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How to Quickly and Expertly Iron a Shirt

How to Quickly and Expertly Iron a Shirt

No matter what your personal style is—whether you're a suit-wearer or the kind of guy who prefers jeans and sneakers—there are certain skills every man should possess. That's where we come in. This week, we present five essential style and grooming skills, in handy step-by-step format. Just pull up a chair and read, then get to work. You can never practice these things enough.

As they say, you only get one chance at a first impression. And there's no quicker way to ruin your look than by wearing a crumpled button-up. Even the most flawless the suit and well-shined shoes can't make up for it. So make sure you own an iron, and know how to use it. Luckily, ironing can be quick and easy if you know a few basics.

1. Get Your Setup Dialed In.
You'll need a sturdy iron, a spray bottle with water, and a decent ironing board that's not a major pain to setup. The more turnkey your setup, the more likely you'll leave the house with a freshly ironed shirt each morning.

2. Pop Your Collar.
With a hot and freshly sprayed iron, start by popping your shirt collar (this is the only time we'll endorse a popped collar). Start on the inside with sweeping back and forth movements and a decent amount of pressure. After about seven passes, flip it over and repeat on the outside.

3. Move the Cuffs.
With each unbuttoned, work the outside of the cuff starting in the middle and work your way out. Be sure not to iron over the buttons.

4. Think of a Mullet.
If you're wearing a jacket with your shirt, think of ironing like you would a mullet: business in the front, party in the back. Use the squared-off end of the ironing board and drape the shirt so just the front is flat. Start at the top and work your way down. Press especially hard on the button placket, while being sure not to iron over the buttons on the other side.

5. Hit the Back.
To iron the back of the shirt, lay it open and iron the inside with quick, sweeping motions and light pressure. You just want a bit of heat here—perfection is not the name of the game when it comes to the back of the shirt.

6. Tackle the Sleeves.
Work on each leave, one at a time. Lay them flat and iron from the shoulder to the cuff with moderate pressure. Repeat this process on the back of the sleeve.

7. Let it Cool.
Once your shirt is fully ironed, unplug your iron and give it time to cool off. Throw on your freshly ironed shirt or place it on a hanger to keep it crisp and wrinkle-free.

by Hans Aschim,

* This article is part of The Code, an editorial partnership between Esquire and Ford F-150.