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How to Care for and Iron Dress Pants

by H. McGurgan

Women's dress pants

Things You Need:

  • Rubber or cloth-padded hangers
  • Hangers with clips
  • Needle and thread
  • Prewash stain product
  • Iron and ironing board

Proper care of dress pants can extend wear time and maximize the investment you've made in your clothing. Knowing how to care for and iron both women's dress pants will keep them looking their best and ensure that every pair of pants in your closet is ready to wear at any time. Caring for your dress pants takes only a few extra minutes every day and can reduce the amount of money you spend on repairs or special cleaning.

Caring for Dress Pants:

  1. Examine your women's dress pants after wearing them. Look for loose buttons, unraveling seams and tears. Keep a needle and thread on hand to make repairs. While a few loose stitches may seem like a minor problem, loose stitching can quickly lead to holes in the clothing, which are more difficult to repair.

  2. Treat stains before they have begun to set. Stains on washable dress pants can often be treated with a prewash stain product or a small amount of laundry detergent rubbed into the stain and rinsed with water. Place a clean cloth under the stained area to absorb the stain. Stains on clothing marked "dry clean only" must be treated at a dry cleaner.

  3. Wash machine washable fabrics immediately after wearing them. Remove items from the pockets and close buttons and zippers before washing. Open zippers can become caught in a washing machine's agitator or damage other clothing in the load. Take your pants out of the dryer while the clothing is still warm to minimize wrinkling.

  4. Air out clothing marked "dry clean only." Letting dress pants get some air after they have been worn allows excess moisture to evaporate and minimizes wrinkling.

  5. Use the appropriate heat setting for the fabric type when you iron pants. Cotton and wool pants can usually be ironed at a medium heat setting, while more fragile fabrics may require ironing on a low setting. Women's dress pants fashioned from silk or chiffon may need extra care as well.

  6. Turn the dress pants inside out and begin ironing at the waistband. Pass the iron over the clothing in smooth strokes, ironing the pockets, fly, seams and hems. Turn the pants right side out and iron any remaining wrinkles in the front of the pants and the legs.

  7. Always hang your pants again before wearing them. Line up the seams first and use either rubber or cloth-padded hangers if draping the pants over them. These types of hangers will prevent creases from developing. Hang pants with pleats carefully to minimize puckering. You can also avoid wrinkles by hanging your pants from hangers that have clips to hold clothing in place, draping them either from the cuffs or the waistband. Don't use wire hangers to hang dress pants; wire hangers can cause creases and rust stains if exposed to moisture.

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