It’s 2019 and there are a few things that every modern man should know how to do for himself. Cooking a steak, pairing wine, and ironing custom dress shirts come to mind. It isn’t enough to just toss your wrinkled gear into the dryer for a few minutes, despite what your old college roommate told you that one time. Instead, invest in an ironing board. They’re cheaper than on-site laundries and, with the right knowledge, easier to use. So, read on and learn how to iron a dress shirt like a pro.
Know Your Fabric
The first thing to consider when setting up your ironing station is the fabric you will be working with. Luckily, the little knob on your iron is made to correspond with the tag on the shirt. "If your shirt says cotton, then turn the dial to cotton." Once you’ve got the setting locked in, it’s time to lay out your ware.
Lay It All Out There
Customized shirts are like any other dress shirts on the market, albeit a lot better fitting. To iron yours, begin by laying a sleeve on the ironing board. The cuff should be button side down and facing the narrow end of your board. Flatten the inner seam – the seam that goes into the armpit – by smoothing the fabric into a makeshift crease at the shoulder. Repeat to cuff.
Starch is your friend
Spray it on the area you intend to iron, but don’t overdo it. Too much starch can flake when dried, leaving your other clothes a snowy mess. Some people like to use steam and water to eliminate the possibility of flaking. Try both methods and see which works best for you.
Custom dress shirts are made to fit you specifically, so your style is vital to the confidence boost they provide. If you like a nice, strong crease going from shoulder to cuff then you’re going to want to iron the entire sleeve flat. If you don’t, just stop short of the outer edge.
Flip and repeat.
How to iron collars
To iron the collar of your dress shirt lay it flat tag side up. Spray with starch and iron from center to corners. Again, flip and repeat the gesture.
How to iron the front
Next, unbutton your shirt and put the button side of the front panel onto the ironing board. The collar should still be facing the narrow end. Starch to taste and iron the broadest part of the shirt first. Avoid running over the buttons by using the narrow end of the iron to get between each one. If you find this difficult, flipping the shirt over and ironing around the buttons from the underside could help. Once done, switch to the next panel and repeat.
How to iron the back
The last thing you need to do is the back of your shirt. Since you’re working with customized shirts you can opt for the pleated or non-pleated look. Ironing pleats can be a bit tricky if you’ve never done it before. To make it work, flatten the pleat as much as is possible. Get as close to the seam as is allowed and iron the area flat. Next, fold the pleat closed and iron about an inch in. This forms a sharply creased pleat every time.
If you’re not a fan of pleats, iron from top to bottom and that’s it. You’re officially done with this crash course on how to iron a dress shirt.