How To Pack Your Dress Shirts: The Definitive Guide
After years of travelling for business, I can say definitively that the bane of my existence is a wrinkly dress shirt. Even the smallest crease can ruin my look. It took me a lot of time, but I have perfected the art of packing for a wrinkle-free look. Follow my advice and avoid wrinkles at all costs by learning how to pack your dress shirts properly.
It seems like there's nothing to be done to help transport dress shirts without wrinkles. It felt hopeless when I was younger. I felt like I’d always be doomed to face chronic creases upon arrival. Is there anything to be done about this annoying problem that plagues the weary traveler?
(I mean, nowadays I just suggest Twillory quality made non-iron and performance shirts, of course, but I still am stuck with some legacy dress shirts, so the following travel tips are still helpful even with my wardrobe augmented by wrinkle-free garments)
There are a few things that can help the fight against wrinkles while packing dress shirts. Obviously, choosing the right shirt (hint: Twillory, duh!) can help alleviate these concerns.
Does the Universe Have a Way to Prevent Wrinkled Shirts?
Unfortunately, no. If this is something that’s a huge problem, my best advice would be to bring only non-iron shirts. These are usually made with innovative fabrics like SafeCotton that eliminate wrinkles as well as toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. Non-iron shirts come in a variety of colors, and styles, and are a great investment if you want to live life wrinkle-free.
Death to Wrinkles: Packing 101
There are a few things that will affect how wrinkled a shirt will be after travel. First up is the fabric type of the dress shirt. Next,how tightly the clothing is packed. The most important factor is how long the shirt stays in your suitcase. My number one suggestion for travelers is to invest in a portable travel steamer. Even when I pack my clothes perfectly, there will always be little creases that are unavoidable. A travel steamer helps me blast the wrinkles off my shirts on arrival. But in the meantime its still really important to answer the following question:
Have You Learned To Fold?
Folding on a flat surface is an easy way to pack dress shirts and cut down on wrinkling. It is incredibly time efficient and takes about one minute per shirt. It also helps to save space in a suitcase, carry-on, or duffle bag.
To achieve the ultimate fold, make sure the entire shirt is buttoned to avoid wrinkles. Lay the shirt flat, completely face down, with the sleeves extended.
Fold the right hand arm and right hand side of the shirt inward, creating a straight line from the right shoulder to the bottom edge of the shirt.
Next, fold the right arm of the shirt at a diagonal, so that the cuff of the shirt is against the bottom edge of the dress shirt.
Repeat this step again on the left side. Both sides should be completely even.
Next fold the shirt upwards in half. Start at the bottom, then fold the shirt again in the middle. Your dress shirt should now be compact and wrinkle-free.
To take it to the next level, wrap the folded shirt in tissue paper, which helps to prevent crushing.This is my favorite way to place the dress shirt in my suitcase, on the very top of the clothes I’m packing. That little tip alone has saved me so many headaches and creases.
If there’s going to be a time-crunch upon arrival, consider placing your dress shirt on a hanger in a suit and/or garment bag. By packing this way, there won't be the need to fold the dress shirt, which can help to avoid any initial creasing. However, most suit bags have to be foldable in order to be allowed on an airplane. However, one fold is totally survivable.
Have You Heard Of Rolling?
This might seem controversial. Wouldn't rolling dress shirts actually increase wrinkles? I know it seems like a recipe for disaster. Since there's no way to prevent wrinkles entirely, a huge benefit of rolling dress shirts is that it provides a lot of extra space. Rolling takes up less room in a suitcase, which is why it was my go-to method for longer trips where I still wanted to stick to one bag.
When shirts are rolled properly, they arrive with wrinkles that aren't as intense, so clothes appear less noticeable when worn. Many of these wrinkles will also fall out overnight if dress shirts are hung. When I stayed at a hotel, I would often get lazy and just turn the shower hot enough to fill the room with steam. Then all I did was hang my shirts inside. The natural steam will have a similar effect to a steam machine, alleviating wrinkles. When shirts are folded, it is almost guaranteed that they will need to be ironed before being worn.
How to Roll:
Simply lay the dress shirt face down, and fold the long sleeves inward. Then fold the shirt vertically in half. Finally, roll the dress shirt upwards from the bottom, smoothing out any wrinkles. Done!
The Suitcase Matters
Another thing to consider is choosing a high quality suitcase in order to assist with wrinkle prevention. A bag that is more durable and made of stronger materials, will protect clothing, especially when dealing with checked bags.
Hopefully, my advice here will give you some new ways to help with the challenge of wrinkle prevention for use the next time you pack. The main hack I’m rolling with right now is choosing shirts that are made of wrinkle-resistant fabrics. Otherwise, I suggest you try to pick shirts made from a blend of fibers. Shirts that include polyester, acrylic, and nylon will all wrinkle less than oxford shirts made entirely out of cotton or natural fibers. Dress shirts from SafeCotton will also wrinkle much less when being transported.
Lastly, make sure to take care of those shirts before packing. They should be thoroughly cleaned, either professionally or at home, and entirely without wrinkles. A shirt that is already fresh and free of wrinkles before packing is a happy shirt to wear, and has a better chance of surviving life on the road.