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While you might be tempted to wash and wear your preppy polo shirt without even a glance at your iron, think again. If you take the time to press your shirt, you’ll transform it from a frumpy to fashionable in only a minute or two. Steam a perfect crease in polo shirts when ironing. The result? A simply stunning casual shirt that goes with almost anything.
Check the Label
Before you even touch a hot iron to the fabric of your polo shirt, check the label to find out what fabric you’re dealing with. Most polo shirts are all cotton or a cotton/polyester blend, but some might be silk or rayon, too. Whatever the fabric is will dictate the heat setting of the iron. Always choose a heat setting that matches the more delicate fabric so you don’t melt your shirt. A press cloth can also be helpful as a layer between the iron and the shirt to minimize heat on delicate fabric.
Prep for Ironing
Pour distilled water into the iron, filling it up to the fill line. This will get some steam going to power out the wrinkles and make your shirt stylin’ and ready to wear. Choose your heat setting according to the fabric and let the iron heat up for a minute or two. Set up your ironing board and grab a pressing ham or a sleeve board to help you get those sleeves nice and smooth. You’ll also need a smidgen of spray starch to create a crisp collar with a crease.
Iron the Shirt Body
Slide the polo shirt onto the ironing board, front side up, so the left shoulder and armhole sit against the curve of the ironing board. Slide the iron lightly over the entire front left half of the shirt until it looks smooth. Keep the iron moving at all times and within about 10 seconds of ironing the fabric area, it should look sleek and sharp. Move the shirt over so the right shoulder and armhole sit against the same curve and do the same thing. Flip the shirt over and repeat the process on the back of the shirt. That takes care of the easy ironing -- what’s left is a little trickier.
You have a couple of choices for ironing the sleeves. If you want creases going down the top of your sleeves, fold each sleeve in half using the bottom seam of the sleeve. Iron the fold nice and crisp, and you’ll have a super sharp crease going down the sleeves. If creased sleeves aren’t your style, grab the sleeve board or pressing ham and position each sleeve one at a time over this surface. Using these nifty tools, you’ll be able to power out the wrinkles and get to every inch of the sleeves with the iron.
Crease the Collar
Arrange the shirt on the ironing board with the back facing up and the collar unfolded. Spritz a light coat of spray starch over the collar and iron the collar lightly until the starch dries completely. Now fold the collar down to make it look like you want -- probably folding it in half. Grab your iron again and give the folded collar a good pressing so it stays creased and crisp around your neck. Take a few extra seconds to steam the front tips of the collar so they don’t curl up or under -- not cool!