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Both Ambimb and Heidi weigh in on the subject of ironing shirts, and since I'm once again gainfully employed and wearing them daily, I figure I'll make my voice known. Even if you hate ironed shirts, read to the end, because it'll be useful to you.

First, unlike my two friends, I actually enjoy ironed shirts, and rather enjoy ironing. There's something meditative about the process of gradually straightening out a shirt, particularly if it's just out of the drier and not that wrinkled anyway. In any case, I do my ironing in front of the TV, so it provides me with an excuse to chill my brain out without feeling guilty that I'm not studying, cleaning, writing letters, etc.

I'm quite fond of French cuffs, but French cuffs on an unironed shirt look silly. More to the point, pressed shirts provide a signalling device: while not all careful, thoughful people who pay attention to details will have pressed shirts, most people who consistently take good care of their business appearance will be the kind who pay attention to details. (At least, this is a bit of common folk wisdom, though I always heard it more with respect to shoes than shirts: if you want to spot a careful person, check the shine on the shoes.)

Anyway, for those like Ambimb--and to a lesser extent Heidi, though my experience with women's clothes is slight and thus should be approached with caution--here are some ways to cut down on your ironing time. These are pretty basic, but some people don't know them, so I hope they're useful.

a) Take your shirts directly out of the drier, preferably in the last minute of the cycle--don't let them sit after the drier's stopped. This will prevent a lot of small and annoying creases.

b) If you can stand using Bounce, or some similar drier-based fabric softener, it prevents a lot of creases.

c) Some shirt brands now advertise 'wrinkle-free' shirts. This is baloney, but if you follow the care instructions they will come out of the drier significantly less wrinkled, and require less ironing. (No use if you've already bought your shirts, of course.)

d) Three-piece suits cover a multitude of sins and oversights in ironing.

e) Finally, one trick that's useful if you've got a shirt that's only mildly wrinkled, and fairly uncreased. Hang it overnight, and in the morning, take it into the bathroom with you as you're showering. Close the bathroom door and, as the steam collects, many of the wrinkles will fall out, or at least become less noticeable. This works remarkably well in hotels during business travel, when your shirts are likely slightly worse for wear from having been in a hanging bag.

Of course, it's not like I can talk. I'm not doing any ironing for the next two months, due to the relative cheapness of Tokyo dry cleaners coupled with the complete uselessness of shelling out for an iron and ironing board for my two month stay.


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Brooks Brother and Jos A. Bank both offer shirts called "Non-iron" or something like that. And let me tell you, they are for real. I have two such shirts from Brooks Brothers that I wear very often. I machine wash them, take them out and hang them up as soon as the drier cycle ends. I have never ironed either shirt in something like two years and they look perfect time after time. Even if you leave them in the drier, you can just hang them up overnight and I guarantee you won't even think about ironing them in the morning. I don't know what they use to treat the fabric, but it's simply amazing.
I second the Brooks Brothers praises, for the female version of their no-iron shirt. This thing is amazing. The fabric feels nice, but it absolutely doesn't wrinkle. I can tuck it in all day, then untuck it for the walk home, and it isn't wrinkled at all. It's the height of modern shirt technology!
Just another supporter of the Brooks Brothers no-iron shirts. I also have two of them, and don't believe I've ever had to iron them either. Good stuff!
Well, quite a few right-wing partisans are now blaming the 'media' for exacerbating the recent scandals, in which the current administration is immersed. Isn't it funny? What really set their teeth on edge was a remark by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. How dare she claim that President George W Bush is - gasp! - INCOMPETENT. If you happen to believe that she hit the nail on the head, you might enjoy reading my proposed version of a state of the union that the NEXT president should deliver. To access it, you need only click on the hi-lited hyperlink below. http://www.bcvoice.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=205 By the way, the proprietors of the www.BCVoice.com website have provided a couple ways for you to leave your comments.
Tony, What does this last comment have to do with the topic at hand (Charles Tyrwhitt makes an amazing no-iron shirt as well, by the way) other than that Congresswoman Pelosi is generally far more annoying than the most wrinkled of shirts? W
Perhaps that if Brooks Brothers and Charles Tyrwhitt are getting free advertising here, BCVoice should too? That's all I can think of.
Nordstrom also makes good no iron shirts. Sorry Tony, I think that ironing of shirts is going the way of the typewriter.
When this topic comes up, i've perfected a puzzled look and ask, "what is an iron?" I think the point about shoes and non-wrinkled shirts indicating a meticulous attention to detail is a good one, and that that's part of why i pioneered business casual way back when - i'm not a meticulous detail person, i'm an outsidethebox visionary bombthrower, so there's a truth-in-advertizing component to my chuck taylors, levi 501s, tshirt.
"I'm not doing any ironing for the next two months, due to the relative cheapness of Tokyo dry cleaners...." cheap??? Tokyo, Japan??? Incidentally, if you like to iron, you will simply adore Tefal Turbo 2950 Pro Express Steam Generator Iron....pressurised steam at 4bars...I even iron my tea towels and GASP! my sheets!
E pluribus Unum
Boy, am I confused about this whole site...I can definitely relate to the statement......"Three Years of Hell...to Become the Devil" though. That could almost be my motto. Even the Fly by Night and Democracy and Distrust seem to ring a bell in the whole scenario of life right now. And, even ironing fits in. It's all so wierd.
Caution on the shower tip for those who take long showers -- after a certain point, condensation can collect and drip onto the shirt. That was a nerve-wracking morning before the interview...
PG: Yes, well, the advice rather assumes you're not taking a shower long enough to create your own personal microclimate.

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