How to Iron My Air Force Service Dress Pants

by Brian Connolly ; Updated September 28, 2017

Generally reserved for formal or ceremonial occasions, the U.S. Air Force dress uniform is an important symbol for those who serve in the U.S. military. Air Force service dress pants are most often seen in two varieties: the sky blue pattern worn by privates and the midnight blue hue with the in-seam “blood stripe” worn by officers and those of higher rank. Though similar to most dress pants when it comes to ironing, a small amount of ironing starch as well as adequate attention to the seams will ensure a proper fold in your dress pants.

Items you will need

  • Dress pants
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Ironing starch
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Wooden clothes hanger
Step 1

Prepare the ironing board and lay the dress pants inside out on the board. Unfold and rub out any creases in the pants to ensure a proper seam.

Step 2

Fill the iron with water, if able, and plug in the iron to let heat on high, or “cotton” setting.

Step 3

Spray the leg down with water from the spray bottle and apply the iron to the pants leg beginning at the crotch. Apply heat on each side of the leg in succession.

Step 4

Place the iron down in a safe position and flip the pants so that the other leg lays the same way on the ironing board. Pick up the iron and repeat the ironing process on both sides of this other leg.

Step 5

Apply a small amount of starch (either through the spray bottle that comes with it or by tablespoon, consult package instructions) to each pant leg, making certain to evenly distribute it along each leg.

Step 6

Reposition the pants so that the waist portion hangs on the ironing board and apply the iron to the fabric until dry and straight. Flip the pants over and repeat the procedure on the opposite side.

Step 7

Return to the pants to their normal position by turning them inside out once more. Switch the iron to low-heat and apply one quick glide over each part of the pant legs. Turn off iron.

Step 8

Fold the pants so that the seam down the center of the pants legs are visible in the center of the fold. Hang on a wooden hanger to protect the seam and store with uniform dress coat.


  • Always be careful when handling an iron. Keep the iron a safe distance from children or animals and make sure it never goes unattended.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

About the Author

Based in the Appalachian Mountains, Brian Connolly is a certified nutritionist and has been writing professionally since 2000. He is a licensed yoga and martial arts instructor whose work regularly appears in “Metabolism,” “Verve” and publications throughout the East Coast. Connolly holds advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and the University of Virginia.