Why Is It Weird To Iron My Jeans?


A few weeks ago I was packing for my trip to Cattlemen’s Convention, which includes ironing out the jeans and shirts. I’m usually one to take em to the cleaners for a heavy starch, but doing it at home is a bit more budget friendly these days.  I tweeted something about the jeans not fitting on the ironing board, and 50 tweets later I was amazed at the number of people surprised that I’d do such a thing. Why is it so weird that I iron my shirts and jeans?!? I think YOU”RE weird if you don’t!

Some people didn’t even have an iron or board, said they’d never ironed anything besides their work clothes that went to the cleaners. Really? I grew up in a house where my momma made sure – or made us make sure – we had ironed clothes for church on Sunday morning or any important events outside of the ranch/house.  It’s just how I do things. Is it such a bad thing to want to look nice?

When I was in Texas/Oklahoma I LOVED how much starch the cleaners would use on the jeans and shirts. That collar would stay straight all day long and I could usually get an extra wear out of the jeans. And yes, sometimes it was a struggle to get those things on. But if you’ve seen how long my jeans are anyway – they’re literally too long for the ironing board – they’re a hassle any day of the week.

Now I know much of the prodding was in good fun. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but it just struck me as weird. More culture shock for this ranch kid who moved to town.

So here’s my poll: DO you starch and iron your jeans/shirts? If so, is it just for work, or lookin good for a night on the town? Surely I’m not a lone ranger on this…

(Remember to check out my Texas Country Wednesday series at Sitting in the Pasture… to help get ya through your Hump Day.)

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About Ryan Goodman (988 Articles)
Ryan Goodman lives in Helena, MT and comes from an Arkansas cattle ranching family. Since growing up on a family cow/calf and stocker-calf operation, he has spent the last several years learning about farming systems across the country. A graduate of Oklahoma State, Ryan is currently working on a Master's degree from the University of Tennessee. He works continuously to share his story of ranch life through community outreach and social media, all while encouraging others in agriculture to do the same.

28 Comments on Why Is It Weird To Iron My Jeans?

  1. Kathy Novotney // February 15, 2012 at 7:33 AM // Reply

    Both my boyfriend and I do for work! He works in a western wear shop while attending college and I teach Ag.

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  2. I do wear starched jeans and shirts. I dress nice for church, to go out to dinner, and I believe it is something that people don’t
    See the need for anymore. I will also iron the uniform shirt that I wear to work every day if it’s too wrinkled because I do understand wanting to look nice. And my grown son can and will iron his own clothes too. Like you we may be weird too!!

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  3. Johnnie Scott // February 15, 2012 at 8:40 AM // Reply

    I’m usually heavily starched for nights out on the town, and for work every now and then.

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  4. Haha, I make it into one of your blog posts as “some people”! :) I didn’t think it was weird or bad. Interesting, maybe, but not weird or bad. I grew up with ironed clothes every Sunday, and all our goin-to-town jeans were ironed too. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not really sure why I don’t iron. Please don’t tell my mother.

    Tell ya what. If I do get inspired to purchase an ironing board, I really only need about 2/3rd of one, so I’ll ship you the last third and you can weld it on to yours.

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    • Haha, that’ll work. I won’t tell, and I’ll tack the rest of your board onto mine.

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  5. I quit ironing shirts and jeans decades ago…About the time I figured out horses and cattle didn’t if my jeans had a crease. Not weird Ryan, just a little outdated

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    • I don’t bother ironing jeans for work on the ranch. The manure still flies just the same

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  6. I went to college with some jeans ironers, it still freaks me out.

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    • Weirdo… There’s a few jean ironers in Stillwater :)

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  7. It’s not weird but it’s non-conformity, which by definition, is behavior uncharacteristic of most people. People willing to non-conform usually have more self confidence and don’t care what others think. Is that more generally true of farm people?

