Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free

Sign In

Making clothes fit and look new

How to: Iron a shirt in three minutes

How to: Iron a shirt in three minutes

Sometimes it seems the world can be divided into guys who find ironing relaxing, and those who would rather hide wrinkles under jumpers to save themselves the chore.

If you're in the latter camp, we get it: "I, for one, hate ironing," says Thread styist Alice Watt. "But I also know that there's little sharper than a perfectly ironed shirt." With that in mind, we asked two experts for advice: Thread's own head of business development, Terry Betts, and Paul Huizinga, the recruitment director and instructor at the International Butler Academy.

Herewith, a guide to ironing a shirt as efficiently as possible—along with this encouragement from professional butler Paul: "With a bit of experience and practice you can iron a shirt within three minutes."

What you need:

  • Iron (set to the temperature on the label of the shirt; if it isn't specified, then make it not too hot, and try an invisible part first)
  • Ironing board
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Freezer

Step 1. Spray the shirt liberally with water

And we mean liberally. Terry says to "thoroughly dampen" it.

Step 2. Ball it into a bag

Step 3. Stick in the freezer for an hour or so

Weird, yes, but here's why Terry does this: "The dampened and chilled shirt will iron more efficiently because the iron effortlessly glides over the chilled fabric." This step is completely optional, though, so if it's too much of a faff, skip to step 4.

Step 4. Unfasten the collar buttons

Step 5. Iron the collar, from the inside out

Going in to out will keep the corners from popping up.

Step 6. Do the shoulderparts

This is the separate bit of fabric that runs from shoulder to shoulder.

Step 7. Turn the cuffs inside out, then iron from the inside out

Step 8. Lay each arm so the arm seam is in a straight line, then iron

This will provide a sharp crease at the right point on the upper arm.

Step 9. Iron the rest of the shirt in whatever order you want

Step 10. Voilà! Creaseless—and quickly