Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Never Iron Shirts Again! Ironing Sucks!

Ironing Sucks!
Three steps to free you from having to iron or dry-clean dress shirts.

There are three steps to living this dream of not ironing or pro-laundering:

1.  Magic Shirts
No, this is not what I mean
Buy wrinkle-resistant shirts.  The nicer the better.  I have not tried them very many different brands, but I have been very happy with the Joseph A. Bank Traveller shirts.  Usually $70-$80 per shirt, but if you keep your eyes open, you can hit two-fer or three-fer sales or score a bargain on the clearance page.  The Brooks Brothers Miracle Shirt line is good too, but a little more stiff in the collar than the JosABank Travellers.  My experience with the Land’s End ones has not been great:  they start strong, but lose the magic after a month or two.
The JosABank Traveller and BrooksBros Non-Iron cuffs and plackets will fray before they lose their non-wrinkly, stain resistent mojo.  They usually last me about a year or so.  
My wife likes the BrooksBros MiracleShirts for women.  Not sure who else makes these for the ladies.
Ideally you want to hang them up as soon as the dryer stops.  Best if they come out barely damp.  If you forget, either throw a wet garment into the dryer to add moisture and fluff them for another 15 minutes OR go on to step 2.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser 33.8 fl oz (1 L)This is where the true magic comes into the equation.  Managing a house with a traveling wife, a teen, a tween, three dogs, a full time job and a bunch of dumb hobbies does not allow me to be organized enough for my life to revolve around when the dryer stops.  Spray down the wrinkled shirts with this magic elixir and give the hangared shirt a good shake or a light brushing with the back of your hand (like 5 seconds).  What wrinkles that are left will be gone.  Not quite military-starch, but as good as any dry-cleaned shirt looks by the time you commute to work.  

It comes in several sizes, including the 1 liter wumba-size bottle and a less-than-three-ounce travel size.  Also helps with “sitting creases” on dress pants and suit jackets. 
If you can't dry them in a machine, or you don’t have the Downy Wrinkly Release, you may have to resort to step three.

3.  Super-steam.
I don’t have a professional steamer and I don’t know how to operate the steam setting on my dryer.  I do, however, have a shower and that’s all I need.   Hang your wrinkly stuff in the bathroom and turn the shower on full hot.  Close the door do something productive and/or fun for about 20 minutes.  Come back, and voila, your wrinkles are gone.  This works particularly well in hotels while traveling – gets those suitcase demons out.  It also works for suit jackets and pants.  Obviously, you want to make sure the vent fan is not running.  (It also feels nice on the lungs to walk into the bathroom when it is pea-soup foggy.)
So yeah the shirts may cost a bit more than you’re used to, but the time and money and painintheassness it saves is well worth it.
So there you have it folks!  My three steps to un-rumpled shirts with minimal energy. 
Now go forth and be wrinkle free!