Are No-Iron Shirts Worth the Money? Here’s the Low-Down

When my husband took clothes-shopping into his own hands last weekend, I was forced to ask myself:  how much is a get-out-of-ironing card worth? Forty-five dollars? Because that’s how much more he paid for a Brooks Brothers non-iron shirt than I pay for a regular dress shirt.

Let me explain how this happened.  We usually go shopping together, and when I say together, I mean the whole family takes a field trip to TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. There are kids hanging out of shopping carts, hiding under racks of viscose blouses, rolling around the floor of the lingerie section, and sometimes, there are kids plied with toys to make it worth their while (now you know who is really in control around here).

We can usually find nice dress shirts for about $20 a piece in these kinds of stores. However, now that we have a toddler with a penchant for knocking merchandise off shelves with a velocity that only increases when he is told not to, we try to whip in and out of stores as fast as a greased skateboard.

So this is why hubby was forced to go to Nordstrom Rack on his own, and how he returned with an armload of no-iron shirts (and some work pants) and a bill for almost $500. Believe me, I was touched that he was thinking of me when building his wardrobe. I do all the ironing in the house (although my 10-year-old sometimes chips in because she thinks it’s fun), so the shirts were just as much a gift to me as they were to his closet.

However, it is difficult to find a true iron-less shirt unless you spend a lot of money. And I would not have allowed myself to spend $65 for a shirt, even if it did shorten my Sunday chore list. Scoring brand-name dress shirts for $1 to $2 at thrift stores is more my style, and the huge savings make up for the fact that the oxfords have to be ironed the old-fashioned way.

So let’s go through some of the reasons why and why not to buy wrinkle-free dress shirts.

1.  The Obvious: They Save Labor

As my new accountant says: it’s either your time or your money. Spending on high-quality non-iron shirts, like Brooks Brothers or Charles Tyrwhitt, did pay off in the labor department. Most wrinkle-free shirts we’ve had in the past either have to be ironed anyway (what’s the point?) or they look cheap and polyestery.

I was shocked, however, to see how crisp and smooth these luxury-brand shirts looked when I pulled them out of the dryer. It was kind-of weird: there was virtually no sign they had been through the wringer. Yes, I admit that on some of the shirts (not all) there is a very subtle waviness in the fabric. But my wrinkle-tolerance threshold is pretty low, and they definitely passed my muster.

So by spending more on the shirts, we saved time and gained quality.

2.  They Stay Wrinkle-Less All Day Long

Even though the shirts cost an arm and a leg (Brooks Brothers full-price retail is as high as $80, while Charles Tyrwhitt can go for as low as $39), they have so far lived up to their crease-free promise. Another plus of higher-quality no-iron shirts is that they are still crisp at the end of the day.

For certain jobs, looking pulled-together is important. Shabby chic is unfortunately no longer the in-look, and while a 5 ‘o’clock shadow might be acceptable, a wrinkly shirt looks sloppy. And since we are talking about economics, I might as well say that something as simple as appearance can lead to more sales or a better salary.

3.  They Could be Cost-Effective, Depending on Your Lifestyle

But what if $65 per shirt was actually a good deal too?

It takes me about five minutes to iron a shirt. I do it for free, but if I paid someone $20 per hour to iron, he or she would probably do a better job and take longer. Let’s say, 10 minutes per shirt, which is about $3 per shirt.  If we take shirts to the dry cleaner for ironing, it costs about $2 per shirt (plus the hassle of dropping off and picking up and the waste of hangers and other packaging).

So the extra cost of a high-end wrinkle-free shirt would pay itself off in three to five months, if it gets washed and worn once a week. Since shirts go about two to three years before getting frayed at the collar, I think it’s a winning proposition.

If you iron your own shirts, the savings is less quantifiable. If it frees up time to make money or save money in other ways, it might even make economic sense. Or if you’re like me, and just want to use the extra time to flop on the couch and watch your kids play, or take an evening walk to the park, then maybe it’s just a quality-of-life decision that you decide to make.

However, They’re Not 100% Natural

In Slate’s hilarious but disparaging post on no-iron shirts, writer Daniel Akst rails on the new-fangled fabric for being stiff, scratchy, hot, and made with the same chemical as plywood: formaldehyde. But many commenters on that article disagree (at least on the feel of the fabric) pointing out that Brooks Brothers’ no-iron shirts are both soft and breathable. I would agree: the cotton feels like a freshly ironed and starched shirt, and my husband says they don’t feel any different to wear than any of his regular shirts.

However, chemical processes were used to make the cotton molecules line up like that. According to another other edu-taining article on no-iron shirts in Scientific American called The Wrinkle in No-Iron Shirts, the federal government says that the quantities of formaldehyde are not great enough to cause anything more than a mild allergic reaction (in some people in rare cases). Whether you want to believe that and go for the convenience is a personal decision.

We do a lot of things in our household in the name of saving time and money that are of questionable healthiness, including using microwave ovens, drinking tap water, eating non-organic foods, and occasionally driving over the speed limit. So even though the truth about the wrinkle-free technology gives me pause, it’s not screaming “Danger!” loud enough to make me stop.

