How to Iron a Dress Shirt Like a Professional

Why pay to have your dress shirts pressed when you can DIY? We’ll show you step by step how to iron your dress shirts like a professional. Watch the video or read the instructions below. You’ll be feeling like an ironing pro in no time.

Starch is the key to getting the clean, crisp finish of a professionally pressed shirt. You can use a basic starch like Niagara Original on the entire shirt, or switch to heavy starch on the collar and sleeve cuffs.

Using starch is easy. Simply shake the can and then tilt it slightly, holding it about 6 – 10 inches from the shirt. A light spray is all you need. If you’re ironing a synthetic fabric, give the starch a minute to set in before ironing. Use a medium-to-low heat setting and make sure your heat setting is compatible with your fabric content as well.

  1. Collar

    Starch and press across the inside of the collar from tip to tip. Flip the shirt over and do the same thing to the outside of the collar.

  2. Shoulders

    While you’re here, starch and press the yoke of the shirt, the area just below the collar.

  3. Cuffs

    Next, unbutton one of the cuffs and lay it flat on the ironing board. Starch and press from edge to edge without ironing over the buttons. Flip the cuff over like you did the collar and repeat the process. Do this for both cuffs.

  4. Sleeves

    The sleeves are the trickiest part since you’ll have to iron through two layers of fabric. Make sure both layers are smoothed out before starching and pressing. The seam should run along the bottom of the sleeve, not the middle.

    Want a traditional creased sleeve? Press the top edge of the sleeve as you work your way down. To avoid a crease, just avoid ironing the outside edge of the sleeve.

  5. Back

    For the back of the shirt, open it up and lay the shoulders over the square edge of the ironing board. Spray with starch and work your way slowly from the top of the shirt down to the bottom.

  6. Front

    For the front, start with the side that has buttons. Spray with starch, then carefully press between each set of buttons. Again, never iron directly over a button. Slowly work your way from top to bottom.

  7. Placket

    On the other side of the shirt, make sure to iron the front and the back of the button hole placket.

You’re finished!

If you’re not wearing the shirt right away, hang it up to preserve your handy work until you’re ready to wear it. We hope you found this how-to helpful, and don’t forget to check out our other ideas and tips for stepping up your ironing game.


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