Ironing a shirt is a basic life skill that many people are never taught. So before you go burning a hole in that sharp new dress shirt, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to do it the right way. This is how to iron a men’s dress shirt to keep your style looking fresh.
The Equipment: Ironing a Men’s Dress Shirt the Right Way
Ironing a dress shirt starts with the essential equipment. This is what you will need:
- An ironing board. It should ideally be one that allows you to stand while working with it. Avoid purchasing “travel” ironing boards—they tend to require a second piece of furniture to raise it to the right height, which makes them less secure.
- An iron. This piece of equipment is exactly what it sounds like: it is a hot piece of iron used to press the wrinkles out of your clothes. You’ll want one with a light-to-the-touch handle and a steamer option.
Prepping a Men’s Dress Shirt for Ironing
Ironing a dress shirt starts with adequate preparation:
- Prepare your iron. You can do this by filling it with enough water for the steaming feature. You should also plug it in somewhere safe and out of the reach of children.
- Clean your shirt. The heat you’re about to apply can actually make a stain more visible by allowing the stain to set in. You don’t want that. Instead, try to remove any stains before ironing.
- Consider working with a moist shirt. You can either take the shirt out of the dryer before it’s completely dried, or you can use a spray bottle with some water to dampen the shirt before ironing. This will make the ironing go faster, as you won’t have to continually make steam.
How to Iron a Men’s Dress Shirt Properly
Once you have the shirt ready to go, it’s time to take a methodical approach. We recommend the following steps:
- Start with the front. With the shirt unbuttoned, wrap one side of it over the top of the ironing board. Lay the shirt as flat as possible to maximize surface exposure to the iron. Then, lightly go between the buttons with the tip of the iron. Be sure to never iron the buttons directly. Move the iron down from the shoulder to the waist, pressing any wrinkles away. Do the same process on the other side of the front of the shirt. This side should go more quickly because of the lack of buttons.
- Iron the back of the shirt. Wrap the back of the shirt over the iron, exposing as much fabric as possible, and press out all wrinkles from top to bottom.
- Iron the sleeves and cuffs. Start with the sleeves. Make sure the fabric is especially flat here, because you’re actually pressing out two layers of fabric. When complete, open the cuffs, flatten them to the board as much as possible, then iron out any wrinkles.
- Inspect your shirt. Lift your shirt and give it a quick inspection. If there are any creases left, you can spot iron those now.
Pair your Perfectly Pressed Shirt with a Pair of Trousers
Finally, always make sure that you have pants worthy of a freshly-ironed men’s dress shirt. We recommend browsing our Charleston Khakis from Berle to give your pressed shirts the crisp counterpart they need for a complete outfit. With this combo, you’ll be looking as sharp as ever.