Just like a well-polished pair of shoes or a crisply starched shirt, a sharp crease in a pair of pants shows you're dressed to impress.
Step 1: Check label Check the label on the pants for proper care instructions, then heat the iron on the appropriate setting.
Tip For wool pants, put a clean, damp cloth—called a "pressing cloth"—between the iron and the fabric so the iron doesn't cause a permanent shine, and press the iron against the pants repeatedly instead of sliding it back and forth.
Step 2: Iron inside waistband Iron the inside of the waistband first—if the iron is too hot, turn it to a lower setting and wait for it to cool before proceeding.
Step 3: Iron back pockets Turn the back pockets inside out and iron them.
Step 4: Iron back Iron the outside of the back of the pants, then tuck the pockets back inside and iron the seat of the pants.
Step 5: Iron front pockets Flip the pants over, turn the front pockets inside out, and iron them.
Step 6: Iron front Iron the outside of the front of the pants, then tuck the pockets back inside and iron the front of the pants, including any pleats.
Tip Pull the waistband up over the narrow end of the ironing board, as if you're pulling the pants onto the board, to create a flat front area to iron.
Step 7: Line up seams Line up the four seams on the pant legs so they're neatly stacked and lay the pants down along the length of the ironing board.
Step 8: Iron inner leg Fold back the top leg to expose the inner leg below. Iron this from the cuff up to the seam of the crotch.
Tip On flat-front pants, the front crease should begin between the middle of the zipper and the crotch; on pleated pants, it should continue from a pleat down.
Step 9: Flip pants over Fold the top leg back down and flip the pants over.
Step 10: Iron other inner leg Fold back the top leg again, and iron the other inner leg from the cuff up to the seam of the crotch.
Step 11: Iron outside leg Fold that top leg back down again and iron the outside of this leg.
Step 12: Iron outside other leg Flip the pants over and iron the outside of that leg.
Step 13: Hang pants Immediately after ironing, hang the pants from the waistband or cuff, keeping the four seams lined up as you ironed them to keep your creases crisp.
Step 14: Unplug iron Turn off and unplug the iron, and step out in style.
Did You Know? Ironing dates at least as far back as the 1st century B.C., when the Chinese used hot coals in metal pans to smooth their clothing.