Men Should Iron Their Own Shirts

Let’s put aside the obvious gender role arguments, the dry cleaning convenience, and the spare time excuses.  Men should iron their own shirts, but it’s not for the reasons you would think.

When you hear the gentle hush of steam punctuated by the sudden hiss of a spray of water hitting a wedge of hot steel, you know you’re involved in an elemental craft.  To iron a shirt is to pilot a clipper across a sea of linen, folds and creases succumbing to a pointed bow and disappearing in a still wake.  The work of flattening a piece of cloth with heat is more than pressure and repetition, it’s becoming one with the tailor, finally understanding the seams, pleats, and cuts.  When you iron a shirt well you can wear it well.  To be a proper man you should wield the iron and engage in the craft of grooming and dressing yourself.  This is no household chore, it’s nothing to be passed off to the one-ninety-nine place on the corner, it’s the plinth on which you build your adult self.

So go on men, get out the ironing board and prove your worth.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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One comment on “Men Should Iron Their Own Shirts
  1. Actually, in my branch of the family, the men have always ironed their own shirts. The Rick Brooks way is as unchanging as the sun: Sunday afternoon, in front of the television, watching golf. Jamie does our laundry, too; before we lived together, he had the better washing machine, and it stuck. I tried to help fold a few months ago, and my efforts were met with a loving refusal. (I am perhaps better at other tasks.)

    I can’t complain.

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