Iron Your Collar People!

Wow! I’ve been away for a while now! Sorry for the long break…. I was on vacation.  Ok, back in action now!

You know how I feel about a professional look being put-together and polished. You also know how I feel about making sure some of the finer details – the ones we don’t often think are important – are worth the effort.  I want to bring a bit of attention to one detail specifically, the collar of a dress shirt.


Wearing a wrinkled, rolled-up, flimpsy collar to the office not only looks sloppy but also REALLY unprofessional.  I’d go as far as saying that it looks… immature.  Now, let’s be clear here.  Both men and women are equal offenders of this style crime.

Why am I bringing it up?

  • It’s the small details that help build a positive first and ongoing impression.  A well ironed dress shirt collar frames your face and is definitely something that people notice.   Having a sharp, crisp collar, in additon to other details of your appearance, lets others know that you think of and care about the details… all of them!
  • When meeting a new client, potential employer, or a senior exec, looking professional – along with your competencies/skills – is sure to help you feel professional.  When you look and feel professional, you’re more likely to be successful- by taking on new challenges or projecting more confidence.  Who doesn’t want that extra strut from feeling good??

How to get a crisp dress shirt collar:

  • First, you’re going to want to look at the washing instructions for your dress shirt.  Most instructions say to either dry clean, tumble dry on low heat or hang dry.
  • If you’re washing your shirt at home, make sure you remove collar stays if they aren’t sewn into the collar (here’s a great article on collar stays… it’s a great read!)
  • Once the shirt is mostly dry (I like my dress shirts to be a touch damp… not wet though), you’re going to want to make sure you have a great iron and a sturdy ironing board.
  • For best results, your collar should be damp.  If it’s not, spary a bit of water on it.
  • On a high heat, iron from the middle of the collar outwards (both halves of the collar).  I’d suggest ironing both sides of the collar to make sure it’s crisp and smooth.
  • If the collar stays are not sewn-in, and there is a collar stay flap, insert them.  Ladies, most dress shirts for us don’t have this feature.  You may find a dress shirt with built-in stays but typically, there isn’t a flap to insert one.
  • Once you’ve ironed the whole shirt, it’s best to hang it up, rather than fold the shirt, and close a few buttons near the top half of the shirt.  This will ensure that the shirt stays in place on the hanger and that the collar doesn’t get stretched.

Voila! You now have a crisp, dress shirt collar that really didn’t take any additional effort.

Have a great day!