Anyone can have a nice dress shirt… but if it’s all wrinkled, you’re not going to look sharp. Here’s a simple breakdown on how to iron a dress shirt, along with an easy to follow video to show you.
The order of what you iron you iron first technically doesn’t matter as the outcome will typically come out the same. However, we find that the collar is best saved for last so that you don’t risk ruining that crisp look while maneuvering the shirt throughout the process.
TEMPERATURE OF THE IRON:
When it comes to the temperature of the iron, make sure you look at the iron symbol on the care label first. The iron will have either 1, 2, or 3 dots in picture as a guide to how hot the iron should be based on the material of the shirt. If there’s an “X” through the iron, don’t iron the shirt.
1 Dot: (synthetic fabric) Low: 175 – 230 degrees.
2 Dots: (silk/wool) Medium: 250 – 300 degrees.
3 Dots: (linen/cotton) High: 320 – 400 degrees.
Start with the Yoke of the shirt. The Yoke is that top area of the shirt that connects the collar to the back, chest and sleeves that gets filled out by the tops of your shoulders when you’re wearing the shirt.
On most dress shirts, ironing the upper chest is pretty straightforward. On shirts with a pocket on the chest, be sure to move the iron from the bottom to the top of the pocket so that you don’t bunch the fabric and accidentally iron the creases into the fabric.
Be sure to utilize the shape of the ironing board. I pull on the placket to make it extra crisp.
This is also the time to pay special attention to the shirt’s placket. The placket is the strip of fabric that overlaps where the buttons and buttonholes meet. Most irons are made with a lip so you can slide the hot iron around the buttons and get the wrinkles out of the fabric without pressing the buttons.
Some shirts have pleats in the center or on the sides of the back. To iron the pleats, start by ironing the lower part of the folded fabric, then, starting from the top of the shirt, iron the crease formed by the pleat down the shirt until it naturally flattens out.
Lay the sleeve down and press the cuffs flat first. Then spread the shirt sleeve out as flat as possible before pressing the shirt. This is important because while you’re ironing one side of the sleeve you’ll be pressing against the other side and potentially creating creases. Dress shirt sleeves taper as they reach the wrist and often have pleats where they meet the cuff. Treat these pleats as those on the back of the shirt and iron under the folded area first, then iron the from the wrist back up the sleeve toward the body, forming a small, crisp crease.
You should have removed any detachable collar stays before washing, but if not, remove them now and lay the collar out flat on the ironing board. Iron the collar from the center of the collar out toward the points. For a finishing touch, fold the collar for wear and run the iron over the edge of the collar to help the collar hold its shape.
Nick S. / The Guide