The Bottom Line

Given that you are OK with the way the fabric is manufactured, no-iron shirts are worth extra money if:

1.  You invest in the kind that really do save you ironing and that still look good.  Brooks Brothers and Charles Tyrwhitt are recommended, but try to find them at a discount.

2.  You normally have your shirts professionally pressed. You’ll probably pay off the extra expense of the no-iron shirt in three to five months and then you’ll start seeing real money (and time) savings.

3.  You detest ironing.  If it would make you happier to skip a couple of dinners out so you could invest in good wrinkle-free technology, then I say go for it.

So now I’m curious. Do you iron shirts? If you outsource this chore, how did you get to that point?

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  • Michelle September 27, 2016, 9:07 pm

    Stafford Executive Wrinkle Free No Iron are great.
    JCPenney brand, usually about $50 per shirt. But they have sales where you can get Buy 1 Get 1 for a penny.
    Comes out of the dryer ready to wear, no iron needed!

  • Stephen August 16, 2016, 10:46 am

    Great article! I have worn BB non iron shirts for years. I agree the price is a bit step, but if you wait for their annual sales and buy multiple shirts, you can get them for $50 or less per shirt. I have some that are 3 years old and still look good. And I seldom have to iron them if you care for it they way it’s recommended on the shirt. As others have stated the shirts will fray especially on the cuff before it loses its no iron quality.

  • D. Cortez July 6, 2016, 12:04 pm

    My husband uses shirts from Lands’ End. Pretty good options and prices. And they’re soft, and comfortable.

  • Etta Su June 13, 2016, 2:31 pm

    I agree that the formaldehyde and PFAS-treated shirts are not as durable. They fray at the cuffs and collars more readily. So it’s important to consider the lifetime of the chemically treated shirts may not be as long as the shirts that need ironing.

  • John Smith June 10, 2016, 5:01 pm

    No, no, no, no, NO! Not Charles Tyrwhitt.

    I recently bought two different models of Charles Tyrwhitt’s non-iron shirts. They are like wearing cardboard. They are the most uncomfortable shirts that I have ever in all my life (and I am over 50) worn. I tried washing them a couple of times to see if they would soften up & become more comfortable, but no.

    In truth they were so jaw-droppingly awful that I wrote to their MD. But no reply of any sort.

    Brooks Brothers I have not tried but the are vastly more expensive than you state. i.e. They are in the GBP 100 to 160 price range here in the UK (i.e. up to $US 220?!).

    What I have tried are Eton Shirts (non-iron and 100% cotton) which are in the same price bracket and they are soft seriously nice initially, but after a while they seem to lose their finish and start to wrinkle worse and worse.

    But CHShirts? Admittedly I have only tried two of their “non-iron” shirts but they absolutely are NOT in the same category as the likes of Eton.

    Interestingly I have an old beaten up poly-cotton shirt that I think came from M&S branded Jonelle, called “carefree cotton” that is VASTLY more comfortable than CT shirts. Sadly that brand seems to have disappeared.

    I am left thinking that polyester-cotton “carefree cotton” is the way forward, and would love to hear any recommendations from anyone here.

  • Howard Schranz March 7, 2016, 9:36 pm

    Why don’t the retailers give us the choice? I do not like non-iron—they never look just right. You wear a non-iron with an expensive dress suit, and u destroy the look entirely.

  • Gail August 21, 2015, 8:56 pm

    Not just for men, but I like the same technology for ladies. I order Foxcroft blouses from catalog sites like Appleseeds or the Tog Shop, and they run about $45 each when you buy 2 or more.

  • Thom Placket August 9, 2015, 9:06 am

    Wowsers – Ironing really is an emotive subject.

    4 tips for making ironing easier while you travel
    1) Fold your shirts properly before you set out
    2) Put your shirt in the fridge overnight and then hang it while you shower (This will lower the dew point)
    3) Use your damp towel over your ironing board
    4) Buy this shirt –

    The oxford weave means it is less likely to wrinkle

  • Ab June 14, 2015, 5:02 pm

    Before I retired twenty years ago and needed dress shirts, I used polyester blend shirts. They did thin out a bit, but covered my needs for years. The abrasion resistance of wrinkle free treated cotton in those days was reduced ca ten fold.

  • Andre April 17, 2015, 3:25 pm

    I usually find sale wrinkle free shirts for $20 or less, making it much more of a bargain..

  • Non Iron Business shirts April 15, 2015, 8:07 am

    I love wrinkle free shirts.Great resource. Thank you. This is indeed very helpful.
    Non Iron Business shirts

  • Graham April 9, 2015, 11:40 pm

    Like the person from France we in New Zealand down in the south pacific ocean only use clothes dryers when we can’t hang the washing out to dry on an outside clothes line. It amuses me somewhat when I read all the comments about the concern for the environment where as if all of you who can, put their clothes on an outside clothes line to dry would be saving all that nuclear and coal fired power generation by using nature’s clothes dryer.

