Q and Answer: Wrinkle-Free Shirts?Dan in Baghdad writes: What is your thought on wrinkle free shirts?  Personally I’m  not a big fan:  First, they’re never quite wrinkle free.  They  look okay, but still need a little work after washing to make them look  crisp.  And many are not really meant to be ironed either—for example  one such shirt I purchased from Land’s End, which is 55% cotton and 45%  polyester, looks slightly burned/melted after I ironed it.
Wrinkle-free shirts always look worse than natural cotton shirts.  Do not buy them.
There are two kinds of non-iron shirt.  One is as you describe above: a blend of polyester and cotton.  The only time polyester (or almost any petroleum-based fiber) should be in your wardrobe is if you’re buying high-tech “wicking” gym clothes.  Polyester has the super power of making things look cheap and ugly.The second form of non-iron shirt is all cotton, but impregnated with a chemical bath that makes it resist wrinkling.  This chemical treatment makes the shirt breathe poorly, look weirdly shiny, and feel slick and unpleasant.  It also washes out of the shirt after a few dozen go-rounds with the laundry.  This style of non-iron is marginally better than the the other one, but there’s really no reason not to just jettison the weird chemicals all together.  Maybe if you travel a lot in places where there are no irons in hotels(?), and need one shirt for emergency looking nice duty.  Maybe.The reality is that for casual wear, most all-cotton oxford shirts look fine without ironing as long as they’re hung dry or at least removed promptly from the drier.  The heavy, textural weave of cotton oxford is resistant to wrinkling on its own - the worst you can expect is rumpling, which I for one find kind of charming.  It’ll basically end up looking like the one above.  I wouldn’t wear a rumpled oxford with a suit, but if I was planning to wear a suit, I’d just iron a proper dress shirt.If you iron once a week, it will not take you more than the length of one re-run of Seinfeld.  I know, because I do my ironing while watching Seinfeld.  Usually on Sunday afternoons.  Pull your shirts out of the drier while they’re still a bit damp and go to town.  It should be easy going.

Q and Answer: Wrinkle-Free Shirts?

Dan in Baghdad writes: What is your thought on wrinkle free shirts?  Personally I’m not a big fan:  First, they’re never quite wrinkle free.  They look okay, but still need a little work after washing to make them look crisp.  And many are not really meant to be ironed either—for example one such shirt I purchased from Land’s End, which is 55% cotton and 45% polyester, looks slightly burned/melted after I ironed it.


Wrinkle-free shirts always look worse than natural cotton shirts.  Do not buy them.


There are two kinds of non-iron shirt.  One is as you describe above: a blend of polyester and cotton.  The only time polyester (or almost any petroleum-based fiber) should be in your wardrobe is if you’re buying high-tech “wicking” gym clothes.  Polyester has the super power of making things look cheap and ugly.
The second form of non-iron shirt is all cotton, but impregnated with a chemical bath that makes it resist wrinkling.  This chemical treatment makes the shirt breathe poorly, look weirdly shiny, and feel slick and unpleasant.  It also washes out of the shirt after a few dozen go-rounds with the laundry.  This style of non-iron is marginally better than the the other one, but there’s really no reason not to just jettison the weird chemicals all together.  Maybe if you travel a lot in places where there are no irons in hotels(?), and need one shirt for emergency looking nice duty.  Maybe.

The reality is that for casual wear, most all-cotton oxford shirts look fine without ironing as long as they’re hung dry or at least removed promptly from the drier.  The heavy, textural weave of cotton oxford is resistant to wrinkling on its own - the worst you can expect is rumpling, which I for one find kind of charming.  It’ll basically end up looking like the one above.  I wouldn’t wear a rumpled oxford with a suit, but if I was planning to wear a suit, I’d just iron a proper dress shirt.

If you iron once a week, it will not take you more than the length of one re-run of Seinfeld.  I know, because I do my ironing while watching Seinfeld.  Usually on Sunday afternoons.  Pull your shirts out of the drier while they’re still a bit damp and go to town.  It should be easy going.

lonelysandwich:

"Ironing techniques by professional craftsmen (shirt)" - プロの職人によるアイロンがけテクニック(ワイシャツ)

This short instructional film showcases unmatchably masterful ironing technique that we’d all do well to learn from, but it’s also one of the most absorbing, delicious demo videos I’ve ever seen.

via Joel Zimmer, from a series of similarly beautiful instructional videos at Garra.jp (WARNING: ALL-FLASH and Japanese)

Antique irons.  Can you imagine?  No wonder women didn’t have jobs.

There’re more at Fine Estate Sales

On the MaxFunForum, rossination asks:
Jesse, let’s talk about laundry. Do you have your shirts cleaned and pressed at the dry cleaner’s, or do you do wash (and iron) yourself? Starch or no starch? As a poor student, I don’t have the money to send my shirts out. Plus, I kind of like ironing. But I’ve been finding lately that I’m pretty unhappy with the slouchiness of my collars (even with metal stays). I’m thinking about going against my dad’s admonitions and getting some spray starch. What do you think?
I’m a public radio host, Rossination, not an oil magnate.  I wash and iron my shirts myself.
First: I’m glad to hear that you’re already in the “kind of like ironing” camp.  Ironing isn’t a lot of work, and it’s a great thing to do on Sundays while you’re watching football, or, in my case, Mondays when you’re watching The Roadshow.  (As an aside, I highly recommend spending a hundred bucks or so on a good iron.  The weight, steam and smoothness are very much worth it.)
Most cleaners use the harshest methods when washing and pressing your clothes, and should be avoided whenever possible.  There are exceptions, but they’re tough to find and expensive.  Especially if you have access to laundry in your home, there’s no reason not to launder your clothes yourself.  You care for them in a way a cleaner never will.
Starch is harsh on clothes and completely unnecessary.  Remember: your collar isn’t supposed to be like cardboard.  It’s made of fabric and is supposed to behave as such.  A collar stay is plenty to keep your collar sharp — beyond that, let them roll!

On the MaxFunForum, rossination asks:

Jesse, let’s talk about laundry. Do you have your shirts cleaned and pressed at the dry cleaner’s, or do you do wash (and iron) yourself? Starch or no starch?

As a poor student, I don’t have the money to send my shirts out. Plus, I kind of like ironing. But I’ve been finding lately that I’m pretty unhappy with the slouchiness of my collars (even with metal stays). I’m thinking about going against my dad’s admonitions and getting some spray starch. What do you think?

I’m a public radio host, Rossination, not an oil magnate.  I wash and iron my shirts myself.

First: I’m glad to hear that you’re already in the “kind of like ironing” camp.  Ironing isn’t a lot of work, and it’s a great thing to do on Sundays while you’re watching football, or, in my case, Mondays when you’re watching The Roadshow.  (As an aside, I highly recommend spending a hundred bucks or so on a good iron.  The weight, steam and smoothness are very much worth it.)

Most cleaners use the harshest methods when washing and pressing your clothes, and should be avoided whenever possible.  There are exceptions, but they’re tough to find and expensive.  Especially if you have access to laundry in your home, there’s no reason not to launder your clothes yourself.  You care for them in a way a cleaner never will.

Starch is harsh on clothes and completely unnecessary.  Remember: your collar isn’t supposed to be like cardboard.  It’s made of fabric and is supposed to behave as such.  A collar stay is plenty to keep your collar sharp — beyond that, let them roll!