Lately I have been wearing wrinkled shirts. On purpose. The iron hasn’t been near them. I call this the “crumpled look.” It has not been an easy transition for me, but I have found a strange freedom from the Land of Starch where I lived in for so many years. I remember going to the cleaners with my cotton shirts and asking for extra, extra starch on my button down shirts. The starch would build up after a few washes and eventually the shirts could stand up on their own. Once I even nick my neck with a particularly sharp collar. So today I’m wearing something that’s not only not starched, it actually has wires sewn into the shirt so I can bend and twist the fabric in case it doesn’t look crumpled enough. I must confess that it has taken me a while to get to this point. So what’s a guy to do? When is wrinkled ok? Is starch completely out? To iron or not to iron? That is the question! Here’s a few simple rules for different types of shirts:
Dress shirts you wear under a suit must be ironed and preferably starched. This classic look will never go away. It’s always appropriate.
Transitional shirt. Ok, I made that name up. But that’s what I call something that’s not a dress shirt but not a very casual one. Think of stripes, solids or tops that don’t have a lot going on. These should most likely be pressed.
Casual. Think plaids, snaps, western, flaps and embroidery. These are on the bubble. They can be ironed out or not. It depends on your personal journey towards the crumpled look. The more you wear the crumbled look the less you’ll iron your casual shirts.
Distressed. These are shirts made to be wrinkled and look their best that way.
How do you feel about the wrinkled shirt look?