  • Me February 28, 2015, 11:28 am

    Hey there. Wanted to offer one other option for people looking for non-iron shirts but not wanting to spend $80 at Brooks Brothers. You can also check eBay for people selling new or gently used Brooks Brothers non-iron shirts. They typically resell for around $25. Not the same as two dollars at the thrift store, but not a bad way to add a few to your collection. Wall Sutley off topic brooks brothers also sells non-iron chinos which I think are fantastic. My pants are always ready to go out of the dryer. They look great all day. Another worthwhile investment since it costs a lot more to dry clean pants than it does to launder shirts.

  • Fraenkel February 11, 2015, 3:43 pm

    The no iron Brooks Brothers shirts look nice but they get thin and fray at the cuff and loose threads show up in odd places. The salesman told me the fraying comes from my watch. There’s no doubt the quality of shirts has been deteriorating. We still have two linen shirts my grandfather owned. Still in good shape.

    • st March 25, 2015, 1:43 pm

      The cuffs fray on all my BB shirts as well and I DO NOT wear a watch. The shirts just do not hold up well.

  • Danny February 11, 2015, 2:08 am

    I’m actually going the other way and looking to ditch the “iron-free”/”wrinkle resistant” shirts altogether. It’s harder than I thought. I stumbled on your blog looking for a good source of dress shirts and slacks without chemically treated fabrics for wrinkle/stain resistance and figured I’d contribute another alternative viewpoint.
    Mostly, I’m concerned about the environmental impacts the chemicals used are having on me, my family, and the local ecosystems surrounding the plants. At its most basic, the fabrics are being treated with a wrinkle-free chemical (usually a form of formaldehyde) and a stain resistor (e.g. Scotchguard). Neither set of chemicals are saintly.
    Also, over the past fifteen years I’ve found that the chemical-treated cotton shirts don’t last as long as regular, untreated cotton shirts. Recently, two treated shirts experienced fabric tears along the seams soon after they began fraying on the collar and sleeve edges. Both were about three years old. This hasn’t been the first time either where it seems treated shirts have prematurely met their end. In contrast, I have untreated dress shirts from the same companies – LL Bean and Lands End – that have been in regular rotation (at least once every two weeks, if not more) for more than five years without similar signs of wear.
    In the end, I guess I’d rather spend twenty minutes one evening ironing a weeks worth of my shirts.

  • Ami September 3, 2014, 8:07 am

    Best Blog POST ever – I was going through trying to find a REAL review on Wrinkle Free Polos and not only was your situation the same, you provided solid information to make an informed decision.

    Thank you!

  • Frank August 26, 2014, 7:13 pm

    Good post. I’ve found that the all-cotton ones are worth it, within reason, partly because of basic personal hygiene matters–because polyester blends will make you stink, guys! Bear with me for a minute here: I’ve been able to find some great deals on clearance from Lands End and Kohl’s, so that helps with the extra cost of wrinkle-free cotton. Shopping can be a minefield, however, because after the new wrinkle-free cottons were developed, makers of poly-cotton blend shirts started using “wrinkle-free” and “no-iron” on their labels and in their ads, to sucker the uninitiated into buying the same old poly-cotton shirts that were already available. Of course it resists wrinkling if it’s forty or fifty percent poly. The problem with blends, frankly, is that they encourage B.O. If you don’t care how awful your armpits smell after a few hours, don’t bother with wrinkle-free 100% cotton. But if you want a sharp appearance, low maintenance, and good hygiene, the extra cost is well worth it.

  • DianeD July 27, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I love wrinkle free shirts.. I do not like to iron and frankly if you think about it, the shirts become increasing wrinkled when worn. I purchase my shirts (blouses actually) from TravelSmith (catalog online), sometimes Lands End. I find the TravelSmith blouses to be long lasting and of high quality. Until recently, Land’s End also had good quality shirts/blouses. I can’t speak first hand about the men’s shirts as my husband has retired and we are more into t-shirts now :-), but they did offer them. Land’s End has been acquired by Sears and I do see a change, but then most clothing has changed.

    Anyway, my blouses (some are 10 yrs old) are great. A couple of the older ones are losing their wrinkle free designation, but are still okay.

    Prices are not cheap, but reasonable. They are (from both companies) in the $59.00 to $79.00 range. I watch for sales and usually get about 20% off that.

  • carolina July 6, 2014, 4:49 am

    I am about to get some for my husband but here in France we don’t really use dryer… Do they work after a normal washing cycle???
    Thank you very much


    • Amy July 25, 2014, 10:40 am

      Hi Carolina,

      Good question! I think they might work if you just hang them up to dry, since I have taken my husband’s shirts out of the dryer when they were still damp and they finish smoothing out as they dry.

      Hope this helps!

      • Dean June 7, 2015, 5:05 pm

        Land’s end no-iron shirts are great and well priced. Take them from the dryer and hang them up just before they are completely dry. It’s worth the effort.

  • Coy Eli June 16, 2014, 8:39 am

    2nd the positive comments about Costco Kirkland shirts. They look great right out of the dryer after many washings.

