The Proper Way to Hang Dress Shirts in Your Closet

If you have any experience ironing dress shirts at all, you know that it can be a little time consuming.

Dress shirts are not the easiest of garments to iron, so you want your shirts to look as nice on the hanger as they do fresh off of the ironing board.

If you want your dress shirts to stay nice and wrinkle-free in the closet, follow these simple steps.

How to Hang Your Dress Shirt Properly

Hang Up the Shirt Immediately After Ironing

While hanging up the shirt directly after ironing may seem obvious, it is not to some.  Trust me. I can’t tell you the people I know that iron a shirt and then lay it across the bed or hang it on a doorknob.

If you do that, you’re just asking for it to get knocked off of the doorknob.  You’re begging the dog to pull it from the bed to the floor.

Save yourself the heartache and hang the shirt immediately.

It’s difficult enough just to iron it once.  Don’t make yourself actually iron the same shirt twice.


Hang your Dress Shirt on Any Coat Hanger that is Not Wire

The next step is to put your freshly ironed dress shirt on the hanger.  Use any hanger you like: wooden or heavy plastic.

Do not, however, use a wire hanger. 

I realize that every dry cleaners in the country uses wire hangers, but they cause their own set of troubles.  It’s nice that wire hangers are so thin, since that causes them to take up less room in the closet.  But it’s this same thinness that makes points at the shoulders and causes the shirt to pucker.

If your dress shirt has any weight to it at all, a wire hanger will cause it to pucker around the yoke and shoulder in time.


Adjust the Yoke and Button the Collar

It’s best to hang your shirt while the hanger is actually hanging on the rod.  Don’t attempt to hang your shirt with the coat hanger in your mouth or tucked under your chin.  That method hurts your teeth and it’s hard to get the shirt on there correctly.

With the coat hanger hanging on the rod, drape your dress shirt across the hanger.  Adjust the yoke of the shirt (the back part through the shoulders) to make sure it is aligned correctly.  You don’t want one shoulder way in the front and one way in the back.  The shirt will wrinkle if you do this.

After the yoke is situated correctly, adjust the collar. Turn the collar down as it should be and make sure the collar buttons are fastened.

Now fasten the top collar button.  You’ll probably have to re-adjust the yoke again to make sure it hangs correctly.


Button Every Other Button

Now here is one of the most important steps if you don’t want your shirt to wrinkle in the closet: button every other button down the length of the shirt.

If you fasten just the top collar button, the shirt will not fall off of the hanger which is typically the goal.

However, if you want a wrinkle-free shirt (which should be your goal), you need to button every other button.  It keeps the shirt from shifting in the closet when you slide the hanger around on the rod.  Nobody likes a shifty shirt, so make sure you fasten every other one.

Place Coat Hangers 1-2 Inches Apart in Your Closet

The ideal spacing between coat hangers is 1-2 inches.  I know that this is not feasible for most of us.  While those huge walk-in closets with foot upon foot of hanging space is dreamy, that’s not what most of us have in our homes.

Most people tend to cram as many hangers in the closet as possible.  While this is efficient in keeping your clothes off of the floor, it tends to cause items to wrinkle.  They get pushed against one another, causing creases to form.

Not fun if you’ve just spent the past hour ironing your clothes for the week.


So do you have trouble with hanging your dress shirts?  Not enough closet space?  Too many clothes?  What’s your biggest dilemma with hanging shirts?


  1. Great info.

    My mother used to pay me 1.00 per shirt to iron my dad’s shirts. I remember being so proud of myself for actually thinking to button the top button after hanging it. She then instructed me to at least button two buttons.

  2. Ahh I never really gave thought to adjusting the yoke and shirt to hang right. Mayby a long time ago but not today when I need it. Thx I’m hoping to find how to hang dress pants too they got that middle leg press that I would like to keep but the bulky zippers kind of ruffle things up?

    • mamalaundry says:

      Joe, when I have time (haha!) it’s in my plans to make a vlog. A video is so much more helpful than pictures. Hopefully soon!

    • Hold the pants upside down, line up the creases at the bottom, then pull a bit less than half of the pants up through the hanger. The key is just to make sure that the crease sits perfectly on the hanger. If the zipper still causes an issue then just unzip it…

  3. Michele says:

    My Dad actually taught me to iron dress shirts and I use the same technique today: First, read the shirt’s label for fabric type and set iron accordingly for steam pressing. Second, lightly spray the entire shirt with a sizing or light starch, if preferred (even if the spray dries, the steam will reactivate it. Third, fold the back of the shirt on the yoke’s seam and iron the yoke first…if there is a loop and pleats, iron the pleats next. Fourth, iron the shoulders, then the sleeves. Finally, iron the right front, back, then left front. Hang immediately on a non-wire hanger, arranging the yoke and shoulders then buttoning the top, middle, and bottom buttons. Reposition the yoke and shoulders, if necessary, then straighten the collar.

    When I was in basic training, my instructors like this method so much, they began teaching it to the other trainees!

  4. Thanks @mamalaundry

  5. Should I button the cuffs when I hang up a shirt or does that matter?

    • Lauren Hill says:

      Josh, I don’t think it matters and is personal preference. My husband doesn’t like them buttoned because he can’t easily slide his hand through the sleeve.

      Whether the cuffs are buttoned or not won’t affect the shirt wrinkling in your closet, thankfully.

      -Lauren 🙂

  6. The article stresses several times to only button every OTHER button when hanging a dress shirt.

    Not that I particularly want to, but is there a reason not to button every button?

  7. I find that collars lose their shape on the hanger. I think this is caused by a combination of cramming too many things in the closet and the weight of the shirt. Any suggestions to prevent this?

  8. Super tips Lauren. I can’t stand looking in the closet and seeing wrinkled or untidy clothes. If you’ve got young kids (or a husband like mine) it doesn’t matter how well you hang anything – 5 minutes later it’s back to square one again 🙂

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