Travel shirt folding tips

2023-01-23 04:51:13 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

It's important to avoid wrinkles whenever possible, but especially when traveling, whether for serious business or for a carefree summer vacation in Tuscany.

This article explains the best way to fold a shirt for storage or transport. This origami-like art form is essential for the well-dressed world traveler like yourself.

The right way to fold a shirt ensures that it will stay wrinkle-free even after being tossed into a suitcase, and it also allows you to pack more garments into a smaller amount of space.

Learn the proper way to fold clothes for travel here!

You should know your preferred method of operation before you begin packing your shirts in a cunning manner. Each of the four most common approaches to packing dress shirts has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.


Shirts are typically folded in half lengthwise to create a neat, square shape, as this is the most efficient packing method for long trips. Even though it does a good job of keeping wrinkles at bay, it isn't exactly space or time efficient.


A Marie Kondo-approved method involves rolling your garments up like a rug. Since it takes up much less room than folding, rolling clothes is ideal for storing multiples of the same item in a suitcase.


Try your hand at bundling the next time you pack a small suitcase full of fine, mismatched garments for your trip. This space-saving, crease-free method of folding shirts is difficult to master, but well worth the effort.

Packages sealed under vacuum

For those who need to save a lot of room, vacuum packing is a practical option. Even though it takes time and specific tools, you can pack a lot of clothes that don't fit standard sizes into a carry-on bag.

Carry-on suitcase filled packed with folded jumpers and headphones

Instructions for properly packing a shirt

In need of a dress shirt folding tutorial? Master the procedure by following these detailed steps.

  1. Wrap the buttons around your thumbs   If you want to keep your shirt from getting wrinkled on the way there, button it up first (this isn't necessary if you're folding a buttonless tee). Don't give in to the temptation to save time by pressing fewer buttons. It only takes a few seconds to do them up, and the results will be much better.
  2. A simple reversal of the shirt can make a huge difference. Arrange the shirt so that the back is facing you on a flat, clean surface. Make sure the shirt is laid out flat.
  3. Straighten the diagonal folds of the sleeves You can do this by putting your finger on your shirt's collar and folding a sleeve in half diagonally until it reaches the shirt's center. Make sure that the front is folded over the back about a third of the way. Swap out the sleeves and do it all again.
  4. Raise the sleeve cap once more. Touch one shoulder and pull on the sleeve cuff to demonstrate. Return the cuff to its original position, aligning it with the shoulder of the same sleeve, by folding it in a diagonal motion. Keep going with the process until you have a lovely flat V-shaped pattern on both sleeves.
  5. Your shirt should be folded in half lengthwise. Grab the bottom of your shirt with both hands and fold it up to the collar. Try to achieve two folds (folding it in thirds) when folding a long dress shirt. For shorter shirts, a single fold (in half) is sufficient.
  6. Invert, wipe down, and stow Reverse your shirt so that the buttons are facing out. You should iron out any wrinkles and pack the garment carefully.

Diagram showing how to fold a shirt for travel

The benefits and drawbacks of folding shirts for travel

You have successfully learned the art of travel shirt folding. Nonetheless, is this the most effective shirt-folding trick for you? Here are some benefits and drawbacks to think about.


  • Reduce wrinkles significantly.
  • Simple in practice
  • Useful for wrinkle-prone but soft fabrics


  • No significant reduction in volume
  • Able to fold over without creasing
  • You'll have to dig around in your suitcase to find the right shirt because you can't see it all at once.

Packing advice: rolling clothing

Just not sold on the folding method. Learn the art of professional shirt rolling here.

  1. Locate a level area Get away to a place that's nice and tidy. Closures made, the shirt is laid out flat, back facing you.
  2. The shirt should be folded in half vertically. Hold the left sleeve with your finger and bring the right sleeve over it so that the cuffs meet. The result will be a vertically folded shirt with the front facing you.
  3. Roll up your sleeves Align the sleeve hem with the shirt's existing crease and fold both sleeves down the shirt's body.
  4. Roll it up Gently roll up the shirt from the bottom until you reach the collar. At this point, your tidy little cylinder can be stored away.

Diagram showing how to roll a shirt for travel

Rolling clothes for travel: pros and cons

Do you think rolling is more to your taste? Examine the benefits and drawbacks listed below.


  • Prompt and simple to carry out
  • Very space-efficient (especially for carry-on bags).
  • Instead of digging around, you can quickly locate whatever you're looking for in your bag.
  • This method is applicable to a wide variety of clothing, including shirts, pants, and sweaters


  • Produce more creases than folding
  • Shirts that wrinkle easily shouldn't be washed in this.
  • Not recommended for use with bulky apparel.

Cartage by Carl Friedrik

You can keep your best shirts looking perfect on your trip by using a refined travel-packing technique and the appropriate luggage.

Hard-sided suitcases from Carl Friedrik are made of durable polycarbonate to safeguard your clothing and other belongings on the road.

Each suitcase also comes with a compression pad that can be removed and two compression straps that can be adjusted to fit your needs. These helpful add-ons compress your load and keep your dress shirts from getting wrinkled.

Check out our assortment of luggage to find the ideal bag for your next trip, whether you need a roomy checked bag or a lightweight carry-on.

Looking to upgrade your existing suitcase with a compression pad We carry a variety of practical luggage add-ons that can be purchased separately.

Carl Friedrik polycarbonate luggage set

Even if you're a pro at packing, your dress shirt may still get wrinkled in transit.

Even though an iron is typically available in every hotel room, there are instances when you won't have access to one. However, you shouldn't worry Here are some clever tricks you can use to smooth out any bumps.

An easy method is to close all the windows and doors in the bathroom, hang up your nice shirt, and take a long, relaxing shower.

If that wasn't effective (or if you just don't feel like wetting your hair), you could always try using a blow dryer instead. Turn it up to high and zap the wrinkles flat, making sure to keep the exhaust a safe distance away (about two inches) so as not to char the fabric.

If you can't get the creases out of your collar, you can use a hair straightener to make do. Be sure to clean the plates thoroughly before using them, and avoid scorching the fabric by turning the heat up too high.

Finally, for our British readers, a nice cup of tea is the perfect way to remove wrinkles from a shirt. Start the kettle boiling and hold the spout at arm's length from the trouble area. Once the wrinkles have faded, you can enjoy a steaming cup of Earl Grey.


Is it better to fold or roll a dress shirt for travel?

There are benefits and drawbacks to both methods of shirt packing. Therefore, the best solution is the one that suits you individually.

When it comes to folding dress shirts, eliminating wrinkles should be your top priority. In contrast, give rolling a try if you're more interested in minimizing the amount of hassle and extra baggage you'll have to lug around.

Also, you shouldn't feel obligated to take a stance. Roll your more casual tees and fold your more delicate shirts.

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