  • Robin May 29, 2014, 1:12 pm

    While I love the convenience of a non-iron shirt, one thing worth mentioning is the potential health hazards due to the chemical treatment involved. These shirts are treated with formaldehyde to create that no wrinkle effect. While it is likely safe for adults after a few washings the chemical bonds can start to break down. Just to be safe I stopped wearing these shirts when I had kids. Not saying they should be banned or anything, but just another point to consider.

  • Gideon Fraenkel April 29, 2014, 1:08 pm

    Several of my Brooks non oron shirts have frayed at the cuff. other shirts don’t do that.

  • t shirt into dress April 26, 2014, 10:28 am

    Can you tell us more about this? I’d care to find out
    some additional information.

  • Todd March 5, 2014, 4:51 pm

    The Best non Iron shirts were Roberto Villini before S&K went out of Business.. The were 100% cotton and just throw in the Dryer for 5 mins and to..

    Miss those shirts

  • Victor February 12, 2014, 6:58 pm

    I manufacture dress shirts from Italy, Turkey, China ETC. And sell them wholesale. These non iron shirts are usually 100% cotton, therefore, there isn’t much of a chance that anybody will catch an alergic reaction. However, the blended shirts such as 60/40 cotton Poleyester may irritate the skin of anyone who is alergic to Poleyester.

    The reason the non iron shirts feel a bit itchy at times is due to the plastic layer that has been baked onto the fabric making it non iron.

    • Kunal August 2, 2014, 2:46 am

      Dear Victor
      I am doing some research on Non Iron shirts.
      Would it be possible to get your email ID, it would be really helpful.
      I am part of a great organisation that manufactures shirts out of Africa, India and Bangladesh, it would be great to be connected.
      My email ID is

      Dear Amy
      Thanks for putting this together, I like your style of writing.

  • Dave February 9, 2014, 2:47 pm

    I love the Brooks Brothers shirts. Work the Clearance page and other specials and you can do about $40-$50 per shirt. It’s like they are sewn by angels.

  • JD November 20, 2013, 12:25 pm

    Keep in mind that the most higher end shirts especially brooks brothers shirts can be taken back in for a free replacement if the collars or sleeves get frayed. Additionally brooks brothers owned stores have regular sales getting 3 for 225. Not a bad deal really. I wore kohls store specials for a years. They just don’t hold up for a person that wears dress shirts 8+ hours per day 5 days a week. So I feel the wrinkle free is the way to go and brooks brothers are a superb brand. I also have Enro as well and they do very well holding up and keeping out wrinkles.

    • Amy November 20, 2013, 2:05 pm

      Hi JD,

      I didn’t know you could take back shirts for frayed collars — that’s usually when we feel a shirt has run its course. Thanks for the ideas,


      • MGR November 22, 2013, 1:54 pm

        Hi Amy,

        I agree that’s usually when a shirt has ran its course but some people take advantage of the liberal return policy. Not to say that a shirt can’t be defective but I doubt a shirt is fraying after a few wearings. Also I might have mentioned before but these shirts are really not meant to be dry cleaned or professionally laundered, I have seen shirts fray and prematurely wear out because people are sending them out which defeats some of the purpose of non-iron shirts. There’s a compromise with non-iron shirts, they don’t last a very long. Read Amjad’s post he’s a textile engineer and explains this very well. As a consumer what’s more important; a year +\- of no ironing, not spending time and money having your shirts professionally laundered. Or firing up that iron, popping off the cap on the starch can and spending 10 to 15 min on a shirt only to get wrinkled a min after being put on. FYI same things happens to shirts that are professionally laundered. :) I personally enjoy all the extra time I have not having to iron or drop off shirts, plus the shirt looks great all day long. I must admit I don’t have a cleaning person or nanny to take care of these things for me so I might be biased.

  • Alan Au November 19, 2013, 2:54 am

    One thing not mentioned is how long the non-iron treatment will last. It isn’t permanent. Older treatments lasted about 15 washings. They are better now. The less expensive (not discounted) shirts are good for about 25 washings before they start to resemble a regular dress shirt as the treatment has been washed down. Bette shirts will last closer to 40 washings. The latest treatments last longer and can actually make the garment feel softer, too.

    • Amy November 20, 2013, 2:05 pm

      Good point, Alan. Thanks for the tips.


      • Patrick October 15, 2014, 12:15 am

        Just for the record, I’ve worn BB non-iron shirts for years. Well worth it to avoid the professional launder at a min of $2 per shirt.
        I have never had the non-iron treatment leave my BB shirts. The cuffs usually begin to fray before that happens. At one wash per week, they last about a year. That’s better than $2 per shirt X 52 weeks.
        If you wait for the outlet sales or frequent the BB website for the sales, you can get great deals.

        P.S. Great topic and website.

  • Ben November 12, 2013, 3:51 am

    I like to buy my no-irons from Gagliardi ( I don’t have any from CT or Brooks Bros but I’d say Gagliardi are of equal high quality and probably cheaper too.

  • Max October 11, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Costco has their Kirkland Non-Iron shirts for $18 each! Can’t get a better price for non-iron ANYWHERE!!

