To look good while traveling is one of life’s hardest tasks. Suitcases are way too small and it’s really easy for dress shirts to end up completely wrinkled. Then you’re the weirdo walking around with wrinkled shirts because you found out last minute the place you’re staying doesn’t have an iron.
If that sounds like your nightmare, this is your lucky day. Wrinkles are a thing of the past. It’s all in the way you fold your shirts to be put in your suitcase. Let’s get packing!
1. To begin, lay out all the dress shirts you want to pack. They should all be recently ironed and as wrinkle free as possible. Make sure to unbutton the cuffs and collars before starting.
2. Start with the smallest shirt. Turn one sleeve inside out
3. Then take the sleeve you have turned inside out and pull it through the other sleeve. This is easiest to do if you put the sleeve on.
4. After the sleeve is through the other sleeve, lay the finished product out on a flat surface.
5.Repeat the same process for all of the shirts.
6. Of the shirts I’m packing, my blue and white shirt is the smallest. Therefore, it is going to be the innermost shirt when I pack all of the shirts together. Place the folded shirts through each other in much the same manner as they were folded on to themselves.
7. Smooth out any wrinkles between the shirts by moving your hand along each face.
8. With one hand, pull near the shoulder of the shirt and with the other hand, tug gently on the end of the sleeve. This should remove any wrinkles created between the shirts when you put them all together.
9. Because the outermost shirt is the one with the greatest likelihood of wrinkling while in transit, it’s best to pack a shirt that can tolerate wrinkles on the outside. In this case I’m going to use a flannel shirt. Pack your flannel shirt in the same manner as your dress shirts and use it as the outermost shirt.
10. Once you have your big shirt lump, it’s time to pack it! If you’re packing a large duffle or suitcase, you may be able to fit your shirt lump into your bag without any additional folding. However in most cases, you will at the very least need to fold the sleeve over. To do this without causing any more wrinkles, you want to pack softer crushable clothing around it. I’m using athletic shorts and t-shirts.
11. When packing the sleeve, try to think in three dimensions. If you want to prevent wrinkles, folding the sleeve flat doesn’t make much sense. So instead, your shorts and t-shirts are creating a space between the sleeve and the rest of the shirt lump. Place the t-shirts and shorts on the panel of the shirts and then fold the sleeve on top of them.
12. If you cannot fit the shirt lump into your bag without folding it in half or into thirds, you need to go about things a little differently. Rather than placing all of your shorts and shirts on top, you want to pack some inside the shoulder area of the shirt.
13. Then pack several on top and push them up towards the shoulder area of the shirt so they are against the t-shirts and shorts inside.
14. You can then fold up the bottom half of the shirt without creating any wrinkles as the shirts curve over one another instead of folding and making a sharp edge.
15. Lastly, fold the sleeve over the lump of shirts and shorts. You now have a smaller lump to pack.
It just takes a tiny amount of preparation and then you’re all ready for looking incredible wherever you go, which gives you no excuse not to have the best dapper hour ever at A-Camp.
Charlotte is a native of Upstate NY currently going to school in New England. She enjoys falling asleep in public spaces, yelling at the TV machine, woodworking, crossword puzzles and most other activities stereotypical enjoyed by old men. She attended the May 2013 A-Camp and is an avid Autostraddle reader.