    I work in the central US at a small college. From what I’ve observed on campus, no one, not even the ag students or their instructors, iron their jeans, nor have I seen anyone in town do so (town of about 16,000, 90 minute drive to anywhere bigger). No one did in the city where I lived as a child, as a adolescent (about 250,000 population) or the Oklahoma university I attended (it wasn’t OSU). After seeing starched jeans on rodeo people and on ebay, I bought a pair as an experiment. I agree that the style looks sharp and I like the fit. However, the two cleaners in town do not starch jeans, only shirts. If starched jeans are requested, they have to be sent out to an individual so it takes even longer to get them back. I could iron them at home but it’s not worth the hassle from my students or colleagues who will fuss at the non-conformity.

    I guess what I’m saying is, for you, never mind what others think. If you think it looks good and makes you feel good, which is what all fashion and style should do, then you should be BOLD and do it. Maybe one day I’ll be bold, too.

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    • Yeah guess nonconformity would explain me.
      The cleaners doesn’t starch jeans? That’s a first…

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  8. When my wife and I got married, she told me that she doesn’t iron and I told her that I don’t paint.

    It’s worked out well…I do the ironing and if there’s something to be painted, I get to sit back and watch.

    Trouble is, there’s a lot more of her watching me iron…and she loves that.

    (Hopefully I didn’t just lose my man card on that one. lol)

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    • Haha, I don’t have a problem with that Kevin. I’d much rather be ironing than painting.

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  9. Monty Lenington // February 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM // Reply

    To be considered dressed up in my opinion you have to have a crease in your jeans and a ironed shirt just the way i was raised. Usually don’t bother with work clothes growing up those got starched and ironed too and I had a lot fewer stains on my jeans.

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  10. I am with you bro, my shirts and jeans have to go to the cleaners and have the Heavy Heavy heavy Starch, along with crease in the sleeves….and if they forget it, they have to re do it. In a pinch when I need to wear something that has not gone to the cleaners, I will do my own, they are just not as well done as the cleaners. But a big Yes to both shirts and jeans, for nights out, rodeos, wagon races, work, or even chores around the house…that is how us cowboy folks roll.

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  11. When I started reading your original post, I thought maybe you HAD to iron your jeans because you threw them in the dryer and let it run, taking them out much later after the cycle ended and the clothes were cold and dry (yeah, that leaves ‘em wrinkled). I don’t know anyone that irons jeans — if you take them out warm from the dryer, give a good shake and put them away, they’re usually just fine. My husband now starches the collars of the shirts he wears for work, otherwise they seem floppy. I would not calling ironing jeans weird, just unusual in today’s world. To each his own — if you like the ironed/starched look and know how to do it, more power to you!

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  12. My husband was on the livestock judging team so he is in the habit of making sure his jeans have creases!

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  13. Sandra Berryhill // February 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM // Reply

    When ZZ Top sings “Cause every girl’s crazy bout a sharp dressed man’…. the mental image in my brain is creased Wranglers and a crisply starched western shirt….I always sent my husband and sons out the door in starched and ironed clothes if they were headed anywhere other than farm work here at home! My sons have irons and know how to use them.

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  14. Starched…preferably all the time, except for a couple pair of jeans just used for grungy stuff! Starched jeans go with heels and boots! Loved this post. As I child I flew to Maryland and helped a family with their show cattle…I packed my iron. Can’t leave home without one!!!

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  15. Yes I Iron my pants and shirts plus starch them. You do get more wear out of them and color stay longer too it seems

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  16. My daddy still wears starch jeans and I’m a fan of the starch jeans look, because it makes boring jeans look super nice.

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  17. So, I grew up in the far far north which means I had never heard of starching your jeans until I went to college. The only reason is because my roommate was on the Livestock Judging Team and her coach was from Ohio. I’m not a big ironer because I have no patience lol

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  18. Yup, we starch and iron pants. The Rancher got me a press for Christmas shortly after we were married. The press is equal to the size of 7 irons. It has saved me a lot of time.

    Shirts are ironed upon need.

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    • I’m jealous. I want a press.

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      • Me, too…

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  19. I iron the jeans that need ironing. Some don’t — I hang them to dry and they’re just fine. Others, especially colored ones, need to be pressed for me to feel comfortable wearing them

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  20. Nothing looks sharper than starched jeans and shirts… Love. Saving $$, too, and doing them myself and it’s just not the same- but better than nothing!

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  21. I have always starched my shirts and jeans especially if I have a rodeo to be at.

    Like

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