First off, a very HAPPY 2014 to ALL our readers! I hope Art of Style has provided you lots of new fashion nuggets over the past year and I’m certainly aiming to surpass that in 2014, if not match it! To usher in 2014, I’ve updated the look and feel of the site and worked on making it blazing fast! So keep those emails, comments and questions coming! One questions raised during our recently ended successful Kickstarter campaign (thanks for all your support) was whether we provided wrinkle free dress shirts. Unfortunately, our answer to that at present is a NO but it got me thinking about the differences between a wrinkle free dress shirt and a 100% cotton shirt, which I’ve decided to explore today!
Pro: Wrinkle Free = No more ironing
No more messing with the iron or the ironing board between getting your dress shirt out of the dryer and onto a hanger in your closet. Need I say more about this major pro for a wrinkle free dress shirt?
Pro: Wrinkle Free All Day!
You know what else looks great besides having the best fit for your dress shirt? Looking as fresh (or almost there) at 5pm as you do (or your dress shirt at least) at 9am – which is the carrot that wrinkle free shirts offer men. That’s right.. wrinkle free the whole day at work and after!
Pro/Con: No Pain = Higher Cost
A high-quality wrinkle free dress shirt would probably set you back plenty more than a high-quality 100% cotton dress shirt. This is a pro or a con based on how much you enjoy ironing – if you like it or don’t mind it, then paying more for a wrinkle free shirt does not make sense. If time is money to you, then you may want to do the math and see whether the extra cost up front translates to time savings over the lifetime of the shirt.
Con: Not truly Wrinkle Free
While a really high-quality wrinkle free dress shirt lasts for some time – ironing will be eventually required (say after 30 cycles in the washing machine). I have heard plenty of complaints about new wrinkle free shirts that STILL require ironing, albeit less cumbersome than ironing a 100% cotton shirt.
Con: Formaldehyde. Say what?
A wrinkle-free dress shirt is still made from cotton. So what gives? How does it remain wrinkle free? The secret is formaldehyde, a resin that the shirt is coated in. There are several risks associated with this substance, including the scary C (pssstt… cancer), although the risk is probably about the same as using your cellphone. Other negatives associated with this chemical are that the dress shirts wear out faster or tear more easily at the seams as processing weakens the fabric, it is less breathable due to the coating, and it changes the shirt texture, making it slightly stiffer compared to 100% cotton. Slate wrote an article bashing no-iron shirts a couple of years ago, which frankly, goes a little overboard but that’s a worst case scenario.
So what’s my conclusion from all this? As someone who despises ironing – I do have a wrinkle free dress shirt in my closet, which I throw on when I’m rushing on occasion. Given the choice (which is most of the time), I prefer the feel and breathability of a 100% Egyptian Cotton shirt, and I have some tips and tricks for ensuring my ironing time remains minimal and unobtrusive!
Which do you prefer? Did I miss out any point of view or arguments for or against wrinkle-free shirts? Do let me know in the comments! Once again, wishing all of you an amazingly fashion savvy 2014!