When it comes to men’s button-downs, there has been no greater surge in popularity over the past couple of decades than with the standard non-iron dress shirt.
Constructed from an entirely different process than a traditional 100% cotton button-down (although they share the same fabric), non-iron dress shirts have been chemically treated after they are made in order to prevent wrinkles and creases. It’s through this chemical induction process that you will have reinforcement of the fibers that will help to ensure that you appear on-point throughout your entire workday.
But it gets even better…
With true non-iron dress shirts, you can simply take them out of the dryer and place them in your closet and have them ready to go in the morning.
This not only saves you time from ironing (hence the name) but also cuts a heap off your dry-cleaning bill – making you only have to drop off pants or wool suit on the next go around instead.
So, if you are interested in saving yourself both the time and the hassle of ironing, check out our reviews of some of the best non-iron dress shirts that not only look great but will keep their structure no matter what the day throws at you.
Here Are The Best Non-Iron Dress Shirts for Men
1. Best Overall: Mizzen+Main Dress Shirts For Men
Crafted from polyester and spandex, the Mizzen+Main line of non-iron dress shirts pushes the boundary when it comes to performance.
The stretchable fabric found in these dress shirts makes it extremely easy to have a full range of motion throughout your entire body without feeling constrained like you would with 100% cotton shirts.
In addition to comfort, the Mizzen+Main line of shirts is also moisture-wicking. Therefore, when wearing a dress shirt in the summer months or in a high-pressure meeting, the fabric will help you by drawing the moisture away from your body to avoid noticeable pit rings if you didn’t liberally apply that antiperspirant in the morning.
Furthermore, with no susceptibility to fabric shrinkage, you will know that once you run it through the wash a few dozen times, the collar or sleeve length will never shorten on you.
While the cost of the shirts is a bit higher than average, we think the performance provided here is well worth it.
- Performance based dress shirt that feels and looks great
- Machine washable for easy care
- Quick dry fabric is a lifesaver
What You Need To Know
Coming in a few varieties including slim, classic, and big & tall, Tommy Hilfiger offers up a quality 100% cotton non-iron dress shirt that can work with just about any man’s frame.
When looking specifically at their slim flit option, not only has the fabric been treated to ward off wrinkles, but it also features a subtle contemporary flair through the spread collar, higher armholes, and tapered sleeves.
All of these features together ensure that the shirt looks great and prevents that dreaded feeling of swimming in your shirt throughout the day (although if that is the case for any of the shirts in your wardrobe currently, you might want to take a trip to your local tailor).
Given that Tommy Hilfiger is a widely distributed brand, you will likely find their non-iron shirts at local retailers and various online outlets. Some of the offerings that caught our eye were Macy’s, Amazon, and countless others.
If you like the breathability of the 100% cotton and are ok compromising on a bit of stretch performance, then this shirt is worth picking up.
One of the early adopters of the non-ironing dress shirt style was the highly revered brand of Brooks Brothers. Using a proprietary compound that helps the American sourced Supima cotton ward off wrinkles, you can look great in just about any one of their non-iron dress shirts.
But what really makes Brooks Brothers stand out from the rest of the picks on our list is their impressive lineup of shirts. Whether you are looking for a gingham, check, overcheck, or simply a classic color, you will find a shirt that matches your style taste.
If it’s your first time ordering through Brooks Brothers, be sure to check out their fit guide:
There you can get the proper fit in order to avoid a trip to your local tailor.
When it comes to the performance of their shirts, given that they are woven with 100% cotton, there is no elastane or spandex present in the fabric. This may make the shirt feel a slight bit more rigid than say the Mizzen+Main we covered above.
Lastly, the details:
For men who like to make a statement with their style (and don’t mind adding a few extra bucks to the bill), Brooks Brothers offers the option to add a 3-letter monogram to the dress shirt.
Brooks Brothers is a 200-year-old privately owned brand based in NYC. If you want uncompromising quality, check them out – just watch out for unsolicited looks of envy from your co-workers…
It’s no surprise that Amazon is getting deeper and deeper into the retail space with its own private offerings. When sitting on a mountain of data, they can see what men’s preferences are when it comes to dress shirts (and obviously what sells like hotcakes).
As we eluded to earlier, given that non-iron shirts are a relatively new offering in the world of men’s fashion, they clearly see a market worth investing in through their own private label called Buttoned Down.
Featuring a very similar fabric found in the pricier Brooks Brothers shirts, 100% Supima cotton, you not only get a very soft shirt when it arrives in the mail but one that can breathe just as good as a $100 shirt.
