So you find the perfect shirt and it matches your suit. You wore it and got lots of comment saying how much it made you look good. You’ve washed it and it smells as fresh as a meadow. But how about ironing it? How do you iron a dress shirt so that it looks perfect the next time you wear it?

how to iron a dress shirt

Ironing a dress shirt - first step

The first step is to do a quick assessment of your iron. Is it up to job? Does it have a smooth and clean soleplate, the part that touches the clothing? If not, it may be time to change that iron. When buying a new one, avoid the lowest cost ones.  They are great for some purposes but for a good quality shirt, something better is needed. The heat of the iron is another important factor and this comes from the watts. Cotton and linen are two common shirt materials and both need a good heat to iron properly. 

Ironing a dress shirt - second step

Once you have the perfect iron and a sturdy ironing board with a good cover on it, you are nearly ready to start. Keep a spray bottle to hand but don’t reuse one from household cleaning agents. This is likely to have residue in it that could spoil the shirt. Fill it with water in case you need a little extra help getting rid of those creases. A light coloured towel is another useful helper to keep on hand.

Checking the shirt label will provide valuable information such as the heat setting needed. If in doubt, start with a lower temperature and work up. If the shirt is dry, give it a light misting with the spray bottle and heat up the iron.

ironing symbols definition

Ironing a dress shirt - third step

Always begin ironing a dress shirt with the collar. This is the first part people see when looking at you wearing the shirt.  Pop it up and start with the reverse side, ironing from one collar point to the other then turn the shirt over and do the same on the outside. 

Next are the cuffs, the other most visible part of the shirt. Unbutton the cuff and lay it out, ironing first the inside then the outside. Don’t iron over buttons unless you cover them with a towel. 

Move to the front of the shirt and do the button side first, ironing between each. Next head to the top of the shoulders and iron downwards then repeat on the other side. 

To iron the back of the shirt, put one of the sleeve heads onto the iron board as if wearing it. Start at the shoulder and iron down, going around any pleat. Move to the other sleeve and repeat.

Finally, the sleeves can be the worst part so the tip is to make sure they are flat before starting. Any creases before starting will iron into both sides of the material. Once flat, start at the area attached the body of the shirt and work down to the cuff.

Once this is done, inspect the shirt and hang it up. Does it look like new? If so, mission accomplished!