How to Fold and Pack a Dress Shirt

Not sure how to fold a dress shirt properly?

After a long trip, using a hotel iron to straighten out your shirts can be a hassle.

But there’s a way to deal with this ordeal – packing your dress shirts the right way!

How to Fold a Dress Shirt Properly

The first thing you need to do is always take a freshly laundered shirt.

How to fold and pack a dress shirt

I would advise you to take the dress shirts out of the dryer and iron them as soon as they are done to avoid any excessive wrinkles.

Next, you need to find a flat, dry, and clean surface to fold the shirt on.

If you can’t find such a spot, I recommend taking a towel and spreading it across the surface to keep the shirt from getting dirty.

Completely Button-Up the Dress Shirt

The first step to folding dress shirts requires fastening up all the shirt buttons, including the front buttons, cuff buttons, and collar buttons.

This is important to help hold the shirt folds together and avoid any undesirable wrinkles and creases.

Once all buttons are done, place the shirt with the button side facing down on a flat surface.

Flatten it out by running your hands over the shirt to smooth out the fabric.

Fold Sleeves Across the Back

Take one of the arms and fold it straight across the shirt’s back.

Fold it so that the cuff ends up at the seam of the opposite shoulder.

Repeat the same process with the other arm.

Once both arms are done, run your hands against the shirt to even out the fabric.

Fold Sleeves Forward Toward the Collar

Next, you have to make another fold with the sleeves. However, this time the fold has to be upward.

Once your shirt sits face down with both sleeves folded across the back, take one sleeve and pinch its bottom from the cuff.

Now fold this sleeve in a way that it overlaps over the rest of the sleeve.

You can also make this fold at an angle that forms a broad V-shape.

Make sure the folded sleeve meets the shirt’s collar. In other words, the sleeve’s cuff must be near the collar.

Do this with both sleeves.

Folding the Dress Shirt’s Sides

You can also fold the dress shirt’s sides; however, this step is optional.

If you want to leave more space for other stuff in the bag, you can fold it toward the center from both sides.

By folding the dress shirt at the sides, you’ve divided your shirt horizontally into thirds.

Again, this step is optional. It might create more space but at the expense of creases and wrinkles.

Fold the Dress Shirt from the Bottom

Next, you have to fold the dress shirt from the bottom using both hands.

Take the shirt’s tail and fold it lengthwise. You can either make one-fold or two folds.

Make one fold if it’s a short shirt. The fold should be such that the bottom edge lines up right below the shirt’s collar for shorter shirts.

Make two folds if it’s a long shirt.

Fold it one-third from the hemline up toward the collar.

Then, take the folded edge and bring it up under the collar.

Both folds should overlap each other equally.

Pack Folded Dress Shirt Into a Suitcase

All is done. Your folded shirt is ready to be packed in your suitcase or bag.

Make sure to flip it over so that the front face is upward.

Repeat these steps for all your dress shirts, and you will be ready for the trip.

Roll Up Your Dress Shirt to Save Space

If you want that extra space in your bag, it is a good idea to roll up your dress shirt instead of folding it.

How to fold and pack a dress shirt by rolling

It is quite simple if you follow the steps correctly:

  1. Lay your shirt on a flat surface with the button side facing up
  2. Take the shirt’s bottom and fold it upwards around 3-4 inches. This creates a pocket to tuck in the shirt’s body.
  3. Fold the shirt into a third of its size by folding it inwards from both sides. Make sure you fold the sleeves alongside.
  4. Now fold both shirt sleeves so they fall into the center. The overall shape of the shirt will now resemble a rectangle.
  5. Now it is time to roll. Take the shirt from the top and roll it downwards. Make sure the rolls are as tight and neat as possible. Also, roll it inwards from the backside, which has the sleeves folded towards the center.
  6. Tuck the shirt’s body into the bottom fold you created in the first step.
  7. All rolled shirts must be placed at the bottom of the suitcase. It creates a level base for the rest of the stuff.

While rolling dress shirts can save space, not all fabrics are rolling-friendly, so make sure you know what you are dealing with.

How to Prepare Dress Shirt for Travel

If you often have to wear suits and need to prepare a dress shirt for travel, it’s good to know when it’s appropriate to roll or fold the shirt.

Place dress shirts on top to avoid wrinkling

Minor details make all the difference between a neatly packed shirt and one that falls prey to a myriad of wrinkles.

Also, it’s helpful to learn to pack the suit properly along with your shirt.

Should You Roll or Fold the Dress Shirt for Travel?

This is a simple debate for anyone because rolling shirts for travel is preferable to folding if you want to save space.

Moreover, clothing that easily wrinkles, such as linen shirts or cotton button-downs, is better rolled than folded.

On top of it, rolling also helps those packing in a hurry because it doesn’t take much time either once you get the hang of it.

Subsequently, folding is best done if the fabric is too thin or thick.

Imagine rolling a wool sweater. It will take way more space being rolled than being folded.

Avoid Wrinkles With Proper Shirt Placement

The best way to prevent wrinkles on your folded dress shirts is to put them last in the suitcase.

This helps them stay on top of the rest of the stuff, ensuring no pressure is applied for creases and wrinkles.

However, if you end up rolling your shirts, I would suggest putting them first in the suitcase because that’s how you can create an even base for other stuff.

Take the Shirt Out of the Suitcase Once You Reach the Destination

It is vital to take the shirt/s out of your suitcase as soon as the destination is reached.

Use a wooden hanger to hang the shirt once you remove it from your suitcase.

Use a wooden hanger to hang the shirt

This allows any minor wrinkles to fall out naturally, especially if it’s a fabric that wrinkles easily.

The longer the shirt sits in the suitcases, the more prone it is to wrinkling and creasing.

For even better results, hang the shirt in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. The steam will help to relax the fabric and release more wrinkles.

Iron the Shirt after Unpacking if You Still See Wrinkles

Iron a dress shirt right away if you see wrinkles on the dress shirt after unpacking.

You can also wait to iron them until you have to wear them, but it’s best to put clothes in neat condition beforehand.

Besides, you wouldn’t have to spend much time ironing the wrinkles from an unpacked dress shirt since these are only minor wrinkles.

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