You’ve been pressing your own dress shirts since senior prom, but your attention to detail has gone downhill since then. We don’t blame you. You’re juggling more than just a prom date and corsage these days. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the “he obviously ironed that shirt in a hurry” look. Here are a few simple steps for fine-tuning your ironing board skills:
1. Do some prep.
You’ll get the most out of your ironing time by planning in advance. Make sure your iron is filled with distilled water before you start, ideally the night before. When you feel rushed, the last thing you need is to be checking your iron’s water levels. For those especially busy weeks, keep a spray bottle of distilled water on hand. Just misting the shirt before pressing can make a big difference.
2. Go easy on the collar.
For an ironing job that looks sharp but not like you overdid it on the starch, always iron the back of the collar—never the front. A good ironing job just eliminates creases and wrinkles, it doesn’t press the life out of your clothing. Also, avoid ironing the tips of the collar so they don’t fray.
3. Hit the shoulders and sleeves.
Just because your sleeves are hidden under a jacket when you arrive to the office doesn’t mean you can skip them. A few extra minutes can save you from being held hostage to your tailored jacket all day. It’s easy: Place each shoulder around the rounded edge of the board, and iron. Undo the sleeve button and spread out the cuff. Straighten each sleeve, smooth out any creases, and gently glide the iorn over both sides.
4. Finish it off.
The front is the most noticeable part of your shirt, so do it last to avoide additional creases gained after ironing your sleeves. Spread out the left side of the shirt’s body over the ironing board, smooth the creases, and start ironing. Work your way to the back and then to the right side, gently shifting the fabric off the board as you finish.
Air-dry the shirt on a hanger for 5 to 10 minutes so the fabric sets. Then button it up and you’re good to go. Just try not to spill coffee on the way to the office.