When you want to look great while keeping your wardrobe low-maintenance, wrinkle-free dress shirts are one of your best options.
What makes a shirt wrinkle-free shirt (besides no ironing)?
Wrinkle-free shirts, or more specifically “no-iron shirts,“ were a product of the Eisenhower era. Yes, guys have been looking for ways to look put together without ironing for more than 60 years. Brooks Brothers began selling them in 1953. No-iron means that the fabric is treated with chemicals as part of the manufacturing process to help prevent creasing. Back in the day, no-iron treatments were applied to blended fabrics, while now it is much more popular to create 100% cotton mens’ no-iron shirts. This gives you the softness and breathability of cotton with the ease of a no-iron finish.
For a quick, sophisticated look, you just can’t go wrong with a men's button-down shirt. They look right at home with your favorite men's jeans as well as your men’s dress pants and ties. For a truly sharp look, go for an English four-piece, mitered, split back yoke with shoulder pleats with single-button cuffs and gauntlet buttons that trim the sleeves. If any of this is new to you as a shirt buyer, no worries — this is the classic Oxford shirt you have admired for years.
Long sleeves on a dress shirt can go with anything from chinos to a men’s suit and look at home. There is just something simply polished about long sleeves. It’s as though you look a bit formal regardless of the rest of your ensemble. Don’t discount short-sleeved dress shirts either. Depending upon your climate and your activities, they can be the true workhorses of your wardrobe while keeping you looking good.
One of the best parts about knowing what colors look good on you and having a few no-iron shirts hanging in your closet is that you can pull something out, throw it on, and look ready for anything from an important business meeting to a coffee date. Think about what colors gain you the most compliments. Is it that shirt that brings out your eyes? Maybe it’s just the right shade of blue or grey. Have you ever tried on a new shirt and thought, “Wow, that makes a difference?” If so, it’s probably a great color on you.
Build your wardrobe around what is comfortable and flattering to you. What if you don't like coordinating colors? No problem. Stick with neutral pants and one or two great colors, plus white, for your shirts.
When caring for your clothing, always read the manufacturer's label and follow the instructions. As a rule, however, any cotton or blended shirt can be washed in cold water with mild detergent. Don’t use a dryer that is any hotter than necessary as this can shorten the life of your clothes. Always sort your shirts by color, and keep the whites separate.
These may seem like elementary suggestions, but when you add them up, they can greatly increase the life of your no-iron shirts. First, make sure that you have good-quality hangers for your shirts. Wood is best, but as long as you realize that the wire hangers from your dry cleaners are meant to be only temporary hangers, you’ll be fine. Next, pull your shirts right out of the dryer, and put them onto the hanger with the top button buttoned. Make sure that the shoulders hang neatly on the hanger.
When traveling, be careful how you fold your no-iron shirts. Start by laying the shirt on a flat surface like a bed or a dining room table. Next, fold in each side of the shirt about 3 inches toward the middle, folding the sleeves along the back. This should create a “V” pattern at the top of the back of your shirt. Fold the shirt in half from the bottom up. Then fold in half again for a tighter fold. Once you get to your destination, unpack your no-iron shirts, and hang them up. For a quick touch-up, you can spritz them with travel fabric softener, pull gently on the shirts, and then hang them in the bathroom while creating a steamy environment with the shower. This will refresh your no-iron shirt from any wrinkles that may have occurred en route to your destination.
Whether you need a new shirt for work or play, why not try a no-iron dress shirt? You’ll be glad you did.