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How to iron a button down shirt in 5 easy steps

Filed Under: miscellaneous

Funny thing about men: when it comes to choosing what to wear, you can be just as vain as most women. Surprisingly though, unlike women, most men have no problem wearing those same clothes with the 'just-slept-in-look'. For whatever reason -- cultural, spiritual, X-chromosome deficiency -- men don't like to iron.

Here's why you should make the effort:

Wrinkles can make clothes look cheap, and the way you dress speaks volumes about who you are as a person. Let's face it, clothes talk. Whenever you enter a room for the first time, it takes only a few seconds for people you've never met to form perceptions about you and your abilities. You don't have to utter a word; people peg you one way if you're dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, slacks and a sports coat, and yet another if you're wearing any style in a wrinkled mess.

Take my word for it; it's time to learn how to iron your own clothes. Let's start with a button down shirt.

Here's how:
  1. Begin with the inside and outside of the collar. Start at the tips and work your way to the back.
  2. Do the cuffs -- you'll have high visibility with these so make sure you do them well.
  3. Slide the shoulder onto the end of the board and do the sleeves. Start new the cuff opening then move to the top.
  4. Iron the body. Start at the top and go down. The back is low priority -- it will wrinkles from sitting against the back of a chair or in a car.
  5. Slide the tip of the iron between the buttons.
You're done ... although, you might want to learn how to iron a pair of pants too!

Tip: Moisten your shirt first, dry wrinkles are set wrinkles and difficult to get out. Use a spray bottle or a damp sponge. If you're in a hurry (as I suspect you will be), place aluminum foil under the cover of the ironing board. It'll speed things up by deflecting heat upward, so you're hitting the cloth from both sides.

If nothing helps, and you just can't get it ... invest in a steamer! Steam is the wonder vapor. If you just let a steam iron huff and puff around a shirt on a hanger (this I know you can handle), you'll erase lots of wrinkles without risking a hot steel iron (in your hands) on your defenseless fabric.

  • Andy N

    Not the right way to iron a shirt at all.

    Start at the button side of the front, and work your way round the shirt body to the button side of the front. The back is almost as important as the front.

    Slide the shoulders onto the narrow end of the board in turn, and do the shoulders and top of the back again.

    Do a sleeve at a time, starting with the cuff, then the rest of the sleeve.

    Do the collar last of all, and only do it flat. The manufacture of the collar should make it look correct when folded down on wearing.

    So there !!

  • George

    You are correct! This is how I was taught to do them years ago!

  • Adino

    I agree with Tanya... I hate to do ironing. I usually outsource my ironing to laundry services. They do it professionally at an affordable price, and I can spend more time doing other house chores.

  • riyan

    I am 20 years old and i have a very busy days . so i make my wife icon my shirt .


    That pic you have - those aren't button downs. Button down refers to a collar type.

  • Kelvin

    An easier way to iron the buttons is to flip the buttons down and iron the back. The buttons press into the foam of the ironing board and you can iron the whole length in one motion, right over the buttons.

  • becky

    Uh ... How about the YOLK? I always start with the yolk. Doing it later tends to mess things up. I foldl right at the bottom of the yolk and iron it over the top of the back of the shirt, which gives a nice crease to the center back pleat. I can't believe I even read this article though; I haven't ironed a shirt in years. Love the new non-wrinkle cottons.

  • 7 Comments / 1 Pages

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