cuffs, while working lightly on parts such as sleeves and body.
  • You’ll definitely save some bucks. Taking your dress shirts repeatedly to a dry clean can end up in quite a large sum spent, so doing your own ironing is a wise choice if you’re looking to save some money.
  • You can decide how you want it and get it right away. In need of a really crisp dress shirt right away in the morning? By doing the ironing yourself you don’t have to sit around and wait for a dry cleaning service to do it for you.

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