    • Amy October 11, 2013, 4:49 pm

      Good to know, Max, for Costco members.


    • Thomas Raven October 27, 2013, 11:53 pm

      Kirkland shirts rated the lowest among no-iron dress shirts at consumer reports. Just FYI.

    • Antonio Santana December 18, 2013, 11:56 pm

      My wife and I absolutely love the Kirkland No Iron shirts. Greta price and fantastic quality. JoS A Bank no iron can’t even touch Kirkland quality and we paid way over $60 per shirt for JoS A Bank shirts.

    • Richard February 7, 2014, 2:29 pm

      I would much rather buy 2-3 costco shirts then any short totaling $65+ more variety and I dont mind replacing them as often

      • ansel November 9, 2014, 6:15 pm

        Totally agree Max. I started with Lanesboro shirts from BJ’s….. I like them better then my Brooks Brother shirt. I have tried some of the Kirkland shirts, I have one that I would wear into a board room. Best fit I can find right off the rack. I have broad shoulders, Kirkland has a size that fits me like a tailored shirt.
        One drawback to Kirkland shirts is that you have to be a Costco member to buy one…. Costco is too far from me , it does not make sense to buy a membership.

  • Joy October 5, 2013, 2:48 pm

    Scored big at Nordstrom Rack today: Brooks Brothers non-iron white dress shirt for my son $12.37!!! I want to shout from the rooftop I’m SO thrilled about this deal. Thanks for the great info.

    • Amy October 5, 2013, 8:43 pm

      Awesome, Joy!

      Thanks for sharing your conquest,

  • Tara September 21, 2013, 8:14 pm

    My son goes to a private prep school and one month into his freshman year, I’m totally done with ironing. Looking for an alternative to save me the time and aggravation but I have to say, the idea of spending $50-80 on one shirt is a hard pill to swallow. Especially since the Nautica ones from Marshalls cost me about $16.

    • Amy September 21, 2013, 9:05 pm

      I know, Tara, I agree. When you can find shirts at thrift stores for a buck, new no-iron shirts seem like an outrageous expense. You can definitely find no-iron shirts at Marshall’s, but they might be more than $16. Maybe you could calculate about how many times your son would wear the shirt and thus how many times it would need to be ironed. Then figure out how much more you would pay for a no-iron shirt. Divide that cost by the number of times you would have to iron, and then decide whether a get-out-of-ironing free card is worth that amount.

      As usual, it often comes down to a time vs. money question. What is your time and effort worth?

      Hope this helps,

  • Michelle August 9, 2013, 10:35 pm

    Hi! Just came across your website as I was researching Brooks Bros no-iron shirts for myself but (like others) was pondering the cost and if it was really worth it. Love all the comments – I think I’m going to try one. BTW love your blog and look forward to reading more of it. :-)

    • Amy August 10, 2013, 3:48 am

      Hi Michelle,

      So glad you found me and that you are enjoying the other posts you read here too. Welcome!


  • Rick August 1, 2013, 10:35 am

    Also try Enro non-iron shirts. They are fabulous. I also like Jos A. Bank and Charles Tyrwhitt non-irons. All are great quality. I do iron lightly over these non-iron shirts and they look like they have come from the cleaners. Well worth the extra money in my opinion. I have been told that BB shirts are actually made by Enro with BB label on them. Not sure how true that is but Enro makes a great dress shirt.

  • Tony May 5, 2013, 10:42 pm

    Did a search for “no iron oxford thick heavy” because I just bought 3 no iron dress shirts today at a BB store and these are much thinner than the BB no iron BB shirts I bought about 4 years ago. My Google search brought up your article so I thought I would comment about my purchase.

    When I was in the store and looking at the shirts, I noticed the material seemed much thinner than the no iron shirts I had bought from BB awhile back. BB did have some dress oxfords which had the material thickness I like but these were not “no iron”. I asked a couple of emlpoyees if the thickness of the no iron dress shirts had changed or if there were any no iron oxfords available. I was told the material had not changed and the oxfords had never been offered as no iron.

    Well, I bought these thinner, no iron dress shirts from BB anyway and got home and looked at the BB shirts hanging in my closet…….my old BB shirts are the thicker material oxford dress shirts and say “no iron” on the label. I’m disappointed, because what BB is selling is not the same quality of material, at least with regard to thickness. It reminds me of the Jos. A. Banks non iron dress shirts I bought recently – these were only about $24 each with one of their “buy one get a truckload of free stuff sales”, but the material was too sheer for me and I ended up giving the shirts to friends.

    If anyone knows where to get an Oxford thick wrinkle free shirt, please post here in the comments because these things are hard too find.

    • Amy May 6, 2013, 6:34 am

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the quality of Brooks Brother’s no-iron shirts. I am relatively new to the no-iron market, so I was not aware that the thickness of the material had changed. That’s too bad. Have you tried Charles Tyrwhitt shirts?


    • Daniel May 12, 2013, 11:03 am


      Try LL Bean for thick, non-iron oxfords (listed as wrinkle resistant, but they really don’t wrinkle and come out of the dryer sans wrinkles).

