Dress Shirt Care

  • How to Wash a Dress Shirt
  • How to Iron a Dress Shirt
  • Shrinkage/Stretching and Other Considerations

With proper care, custom dress shirts can last many years, so please follow the care instructions provided below. We recommend a wash and press before your first wear.

How to Wash a Dress Shirt

Method Cleaning Tips



This is our first choice. The cleaning method is relatively cheap and easy and it keeps the shirts looking great. It will result in minimal shrinkage and keep the ironing board in the closet. However, this is not "dry cleaning" as the cleaner will use water and detergent unless you specifically request dry cleaning for the shirt.




Pre-treat any stains by carefully working a little detergent into them, or better yet spot-cleaning them with a stain remover pen.
Set up your washing machine: To minimize wear on a fine or lightweight dress shirt, use the Delicate cycle.



Your local dry cleaner is a great option. It will result in minimal shrinkage and minimizes wear of the shirts.
While this cleaning method will certainly not damage the shirt and minimize shrinkage, it does have some downsides.
Dry cleaning solvents contain very little to no water so perspiration based dirt can be left untouched. Washing dress shirts in water is better for removing water soluble dirt and stains from sweat.
That said, if your dress shirt has an oil based stain on it you may have better luck getting it cleaned by a dry cleaner than in a washing machine.

How to Iron a Dress Shirt

Step  Break down the method step by step

You' re going to need an iron and an ironing board. Preferably the iron lets you pour water in (for steam), and better yet it has one of those slippery Teflon coated bottoms. If the iron can't spray water out the front you will want a spay bottle of some type that can spray a fine mist.


We advocate starting with the back of the shirt. Unbutton the shirt completely, and spread it out over the ironing board. With moderate pressure, slide the iron down the shirt top to bottom, being careful that keep the shirt flat.


Then, iron the sleeves. flatten the sleeve with your hands such that it folds along the hem on the bottom of the sleeve. Starting from around the arm pit area, iron toward the cuff and away from the bottom hem. It’s optional to iron in a crease on the top of the sleeve. If you don’t want a crease, just iron close to the top but not over it.


Iron the top part of the shirt front. Pull one shoulder of the shirt over the narrow pointy side of the ironing board such that you have a clear view of one side of the yoke and the front of the shirt just below the yoke. The collar should be sticking up straight and curving around in a circle.  Spray this area down to be damp and iron carefully around the curve of the collar.


Iron the collar. Spray the collar down with a good amount of water and give it 30 seconds to soak in.  Iron from the middle of the collar outwards all the way to the tips of the collar points. 


Iron the shirt front. Do one side at a time. Be careful of the buttons. Make sure the front placket is not folded over in a way it shouldn’t be. Use the point of the iron to get in the areas up around the front of the collar.As you push the iron down on one side you can pull gently on the other to keep things tight and straight.

Shrinkage/Stretching and Other Considerations

  • Most fabrics shrink 1-3% over the first few washes. This is normal and expected. We factor expected shrinkage into your shirt size, so please only evaluate fit after at least one wash.
  • The way you care for a shirt can significantly impact how much a shirt shrinks. Casual fabrics are often more susceptible to high rates of shrinkage if cared for improperly (high dryer heat, for example).
  • Remove collar stays before washing or ironing.
  • Pre-treat or alert your cleaner to stains.
  • Hang your shirt on a wooden hanger when it’s not being worn.
  • Try to not leave shirts in the hamper for too long. Body oils can absorb into the shirt resulting in yellowing around the collar.