You know the moment. You spent eight hours on a business class flight across the country for “the big presentation,” the one that could make or break your career. Or else it is your son’s college graduation, your daughter’s destination wedding, your parents’ thirtieth anniversary party. You have traveled from afar for this very special occasion, and you want to spend your time making memories and posing for photographs with friends and family – not with your ironing board.
There is a fine art to packing a dress shirt, and to many of us, the perfectly packed suitcase may seem like an organizational impossibility. But fear not; a few helpful tips will have you packing like the pros in no time and avoiding unnecessary, bothersome wrinkles.
Tips for Packing Dress Shirts
Fabric: Where Wrinkles Begin
Your dress shirts will be more or less prone to wrinkles depending on the kind of fabric from which they are made. Synthetic fabrics – nylon or polyester, for example – are less likely to wrinkle than natural cloths types like cotton or silk. Consider this when making shirt purchases and check labels to see what sort of fabric or blend is at hand before buying.
Pack It Up Tight
The more room your shirts have to move around in your suitcase, the more likely they are to unfold and form multiple creases as they are jostled around.
It is recommended that you use the smallest suitcase you can manage to fit your clothes in to avoid excess space and subsequent shuffling while in transit. Your clothes can be self-preventative for wrinkles if they are properly packed snugly together.
Know When to Fold Them
A proper folding technique can go a long way towards preventing wrinkles and creases in your dress shirts. There are many different styles and methods of folding, and many are conducive to particular styles, sizes, or fabrics.
Do a little research on your particular shirt styles to see what kind of folds are suggested to work best.
Practice Makes Perfect
Get in the habit of folding your dress shirts for packing by doing some practice folds to perfect your technique. The more comfortable you become with folding, the smoother your finished product will be.
Try a few different folds and see if one works best for you and your shirts. It may take a bit more time on the front end, but it can pay off in a lot of saved effort later on.
Roll With It
There are many different techniques available when it comes to folding a dress shirt, but one of the most effective wrinkle-fighting methods is the rolling technique. Rather than fold your dress shirt on an angle, rolling is a great tight-packing method that can save both time and space in your suitcase.
How To Roll Your Dress Shirts
- Make sure that the collar buttons are unfastened before you begin to roll.
- Start at the collar and slowly roll downward, making sure to keep the roll tight.
- Use the bottom of your shirt to tuck the roll into for packing.
The longer your shirts stay packed, the more likely they are to wrinkle. Try to wait as long as possible before packing everything for your trip, and leave your dress shirts for last. When you arrive at your destination, immediately unpack your suitcase and hang up your shirts.
Do not leave them packed away; more time in the suitcase equals more time at the ironing board.
It is impossible to avoid a few wrinkles. A good travel-steamer is a great investment and a very practical tool to bring along with you on trips. Find a reliable steamer that you can easily pack in your suitcase along with your other luggage.
When you arrive at your destination and unpack your shirts, immediately steam them to loosen any wrinkles that may have set in during your trip.
It’s In The Bag
A good way to avoid wrinkling is to transport your dress shirts on a hanger in a garment or dress bag. This is especially helpful if you know that you will not have much time to iron or steam your shirts when you reach your destination.
Proper Shirt Care Pays Off
In order to keep wrinkles to a minimum and ensure your shirts’ longevity of wear, it is crucial to practice good care and upkeep on a regular basis. Have your shirts professionally dry-cleaned and maintained by a responsible and reliable cleaner.
Certain chemicals can be very harmful to the fabric of your clothing and cause their structure to prematurely break down, making them much more susceptible to wear, tear, and lines.
While no method can prevent a few wrinkles here and there, learning how to pack dress shirts properly can save you a great deal of time and effort in the long run and ensure that you will be looking smooth for your special occasion.