      Interestingly, I was doing a search for thinner non-iron shirts as summer approaches and I don’t need true dress shirts for work.

    • Anonymous May 17, 2013, 1:18 am

      BB does make non-iron oxfords for several years now so the emplyees must be new or not be aware of what we carry. The non-iron oxfords are now called Brookscool, they may not be as thick as the first gen. Non-irons oxfords. They changed the properties to make the shirts more breathable, non-irons shirts tend to keep the heat in because the fibers are closed compared to shirts that are not non iron. Oxfords are a heavier cloth to begin with so combined with the non-iron properties you would be extremely warm in the shirt especially in the warmer months. That is why they came up with Brookscool. Hope this helps, the shirt wasn’t made thinner because they were trying to save $ but to create a better product due to feedback.

      • Amjad August 14, 2013, 1:54 pm

        @Tony: …….my old BB shirts are the thicker material oxford dress shirts

        I am a textile engineer and have worked for years in design, development and production of shirting fabric. I can share the crux here; N/I Shirts fabric is better ( and more expensive to produce) when made from long staple, fine cotton fibres spun with controlled twist and plying of finer yarns. A chemical pre-treatment and/or after-treatments are inevitable to get the effect. The stronger the treatments better the smoothness rating…but lesser the comfort, durability and natural cotton-like feel.

        Also, finer (not see through) fabrics are much more expensive to produce than those made with coarser threads.

        • Kunal August 2, 2014, 3:50 am

          Hi Amjad
          you seem to be the man with the lantern :)
          I am actually doing a research on Non Iron shirts and was wondering if you could help me with some answers.
          May I have your email ID please. Mine is

      • Amjad August 14, 2013, 2:41 pm

        @Tony: …….my old BB shirts are the thicker material oxford dress shirts

        I am a textile engineer and have worked for almost 14 years in design, development and production of shirting fabric. I can share the crux of my experience in simple words here;

        N/I cotton shirts fabric is better ( and more expensive to produce) when made from long staple, fine cotton fibres spun with controlled twist and plying of finer yarns. Chemical pre-treatment and/or after-treatment is inevitable to get the effect right. The stronger the treatments better the smoothness rating…but lesser the comfort, durability and natural cotton-like feel…

        For most of the people I would recommend a mid-way solution … wrinkle resistant shirts with no or occasional ironing (instead of N/I) for comfort, durability and economy. For those who care too much for crisp-n-nice shirt look all day …they should consider either to pay higher to ppl like BB or compromise on tear strength and/or cotton-comfort, they should look for thicker, doubled thread woven and ammonia and/or resin treated shirts as a smart choice.

        Also, finer (not see through) fabrics are much more expensive to produce than those made with coarser threads.

    • Rebecca June 4, 2013, 11:16 pm

      I’ve noticed fabrics in general have become much thinner the past few years: L.L. Bean, Old Navy, Target, Gymboree, Lands’ End, etc. I’ve seen countless customer reviews complaining about it. I find it interesting that you got a direct response from someone at BB. (Many big companies do actually hire people to handle their internet PR. Wonder if it was that or totally coincidental.) I’m even more surprised they said it was to make a better product. Wait, did I just type that? Of course they’ll say that!

      Thanks for the post. I’m totally an avoid-ironing-at-all-costs gal, not that I really have the budget for it. I generally get my husband’s through deals at Lands End, but I’m glad to hear of competing, quality sources! As much as you’d like to know how others manage to outsource their ironing, I’d like to know where you get the energy to do it yourself, on top of all the child & home care you do!!! ;) If it’s wrinkled, it unfortunately still gets worn around here, thus my love of iron-free shirts. Removing clothes from the dryer and hanging/folding them while warm helps too but unfortunately doesn’t always happen.

    • Anonymous September 11, 2013, 3:44 pm

      LL Bean has nice thichk non iron oxfords

  • TheGirl March 9, 2013, 5:58 pm


    I was googling “can you iron a noniron shirt” because I do have one from Brooks Brothers (and I ordered 2 more) and you’re right –it does look great out of the dryer and into the hanger, but a little wavy at the sides, which will probably happen when I wear it anyway. So I guess its safe to iron a noniron shirt just a bit.

    Oh and now that you have more free time, please read my storyline on my blog!!!

  • MGR January 26, 2013, 2:57 pm

    Well I’m glad everyone loves their Brooks Brothers non-iron shirts. These shirts are the best non-irons out there, no question. What some people don’t know is the average life of a dress shirt is about 35-50 washing cycles. So if you wash them once a week you’ll get about 9 months use, now the more shirts you have the less washing, the longer the life. These shirts pay for themselves, yes they are a little expensive but you would pay more sending them out. As far as bringing shirts back and getting credit for new ones, the return policy has changed and in now 90 days, I would guess because of individuals who would bring back old and used product that they no longer wanted. But if your shirt truely has a defect or wears out prematurely, I would take it back at my Brooks Brothers store no question.

    • Amy February 3, 2013, 3:06 pm

      Hey there,

      Thanks for the information on the average lifespan of a dress shirt. By the way, I just found some BB non-iron shirts at a discount store for $42 each. Still expensive, but a huge savings from retail.


