How to Fold a Dress Shirt for Travel

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No matter if you travel for business or pleasure, the last thing you need to deal with is wrinkled clothes upon arrival. When it comes to wrinkles, the best offense is a good defense. Learning how to fold dress clothes for travel will lower the chances of having to deal with wrinkles when you unpack.

What to Consider when you are Traveling

While you can’t always have days or weeks to plan, there are some things that you need to take time to consider when you are learning how to fold a dress shirt for a suitcase.

When it comes to choosing your shirts, opt for the shirts that don’t wrinkle as easy. As a rule of thumb, soft fabrics tend to wrinkle less than crisp fabrics.

You can also perform a wrinkle test on shirt. To test a shirt, grab a handful of a corner in the shirt and tightly grasp it in your hand. Hold it steady for about thirty seconds and then release.

what to consider when traveling

The warmth and moisture from your hand will cause a wrinkling effect, similar to what you will experience in a day to day wear or overly tight packing. This is also the same concept that allows you to straighten your clothes neatly when using a hot iron. As a general rule of thumb, if it does not wrinkle when you let it go, then it is a great choice for traveling.

Don’t panic if it did wrinkle some, try shaking it out after a few moments. If the wrinkles are able to shake out then it is also a good choice to pack. While you do have to​ fold your favorite t-shirts, it is always wise to pack practically.

Also always pack at least one more outfit than you will need. This will help if you have an unexpected wardrobe issue, and offers an alternate choice if your mood changes.

There are many different things to consider when you are traveling. The best thing to do is make a list and take time to double check that you have everything.

Folding and Packing for Travel

There are a few different ways that you can fold and pack your clothes for wrinkle free travel. While you are learning how to fold a dress shirt for travel, there can be other folds or techniques that you should try out before committing to one. The best thing you can do for your shirts is to not pack them too tightly.

Whether you choose to fold or roll them like you would folding a towel, keep them secure but not packed down.

A trick you can use to give your folded shirts an extra layer of wrinkle protection is to box them. Use shirt boxes that you may have in the closet, or see if a store will give/sell you any.

Use a simple fold for your dress shirt and then pack it in the box. Stack the boxes in your suitcase as room allows. Make sure that the boxes have plenty of room and are not squished down, as this will cause wrinkles to occur.

Fold your dress shirts

The best way to fold dress shirts for travel is with a simple yet effective fold. Begin with your dress shirt buttoned up and lying face down. Make sure you take the time to smooth out any wrinkles, creases or bunching before you start folding. This will increase the fold’s wrinkle fighting.

Take one sleeve and fold it across the upper back area, towards the other sleeve. While you are folding it over, take in an inch of the torso with the sleeve. Straighten your fold lines and make sure it is not crooked.

Then take the sleeve and fold it down into the shirt. Match the sleeve with the torso fold line you just made. Make sure the sleeve is aligned with the fold. Repeat the sleeve fold steps with the second sleeve. You can do the same steps when folding a long sleeved top.

Once both of your sleeves are inside of the shirt, bring the bottom of the shirt up to the collar. This will fold your shirt in half. This smaller fold will make a dress shirt fit into a small suitcase.

You can fold it in half one more time to make a shorter fold if you need to, but the single fold is the best for keeping minimum creases and wrinkles.

how to fold dress shirt for travel

Roll your dress shirts

While rolling your shirts will not guarantee as much of a wrinkle fighting structure, this is still helpful to keep your dress shirts secure while traveling, and also allows you to fit a little more into your bag, such as a portable steamer that’s perfect for travel.

To roll your dress shirts, start with the shirt all buttoned up and lying face down on a flat surface. Bring one sleeve directly over and in line with the opposite sleeve.

This will create a halfway fold on your shirt, meaning that it is folded in half from the collar to the bottom hemline. Take your time and make sure that the edges are lined up, so that your shirt wont have a crooked crease in it when you unpack.

Next you will take the two sleeves together and bring them back over the chest area as far as the will go. Make a nice fold line. Then bring the sleeves back up and fold them down into the body of the shirt.

The sleeves should be straight in line with the sides of the shirt. If they are crooked, then pull the sleeves back up and realign them, you can use a steamer at this point to make sure everything’s nice and straight.

Keeping straight lines is crucial when you are learning how to fold a dress shirt for travel. This will keep your shirts from having crooked creasing when you pull them out of the suitcase.

Finally you will begin at the bottom and start to roll your shirt up. Keep the roll loose, yet firm so the shirt doesn’t slip to the sides.

While you are rolling to pack more things in your suitcase, do not pack them too tight. Tightly packed down clothes will produce more wrinkles in the long run than clothes that are not packed down.

When you are learning how to fold a dress shirt for packing, then it is a good idea to try out different ways to see which will fit best for you. Also different fabrics will cope better with different techniques.

There are wrinkle resistant and non-iron dress shirts available that can withstand being folded and packed into a suitcase. If you are losing the war with wrinkles then these might be a good option for you.

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Fight Off Wrinkles in a Pinch

When you are away from home and wrinkle occur, it can be a very frustrating ordeal. Even if you know how to fold a dress shirt for travel, sometimes wrinkles just happen.

If you are in a hotel or other vacation getaway housing, then there is usually an iron available for you to use. However, if you find yourself in a pinch without an iron, you can always pack with you a portable ​garment steamer perfect for traveling. If both options aren’t available, then you can use these tricks to get rid of wrinkles.

Pack a small spray bottle with you in your suitcase. When you arrive at your destination, hang your wrinkled clothes and use the bottle to lightly spritz water over the affected areas.

The weight of hanging will help straighten out these wrinkles. You can also add some vinegar (one part vinegar to three parts water) in the spray bottle. Vinegar is gentle on fabrics while fixing wrinkles.

If you don’t have a lot of extra time in your morning routine to fight wrinkles, then use your shower time to help. Simply hang your shirt up in the bathroom and keep the fan off. The steam from the shower will loosen wrinkles with ease while you are getting ready, just like how the upright steamer works.

If you travel often and know that you don’t want any hassle with wrinkles, then you can use a wrinkle remover spray. Grandma's Secret Travel Wrinkle Remover is small enough to fly with and offer wrinkle and odor elimination.

You can also make your own wrinkle remover spray for a fraction of the cost. This is a great small spray that you can travel with and keep tucked away in your suitcase or car for as needed emergencies.

There are also other appliances that can replace an iron. Toss wrinkled dress shirts in the dryer with a few damp dryer sheets for ten minutes to heat up and shake out the wrinkles.

A hair flat iron will work miracles on hard to reach wrinkled areas like collars, cuffs and hem lines. Just make sure that you wipe off the hair iron before you use it to make sure no hair products are transferred onto your shirt.

Don’t Let the Wrinkles Get you Down

At the end of the day, wrinkles are going to happen. No matter how well you fold, pack and store your clothes. Instead of letting wrinkles ruin your trip, find way of being prepared for them.


Such as knowing that your hotel has a iron, allowing extra time for unpacking and touchups or pack an easy wrinkle remover spray. Knowing that you can beat the wrinkles without worrying will give you a better trip and allow you to not fret over your clothes.