Press to impress

“Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.”  Mark Twain

Although Twain’s work is still widely read today, he died over a hundred years ago. As you can see, Americans dressed much more formally back then than we do to sit around the house and read the paper. (Do they still print those?)

While you don’t have to wear a suit and tie in order to leave the house, what you wear is the one of the first things someone notices about you.

Because of the blended fabrics made nowadays, if you get your pants and shirts out of the dryer as soon as they’re done and hang them up – no ironing is needed.  See my previous post, How to do your laundry – Part Two

However, there will be times when it is necessary to get out the iron and ironing board.


You will need:

an ironing board

an iron

a spray bottle of water (optional, but it makes life much easier)


If you have never tried to iron anything before, it’s a good idea to practice.

An old pillow case makes a good training piece.


Spray the pillow case with water and place it on the ironing board.


Heat up the iron for a few minutes.  Make sure you use the right temperature for the fabric you are ironing.  Most irons have a temperature guide printed on them, but it’s a good idea to test a small sample before beginning.


Move the iron back and forth over the material until the wrinkles are gone.  Don’t hold the iron still, you can burn fabric and there is no way to fix it.


After removing the wrinkles in one section, move the fabric and continue ironing.


The wrinkles are gone.  Good job. You can now move on to actual clothing.


This shirt was taken out of dryer immediately after it was dry and hung up.  As you can see, while it may be good enough to wear while having a beer with a friend, it should be ironed in order to wear it in a business casual office or to Grandma’s birthday party.

First, lets unbutton all of the buttons, then place it on the ironing board.



Spray  it with water and start with the right shoulder.  Press away those wrinkles.  Continue to move and iron over to the left shoulder.


Now repeat the process on the right front, back and left front.


When you get to the side with buttons use the top pointy end of the iron to get in between, but go slowly because you can break them.



Now it’s time for the sleeves.  Place it on the board and straighten it out so that the bottom seam lies flat and smooth the sleeve up from there.  Press both sides of the sleeve.


To finish off, iron the collar.

Wow, look at the before and after pictures.  After only a few minutes of work, you saved the cost of a trip to the dry cleaners and upgraded your outfit from ‘rolled out of bed’ to business casual or Sunday best!


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