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Groom - Ironing Your Shirt and Trousers

If your outfit is not being pressed for you and ironing your shirt is something you have to do by yourself then the following step by step guide should ensure that you achieve the best effect when ironing your shirt:

  • Firstly spread out the collar in front of you and iron the outside of the collar (this is the section that when folded down you will not see). Begin from the ends and iron into the middle of the collar and then turn over and repeat on the other side. If you prefer, you can iron the collar with the shoulder of the shirt on the end of the ironing board.
  • Using the smaller end of the board, flatten out the upper back section of the shirt (located at the top between the shoulders and commonly known as 'the Yoke') and press one half at a time.
  • Open up the cuff of each sleeve and iron them flat to start with then, keep the sleeve taut and flat on the board and begin ironing from the cuff end and work your way up to the shoulder. Repeat on the other sleeve and you are aiming to get even creases on the upper section of both sleeves.
  • With the outside of the shirt face down on the board, iron down the buttons and the holes on the other side (use the very tip part of the iron to iron out any wrinkles around the buttons on the shirt).
  • Keeping the shirt open, put one side of the front of the shirt onto the ironing board and iron the first side, once done, pull towards you slightly and iron out the back followed by the other front side. Ensure you work around any pleats that may be in the back of the shirt but also remember that the back section is hardly ever seen.
  • Hang the shirt on a coat hanger and keep other items of clothing away so that they don't squash the material. Keep it straight and do up a couple of buttons to ensure that it keeps its shape.

If you are really out of practice then it might be worthwhile doing a few practice runs on some shirts you have in your cupboard so you don't make a mess of the important one.

How to Iron Trousers

groom suitWays to iron your trousers, other than your own iron of course would be to ask the dry cleaners to do it or you could use a trouser press which should have directions on how to get the best results from the equipment.

If you are using your own iron:

  • Begin by turning the trousers inside out and iron the pocket area of the trousers. This will ensure that they are crease free when you hang them up.
  • Lay the trousers on their side and flat onto the iron board with the legs together and one leg on top of the other, keep the seams of the trouser legs as lined up together as possible. Moving the top leg out of the way, iron the leg underneath and then turn over and repeat on the other side.
  • After you have ironed the bottom inside sections, keep the trousers together and iron the top side of the trousers one at a time.
  • If you are added creases to your trouser leg (some do not have them already stitched in) when ironing the outer sides of the trouser legs, press a little more firmly on the outside edge of the seams and try your best to keep them as central as possible.

If you are ironing your trousers the right way round it might be an idea to use a cloth over the top of them and ensure you use a good coat hanger. One tip for keeping your trousers straight and your creases sharp is to hang your trousers up side down on the hanger using pegs to keep the bottom part of your trousers attached to the hanger.

Ironing Tips

Whether you are ironing your suit jacket, trousers or your shirt, the tips below might be worth reading:

  • Check the labels within the clothing for the recommended temperature for ironing.
  • Do not leave the iron on the material for any long length of time, try to keep the iron moving fluidly.
  • Ensure your iron has enough water in it.
  • Keep your iron setting at medium so as not to burn the material.
  • Make sure anything you iron is clean as going over the material with a hot iron may 'press' any stains into the fabric and they will be harder to remove.
  • Make sure your ironing board is dust and wrinkle free and don't forget to check that your iron is clean.
  • Put the ironing board at a height that you are comfortable with.
  • Use a starch if you prefer but keep it light, you don't want to feel like you are wearing a piece of cardboard as you walk down the aisle.
  • Use the spray or mist facility on the iron which will loosen any stubborn creases so that when the hot iron runs over them they will flatten out easier. Remember to let it cool down though when using water as you don't want it to burn.
  • Using coat hangers that are shaped and wooden are recommended.
  • You can use your hands as you iron to straighten any wrinkles out but be careful not to let your hands get burnt by the iron or the steam.

One thing you should always remember is to make sure that you give your iron a chance to cool down before you put it away.