How To Iron Shirts

A great way to Up Your Fashion Game and look sharp is to be wrinkle free. Every man should know how to iron his shirts properly. But before we jump into ironing, I wanted to throw out there that some things don’t need to be ironed. For example, for a more casual look, the Oxford Cotton Button Down doesn’t need to be ironed. The look that an OCBD has from the dryer is relaxed and it’s one that other dress shirts can’t achieve. When talking about OCBDs, Thom Brown says, “When pressed, it kind of takes away its personality.” Other fabrics will  look sloppy with wrinkles, but not Oxford Cotton. With that, let’s get to ironing.

What you’ll need:

  • Ironing board – the wider the better
  • An iron with a steam button
  • Spray bottle filled with water (optional depending on how wrinkled your shirt is)

Everyone has their own way of ironing and what order they do it in. I will show you two ways and you can pick which one works best for you. The first is an illustration that comes from GQ which uses the square end of the ironing board.

1. Fit your shirt, back side facing up, over the rectangular end of your board
2. Flip the shirt over to the front. Pull the shirt down so the shoulder seam lies flat on the board and iron out the wrinkles. Repeat on the other shoulder.
3. Take the shirt off the board, flip the collar up, and lay it down so the back of the collar faces up. Spray and iron. Then fold a crease in the collar and iron it in.
4. Lay a sleeve lengthwise on the board and, pulling it taut from the cuff with one hand, iron it with the other. Then open the cuff and lay it flat so the inside faces up. Iron. Repeat with the other cuff.

The second way comes from a YouTube video from TM Lewin. He shows an alternate method by using the pointy end of the ironing board. This is how I iron my shirts.



As stated in the video, if you prefer your sleeves to not have a crease down them, you can use a sleeve board or simply stick a rolled up towel in the sleeve while ironing it.

Last, my best advice is to use your hands to get rid of any folds before you are going to iron a section. This will make the ironing go a lot faster and will be less frustrating.


“But be warned: Ironing isn’t for pansies, and you might well build up a distinctly unfeminine sweat. So feel free to crack a beer and toast the fact that you won’t be running to the dry cleaner tomorrow” – Mark Healy, GQ editor



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