Does Your Shirt Hem Flip Up? There’s a Simple Way to Fix It

updated Nov 3, 2022
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(Image credit: Taryn Williford)

It’s a problem everyone who does laundry knows all too well: The shirt hem that flips up and stays up, seemingly forever. Maybe you make an attempt to iron it with your dress clothes—a lot of work for a basic tee. But then, the shirt hem is like a stubborn curl: one go through the wash, and it’s back to its old ways. Good news: There are two easy ways to fix that hem flipping up.

Method 1: The Half-Dry

You need to only machine dry your shirts part of the way through and air dry the rest of the way with the hem—shirt bottom or sleeve—properly flipped down.

I couldn’t find any definitive reason why the hem flip happens—in some cases, it can be ascribed to a lesser-quality shirt stitched off-grain, but that’s not the case for every shirt—but most sources blamed the heat of the machine drying process, in one way or another.

The consensus, in many cases, was this: However your shirt cools is how it’s going to lay. If you remove your shirt from the dryer part-way through—while it’s warm but not totally dry—and lay it flat with the hem flattened out, it’ll stay that way as it cools down.

(Image credit: Taryn Williford)

Method 2: Use a Hair Straightener

Ironing is a solid way to get that hem to lay exactly how you want it, but breaking out the clothes iron and ironing board is a lot, especially for one tiny shirt hem. So if you’re getting ready one morning and find that your shirt is doing its usual annoying, flip-flopping thing, just reach for your hair straightener.

Make sure the straightener is clean and dry, then clamp it around your flattened shirt hem to tame it into position. While you’re at it, you can use this trick on any stubborn shirt collar, sleeve or wrinkled button placket, too.