A Minute to Myself (124)
A Minute to Myself (125)

I Have Nothing to Wear: Shirts that Stay Ironed

Why is it that some people still look sharp at the end of the day and me, five seconds after putting on an ironed shirt I am already rumpled? Is there something in my skin that causes wrinkles? Is it my constant movement that stresses the fibers so that they cannot keep at attention? Is my constant internal fussing being transmitted to the fibers? And (no mocking of my ironing ability) this happens if I iron and use starch or if I spend $5.00 to have someone wash and iron for me. And it even happens in no-iron shirts (which seem to have been sprayed with some kind of slimy stuff that my skin repels). It’s just one of the things about me that sets me off from the well-to-do.

I think that the difference between the haves and the have nots is not determined by intelligence, trust funds, or even sheer arrogance, I think that the world is divided between those who always look good and the rest of us, those who wrinkle in starch, whose “long last” lipstick fades with one air kiss, whose hair products succumb to the elements, and whose pants always have unsightly wrinkles in the crotch area. (Shouldn’t the “crotch area” be called something else for women? Maybe it should be referred to as the “reproductive region.”) This wrinkle-ability has had a huge impact on my self-esteem, which we all know is critical for success in life.

What would life have been like for me if at the end of the day I looked as sharp as I had at the beginning, and if I knew in the morning that no matter what I did, short of sitting in an open convertible in the rain (that would have been another story), I would be looking perfect all day long? Would I have held my head higher as I went about my business if I didn’t think that I looked like someone who has just spent the night under an overpass? What would life have been like if I always looked as if I had just stepped out of my boudoir? 

The potential is breathtaking. I truly think that this inability to stay starched has handily hindered me. They say the suit makes the man. Well I say the shirt makes the woman. Who wants a woman who is un-ironed, who looks like she can’t put herself together, who looks like she doesn’t understand the most basic aspect of getting dressed—staying neat.

Am I the wrinkle equivalent of a stainster, you know, those people who always seem to be dropping on themselves. Have they, too, been discriminated against, and have they, too, been relegated to the lower echelons of society because they cannot breach the simple code of ethics—staying clean.

Oh, the horror, the horror. It wouldn’t be so bad if everywhere I looked there were rumpled people and just a few of the impenetrable. But no, there are so many potential ladder-climbers—people who seem to modulate their bodies just so.

This has even dictated my fashion sense, because at a certain point you just have to give in to your own elements. I have become a sweater girl, and I wear tee shirts under them. I have put the iron away. I have resigned my fate to being one of the clothing wrinklers.

Interestingly, this ability is external. So far, it has not been transmitted to my face and things there look, well, as if I just stepped out of a botox boudoir.

So, I guess, I still have some potential. For what, I’m not sure.


Shonda Little

I am one of you. I think we should plot to over take the other side.

Liz A.

Have you tried Brooks Brothers? Pricey, but they tend to hold up well through out the day. Or a collared shirt that wraps and ties instead of buttons? French cuffs also help keep the sleeve crease crisp. If the fit is just right, there's no bunching and less wrinkling.

I iron much less than I used to, because I mainly only go to the grocery store, but I wear polos to avoid ironing. I also love turtleneck, cable, ribbed, argyle, cashmere or hooded sweaters, or basically all of them. I love the look of a turtleneack sweater with a pea coat.

I think there are tricks of the trade that make it easier for some to never look disshevelled, but it requires a lot of thought and a lot of trial and error either way. It was required in my family to always look really nice for church. The first time I heard the phrase, "Pain is beauty," was when I was 7 years old getting ready for church and I didn't want to wear my new shoes all day. My grandmother took appearances very seriously. She also told me to go put my makeup on when she was on her death bed and I was 14 because company was coming over. I think it takes a lot of work, either way, but practice makes perfect.


I don't even bother to try to iron anymore. And yes, I know I'm not one of the perfect people, either. But I also can't help but wonder, do THEY think they look perfect at the end of the day?

Stepping Thru

I am one of the wrinkle gang. I have always envied those who look so put together. My lipstick is gone about 5 minutes after I put it on and so is my makeup. My hair looks like I forgot to brush it and my clothes are always out of style - and wrinkled. I'm supposed to be a professional and am in front of people everyday but I just haven't learned those secrets yet.


This is one of the beauties of being a SAHM, but I completely related to this when I did a stint in corporate america. I have absolutely no idea how those "together" women keep it up--the nails the lipstick, the shiny shoes and matching bags. So exhausting. Thanks for visiting my blog, by the way. I like your writing style. I relate to it. I'll be back.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Shonda, we need to have the whole peasant look come back. With the economy the way it's going, that shouldn't be too hard.

Liz, thanks for the hints. For the winter I am safe in my slightly rumpled sweaters. I'm thinking that maybe instead of letting the non-wrinklers keep control in their hands, we wrinklers should take over. It would make life so much easier for so many of us.

April, I think they think they look "put together." My older daughter just decided not to apply to a college for two major reasons: it is a party school and the girls wear sundresses and pearls to football games. Sound like good reasons to me.

ST, welcome to the gang! I think the secret of being a professional is not letting on that you don't feel like a professional.

Ann, welcome, and thanks for the compliment! Ugh, the bags. I just don't know how someone can be organized enough to ferry things between different bags.

Midlife Slices

I've solved that problem by only wearing jeans or sweats and never leaving the house. LOL


I don't iron. Ever. We do have one somewhere that my roommate left years ago. Talk about drudgery. That's what dryers are for.


Iron? I'm not sure what you mean by iron? Is that the thing in my closet that serves as a paperweight for my towels? It doesn't work. My towels are always bunched up and wrinkled.

When I was a flight attendant, I used to work with a woman that looked morning fresh from 4am to 10pm. Medical emergency? She looked stunning. Flight delays and irate passengers? Her lipstick was perfect and her hair was immaculate. Me, on the other hand, I was a disaster from start to finish.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

MS, you do realize that the neat people of the world get their jeans pressed. I mean what can you do when people bring their jeans into the dry cleaners but stand back and let them pass?

JC, I was watching the Barefoot Contessa cooking show the other night and she was dressing down her table, she thought that it looked so lovely with UNIRONED white NAPKINS. What? You're supposed to iron napkins?

Dingo, you made me laugh. They probably paired you on purpose so that people could go to the type of person they are and feel comfortable up in the sky.

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