Cut The Cord

One of the biggest impediments to dressing well is the issue of ease.

It’s EASY to pull on a t-shirt. It’s EASY to just wear jeans all the time.

By contrast, it requires a bit more planning and time to wear, say, chinos and an oxford shirt. Or even a linen shirt with your jeans. Why? Because we usually need to iron those things. T-shirts and jeans are fine right out of the dryer, but a nicer shirt needs to be ironed before wearing.

Or so we think.

I admit this was something that I used to find really annoying. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to iron something before I head out the door with the family. I felt it was unfortunate and unavoidable. But now I feel otherwise.

Here is my advice for you if you find yourself reluctant to wear those nicer things because you feel like the preparation is too much: cut the cord.

Not literally. That would be dangerous.

But you don’t have to iron everything every time.

Take your oxford shirt out of the dryer while it’s still warm and fold it. It will be ready for you whenever you want to wear it. Will it have some wrinkles in it? Yup. Does that matter? Nope. A few rumples here and there are fine. Even if you do iron it, it won’t stay pristine for more than two seconds anyway.

At the end of the day, just hang the shirt up and it’s good to go another day.

Hanging in my closet at the moment, I have about a half-dozen oxford, linen, and madras shirts. I’ve worn them multiple times without washing them because I don’t need to. I just hang them up at the end of the day.

Sometimes I will iron them initially if they come out of the dryer really wrinkled. The linen shirts definitely need to be ironed. But then after that, I don’t iron them again until they definitely need to be washed. One and done.

Having that selection of shirts hanging at the ready in my closet means that element of ease is there. I have let go of the notion that I need to iron all my nicer clothes every single time I wear them.

Same goes for my pants. I have a pair of khaki chinos I have worn to the office a few times. I haven’t washed them or ironed them. I just hang them up and smooth them with my hand and they are good to go whenever I need them again.

When it comes to proper dress shirts (ie ones you would wear with a suit), then you still should iron those each time, though. But for the shirts that can more easily straddle the “nice/casual” line, you really only need do it once, if at all.

I feel so much more comfortable in my clothes because I no longer feel like they need to be perfectly pressed in order to look good. That comfort and confidence will be apparent to those around you and you will appear happier and more stylish as a result. The nicer clothes will be more “you” and not some sort of affectation.

So cut the cord. You’ll be a happier man for it.

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