We all have that shirt that looks fantastic with a smart pair of trousers or a formal blazer, but seems to always be creased. It comes out of the laundry unrecognisable as our favourite shirt, and no matter what we try, we can never get it looking as crisp and professional as the dry cleaner can. Ironing a dress shirt is simple once you know the tricks, and a crisp shirt is achievable at home without lots of expensive equipment and technical knowhow.
Setting up takes longer than actually ironing a shirt, so it is worth getting all the creased shirts together in one batch. If your iron has a steam setting, make sure it is filled with clean water and heating up, while you give the ironing board a visual check for any tears or stains. We suggest removing laundry from the dryer while it is still slightly damp, as this will make it easier to iron out wrinkles and the final result will look much more professional. After removing collar stays and unfastening all the buttons, the shirt is ready to be ironed. If your laundry is already bone dry, use a clean spray bottle to dampen the shirt, concentrating on thick, hard to iron areas such as the cuffs and collar.
The collar & placket
The shirt collar frames the face and should be ironed first from the underside and then flipped over and ironed from the top, for a crisp collar. The shirt button placket needs to be treated carefully, using the iron point to work around each individual button for the best results. Buttons should never be directly ironed over as they can damage the fabric or even melt under high temperatures. A lot of brands that we stock here at Woodhouse include embroidery or branded tabs to the button plackets, so extra care should be taken with these to avoid rips, tears or burns. If you are unsure if something is iron-over-able, its best to not iron over it.
The shirt front & back
The back panels need to be kept flat, with care being taken around any rear box pleats before flipping the shirt to iron the front panels as well. We suggest not ironing the rear back pleat at all and just leaving the area to fall naturally. Lay the shirt across the ironing board with the arms hanging over the edges to quickly iron the back panel, and use the corner of the board to iron over the shoulders and yoke. A light cotton blend will need a quick iron, however really creased, heavy cotton shirts might need a higher heat and a more intense press. A lot of the shirts we stock here at Woodhouse sport pockets to the chest, and these will just need a quick iron, making sure to avoid any buttons.
The cuffs are an important part of any shirt and, along with the collar, deserve some special attention. Make sure you open out the cuffs by unfastening all the delicate buttons, even the gauntlet button, to make them as flat as possible. Iron the inside of the cuff first then flip to iron the outer side and the start of the sleeve.
Ironing sleeves without a sleeve board can be difficult, so it is suggested to invest in one if you often struggle with shirt sleeves, however in a pinch, a clean, rolled towel will work too. Ironing both sides of the sleeves at once is possible, however, the fabric will need to remain flat with the seams matching up. As tempting as it may be to quickly iron over the sleeves, making sure there are no lumps, bumps or folds is an essential step to stop creases or folds being ironed in. You will thank us later!
Hang & wear
After a quick check for any missed patches, the shirt should be hung up immediately, with all buttons fastened, to avoid creating new creases and undoing all that hard work. Make sure to fasten the top collar button as this will keep the collar looking crisp!
Don’t forget the quality of a dress shirt is very important and a well made garment will last a hell of a lot longer through wear – take a gander through our collections of mens designer shirts from various brands in our portfolio that we know you can trust. Are there any tricks we missed? Comment below or tweet us @.