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Garment Care Guide

Pressing at Home: The Touch-Up

As detailed in The Importance of Home Ironing, one can greatly improve the look and yield of their wardrobe by ironing at home. At a minimum, touching up shirts when they return from the dry cleaner will enhance their appearance when you do wear them. Or further, pressing between wears will reduce trips to the dry cleaner altogether and subsequently extend the lifetime of your shirts.

When the weather is nice here in Texas, I routinely wear a shirt multiple times before sending it to the dry cleaner. Three-minute presses, normally batched together on a weekend, are enough to completely renew my shirts and enable an additional wear before their dreaded trip to the dry cleaner.

The following steps will achieve a proper home touch-up:

  1. Press the shape back into the shirt collar. Most collars return from the dry cleaner flattened. This prevents the collar from elegantly contouring the neck.
  2. Press the shirt cuffs so they roll appropriately.
  3. If necessary, stretch the shirt-fusing to reduce the effects of shrinking and press the interior placket of the shirt flat. Most of my shirts come home with this interior placket creased, which disrupts the front drape and causes buttons to gape.

In this next series of blog posts, I will spotlight some essential ironing accessories for the well-dressed household.