I jokingly remarked on Twitter earlier today that the key to ironing was putting the thing you want flat under the iron. I genuinely believe that many people, especially many men, are unduly afraid of ironing. Frankly, it’s pretty easy if you have decent equipment and you don’t expect perfection of yourself.

Above I’ve posted a nice, simple how-to from the folks at the English shirt company TM Lewin. It gets all the basics along with a little trick that I’ll have to try: buttoning the collar to do the shirt’s body.

My main advice is to get a good iron - I like my Rowenta, which was about a hundred bucks on eBay. I think it’s tough to understand how much different the good iron ironing experience is from the cheap iron ironing experience without trying it, but suffice it to say I’m very happy with my investment. When my mother-in-law visited, she literally exclaimed at how easily her ironing went. A really nice iron helps make the spray bottle a bit redundant, though go for it if you don’t mind keeping it on hand.

I do my ironing after my wife does the laundry (along with her ironing). I ask her to take the shirts out of the drier when they’re still very slightly damp, and then I iron while I watch TV. An episode of Archer later, I’m usually done with a pile of eight or ten. Frankly, I don’t try to get everything perfect. I don’t mind a little rumpling from time to time - it builds character.