When it comes to shirt options, you can dial in a few details to suit your style including the following:
- Fabric color
- Collar type (Button down, spread, cutaway)
- Pocket (or no pocket)
Secondly, depending on the frame of your body, you can find their non-iron dress shirts in classic, tailored, slim, and big & tall varieties – making it perfect for just about every man.
Now given the customization options and fabric quality, it’s safe to assume that the price would be on par with Brook Brothers, right?
In fact, just the opposite, in true Amazon style, the price is extremely affordable given the quality – so if you are looking for a decent shirt on a budget, then take a look at this compelling offering by Buttoned Down.
Similar to the custom-made suits article we wrote recently, Proper Cloth’s primary focus is on custom-made dress shirts.
One of the variants in their customization process is the non-iron treatment they apply to the shirts.
Like some of the other luxury offerings on our list (i.e. Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, etc.), Proper Cloth likes to rely on Supima cotton as the fabric of choice when it comes to their dress shirts.
This long-staple cotton not only will wear extremely well but should be able to withstand rugged abuse throughout the day.
While many of the Proper Cloth shirts provide countless other collar, sleeve, and fit options:
For those men who like to have a bit more hands-on experience, check out their Design a Shirt page.
There you have a ton of fabric choices (we lost count after 100) all with detailed descriptions and suggested wear options when selecting the right one for you:
To make things a fair bit easier, Proper Cloth does provide some filtering options so you get the right fabric without having to endlessly page through their countless swatches.
Beyond the fabric choices you also have control over the following details in your shirt as well:
It’s important to stress that this customization process isn’t for everyone, especially if you are just looking for a simple white or blue non-iron dress shirt to wear on a regular basis.
But for the men who want standout features or find that perfect shirt for them, then there is no denying the value that Proper Cloth delivers when it comes to dress shirt options on the market.
Coming in both a classic (Camden) and slim (Grant) fit, Banana Republic offers up a rounded selection of non-iron dress shirts for men.
This can add a bit more uumph to your style and help you stand out from the sea of blues and whites you normally see in most offices.
Regarding the fabric, Banana Republic likes to rely on a 100% cotton weave (they do also offer a Supima cotton dress shirt in a completely separate line) that has just a little bit of stretch to the fabric to increase performance.
Unlike Proper Cloth, Brooks Brothers, or even Buttoned Down, the Banana Republic size chart offers little in the way of customizations for both neck and sleeve measurements. Instead, they offer catch-all sizes of XXS to XXL.
While their size guide offers some guidance on what will work best for you depending on your neck and sleeve length, if you want to get that perfect fit, you will likely need to bring your shirt in to get tailored…
…which brings us to our next point – price.
Banana Republic delicately dances in the mid-tier of the overall cost. Not nearly as much as Mizzen+Main or Brooks Brothers nor as cheap as Buttoned Down (which offers all the customization options Banana Republic is missing), the typical shirt will set you back about $80 bucks.
If you get lucky and find a shirt that fits you well, then it’s not a bad deal. But if a trip to the tailor is required, then you might find better options elsewhere in the marketplace.
Overall, Banana Republic still does deliver a quality product. But if you want to make the most of your dollar, sign up for their email list or check back often to see when they run sales as you can normally score some pretty sweet discounts.
Does Non-Iron Truly Mean You Will Never Have To Break Out The Starch Again?
Yes and no.
Depending on how long you plan on owning your shirt may dictate whether or not you will need to dust off that starch can in the early morning hours.
In the production process of non-iron shirts, manufacturers will dip the fabric into a chemical substance (learn more here), that will bond to the fabric.
Not only will this give a fabric like cotton a better backbone, but it will prevent it from wrinkling in the areas of your body that see a ton of motion (i.e. inside of elbows or waist).
However, given that this is a chemical substance that is applied to the fabric, with several washes and daily wear, it’s inevitable that there will be some loss of rigidity in the fabric over time.
While you should be swapping out your clothes once every couple of years, if you are expecting one of these non-iron shirts to look brand new 5 years down the road, you will have to restrain your expectations just a bit.
Wrinkle Resistant vs. Non-Iron
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to non-iron dress shirts is all about terminology. Many brands will market their shirts as wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant.
This is not the same as non-iron.
Wrinkle-resistant fabric will still wrinkle and require ironing in the morning.
So be sure if you are shopping for brands outside some of the ones we mentioned above, be sure to read the descriptions carefully (that’s why we already vetted ones for you) as they more often than not will be misleading.
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.