  • Karen January 16, 2013, 10:18 am

    Amy, I broke down and purchased two Brooks Brothers no-iron shirts for Tom to test them out. Although I choked on the initial price of the shirts, they are fabulous. They are true-to-form and don’t require any ironing! When I break down the expense of a cheaper dress shirt, the cost of sending it out for pressing and the inconvenience of waiting for it to return-the initial outlay of the more expensive no-iron shirt was well worth it. Not to mention that I believe it is more “green” since dry-cleaning chemicals aren’t involved and fuel isn’t used to get to/from the cleaners. Thanks for the tip!

    • Amy January 23, 2013, 8:39 pm

      Hi Karen,

      I’m so glad to hear this worked out for you! I totally agree that the no-iron shirts are worth the expense and convenience if you normally send yours out to be pressed. Now you know what kind of shirts to look out for a TJ Maxx and thrift stores. :-)


  • wow November 5, 2012, 1:24 am

    make your brooks’ brothers ad more obvious, employee

    • Amy November 7, 2012, 1:50 pm

      Do you work for the competition or something?

    • MGR November 22, 2013, 1:15 pm

      Lol, I’m not here to promote brooks brothers I actually do not work for them anymore but had for 9 years. The truth is I haven’t found a better non-iron shirt. Since the question is “Are No Iron Shirts Worth the Money” I’m sharing my opinion and my experiences with these shirts.

  • Philip West October 17, 2012, 9:33 pm

    It is always safe to keep one non-iron workshirt in your suitcase – you never know when you may spill a coffee or a glass of wine and need to do a quick change.

    Although at we really recommend you choose an Oxford weave non-iron shirt as this is more forgiving and tends to quickly de-iron themselves.

  • Danica October 2, 2012, 1:33 am

    Non iron shirts can provide several advantages for the person especially in saving electric consumption. The quality of the fabric must always be considered when buying this stuff. This is because there are clothes that easily wears out as time passed by.

  • Michael September 21, 2012, 11:48 pm

    Or you look for printable Lord & Taylor coupons online, take them there when they are having a sale and go to town. I recently went on a massive shopping spree a few months ago when L&T was holding their Memorial Day sale. I LOVE Kenneth Cole’s dress shirts. Love the look, love the feel and love the fact that they make plenty of slim fit shirts. Oh and L&T also happens to carry KC’s french cuff slim fits. Yeah. Try finding a 15, 32/33 with french cuffs in a slim fit shirt. Nearly impossible! I don’t recall what percentage the sale was taking off, but the coupon added an extra 25% off. Bottom line: I wound up purchasing non-iron dress shirts that normally retail for $69 for $14.25. Yeah. You read that right. I cleaned them out. I managed to find a white and blue french cuff as well as a black, blue, and pink barrel cuff. $14.25 each. Now that’s a sick deal and you can only achieve a victory like that perhaps once or twice a year. But L&T has sales all the time. AND there are always printable coupons that you can combine. You can get great shirts for $30-35 during an average sale in the men’s dept. That’s nothing to sneeze at. All ya gotta do is some homework and you too can buy typically pricey clothing at thrift store prices.

  • Kelly September 21, 2012, 2:50 pm

    We buy my husband’s wrinkle free shirts from Eddie Bauer on sale or at the Outlets. I hate to iron (since I had to wear an oxford to high school every day for 4 years), and my husband stinks at it too. In fact when we pulled out our iron to iron some perler beads the kids had all kinds of questions about what it was! LOL

  • Tanya July 25, 2012, 9:13 am

    We are in Australia and for non-ironers like us it’s hard to find a non-iron shirt here that feels and looks good. So my husband orders his from LL Bean. I don’t know how they compare to BB, but they are strides ahead of anything here and at $50-60 a shirt they are a great price. I think clothes here are more expensive though, so the US price looks good in comparison! :)

    • Amy July 29, 2012, 3:43 pm

      Hi Tanya,

      Yes, I’ve heard good things about LL Bean. We’ve also found some good sales at Charles Tyrwitt and they have good quality shirts too.

      Thanks for writing in!

  • Ginny June 13, 2012, 9:12 pm

    Consider getting a hand steamer: hang the clothes you are going to wear and then steam out any wrinkles. Works really well and sure beats ironing! I currently have a Esteam brand which I bought online. You can usually find a variety of steamers in travel stores and catalogues.

  • Lars May 31, 2012, 9:38 am

    A Brooks Brothers oxford cloth button down in must-iron cotton will outwear a non-iron version probably three to one. They last over a hundred wearings. I’ve tried the non-iron, but they feel stiff and clammy and look phony to my eye. There’s nothing like a few set in creases late in the day in a pressed must-iron shirt to show the world you’ve been working hard.

    • Amy June 1, 2012, 10:48 am

      Hi Lars,

      I like what you say about creases showing the world you’ve been working hard. I often waver between the authentic and the convenient. You make a good argument for the former.

      Thank you for writing in,

  • Erin May 9, 2012, 4:54 pm

    My husband has been wearing the no-iron Brooks Brothers shirts for about three years. In our experience, the fabric wears out especially fast because of the chemicals used to make it no-iron. My husband usually gets holes in the elbows of his shirts after 18 months or so. The Brooks Brothers at our local mall will not offer any sort of refund or exchange on these shirts unless these holes appear within the first twelve months. They admit that this fabric does not last as long and expect the consumer to accept this. We DO because I refuse to iron his shirts! :) Also, it’s still cheaper for us than paying for the shirts to be laundered.

    • Amy May 11, 2012, 2:20 pm

      Hi Erin,

      I appreciate your input — especially helpful since you have long-term experience with this brand and product. That’s too bad that they consider the product almost disposable. I hope ours somehow last longer!

      Thanks for weighing in, Erin,

  • Marian April 13, 2012, 7:55 am

    I do a lot of “hand” pressing at my house, taking special care as the shirt comes out of the dryer. Occasionally I will press a collar and front of a shirt (I actually like to iron), and these tactics are sufficient for my husband’s relaxed life style. But for dressier occasions he owns a few of the better no-iron shirts. LLBean and Land’s End carry nice ones for around $45, although they are labeled only “wrinkle-resistant” so may not be quite as spiffy as Brooks Brothers’.

  • Nancy April 12, 2012, 11:28 am

    Lands’ End no-iron dress shirts are $45 and I think they’re good. the Tyrwhitt shirts we get from London cost even less. My husband also has some Brooks Brothers non-iron shirts. He says they’re all a little stiff. I think that’s part of staying pressed all day long.

    I hate ironing and take his shirts to the cleaners, which is just across the street. It costs less because I wash the shirts at home. But I make sure that he always has a few no-iron shirts in the drawer for emergencies.

    And I strongly encourage polo shirts for non-formal occasions. I pull them out of the dryer still damp and hang them up carefully–especially the collars–and don’t iron them. In the summer he wears them to work in the hospital, under a suit jacket (my husband is a doctor too.) But maybe you can’t get away with that in the US.

  • Ashley April 12, 2012, 9:47 am

    Another great thing is that you can always send back shirts to BB and they will issue a credit so you can buy a new shirt. Unfortunately it’s b/c the shirts do at times get worn down or fray in places they shouldn’t but their exchange policy is great and no receipt needed!

    I think BB takes any of their product back at any time. I’ve sent things back years later with no receipt and gotten store credit or an exact exchange.

    So happy to hear your ironing duties are soon to be reduced!

  • Karen April 12, 2012, 9:46 am

    Hi Amy! I loved this article and forwarded to Tom. Ironing is one chore I outsource. I will paint, move furniture and even tuck-point stone and brick but i will not iron! This might save us money in the dry cleaning area. Thanks!

  • mildred lane April 11, 2012, 9:49 pm

    U did not say or I missed it on how long these clothes will last? That would figure in on the cost. The main reason that I, as a wife, would not fuss is he did the shopping by himself and put a lot of effort in the decisions.

    • Amy April 12, 2012, 8:58 am

      Hi Mildred,

      Yes, durability is a good point. Our shirts normally last 2-3 years before they start fraying, but since this is our first time with BB shirts, I cannot say for sure. My friend Ashley just wrote saying that BB has a very liberal return policy and will issue a refund if the shirts deteriorate too soon. Something to look into.

      I agree, that if partners can make good decisions as shoppers, then it could be really helpful to us.

      Take care,

  • Lynda T April 11, 2012, 9:20 pm

    I lucked out, my husband loves to iron. He even irons my things. Two things made his pants easier to iron or not need ironing: 1. Use the pants stretchers Vermont Country Store sells, my mom used to use them in the 60’s with my father’s pants. Saves on electricity too, no dryer needed. 2. After my urging, he started buying Duluth pants and shirts that are heavy duty, need little to no ironing, and have gussets for less tearing, literally.

    We also have a heavy duty store clothes rack in the utility room, so we can pull clothes out of the dryer and hang them up to decrease the wrinkles.

    • Amy April 11, 2012, 9:45 pm

      Hi Lynda,

      Wow, you really did luck out! There is something satisfying about ironing. The results are so visual and immediate, for one thing.

      Thank you for introducing me to the concept of pants-stretchers. I had never heard of that. I have to admit that I find ironing pants less satisfying because they are not so straightforward.

      I also like your idea of buying heavy-duty clothing that needs less ironing and that lasts longer. You get to ice the cake and cut it with just one knife.

      Thank you for sharing your tips, Lynda!


  • Tragic Sandwich April 11, 2012, 5:13 pm

    I’m very fortunate in that Mr. Sandwich doesn’t have a job that requires him to wear dress shirts, and I can get away with a sweater set most of the time. That means that my ironing is almost down to nothing. Of course, that may change if he gets another job with a less casual dress code.

    • Amy April 11, 2012, 8:56 pm

      Hi T.S.,

      You lucky ducks! I’m glad that there is almost zero ironing in your household. You certainly aren’t missing anything!

      Take care,