If you are traveling somewhere soon that requires a dress shirt, perhaps a meeting, graduation, wedding, or another formal event, you should be familiar with how to fold a dress shirt for travel.
The last thing you should do is pack your dress shirt like it’s any other piece of clothing in your luggage – because it isn’t.
But, if you’re like most people, you know to hang your dress shirts, not how to fold them. In this article, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about traveling with dress shirts, including how to fold them properly.
Steps To Fold a Dress Shirt for Travelling
There are several ways to fold a dress shirt for traveling, and, depending on the size of the shirt, quality of materials, and other various factors, some methods work better than others.
That said, for the sake of keeping things simple, we’re going to share with you a universal method for folding dress shirts for traveling:
1. Step One
Lay your shirt out in front of you, facing up (so you can see the buttons), with the sleeves apart, and button the shirt up (all the way to the top button).
2. Step Two
Flip the shirt over so that the front is facing down on the table (or whatever flat surface you are folding on) and re-spread the sleeves out to check for wrinkles.
3. Step Three
Taking caution to avoid folding the side seams, fold the shirt sleeves inward toward the middle of the shirt (you should still be looking at the back of the shirt).
4. Step Four
Re-check your side seams and make sure that they are even with the shoulder-hem. When they are, you should have a v-shape out of the sleeves (where they meet at the collar), it is time to fold the shirt directly in half.
5. Step Five
After you’ve folded the sleeves into the middle of the back, created a proper v-shape under the collar, and folded the shirt in half, you may fold the shirt in half one or two more times. Do so starting from the bottom and folding the shirt upward.
6. Step Six
Inspect your now folded dress shirt and make sure that it is a job well done. If you’re satisfied with your folding, simply pack it into your luggage and you’re done.
What About Rolling A Dress Shirt for Travel?
Rolling clothing is another great option for those who travel a lot and desire to save space in their luggage. That said, rolling a dress shirt for traveling does practically nothing in regards to preventing wrinkles.
This military-style type of packing clothes is compact and works better than merely shoving your dress shirt into your bag, but is not a real alternative to properly folding your dress shirts for traveling. Even more, rolled clothes tend to bunch up and produce even more wrinkles while traveling.
All in all, rolling clothes for traveling is a great space saver but does not replace the need to learn how to fold a dress shirt for travel. And truthfully, whether folded or rolled, if you pack too many clothes, your dress shirt is going to end up wrinkled regardless.
How to Revive Wrinkled Dress Shirts While Travelling
There are numerous reasons why/how your dress shirts become wrinkled such as the fabric and weave of the actual shirt, how many clothes are packed all together, and how long the clothing stays packed. The more clothes in your bag, and the longer they stay there, the more wrinkles you will discover once you unpack things.
But, regardless of how much effort we put into preserving the wrinkle-free quality of our dress shirts while traveling, there are going to be times when you just can’t avoid it. In these situations, when you have little time to prepare before you need to be somewhere, in your dress shirt, and looking for best, there are a few hacks you should be aware of:
- Use an ironing board, which most hotels and hostels have if you request it
- Hang your shirt on the bathroom shower curtain rod, spray it with a bit of water, and run the heat up in the room
- Spray water directly onto the wrinkles of your shirt and then dry the areas with a hairdryer
Choosing the Best Dress Shirt for Traveling
Now that we’ve discussed how to fold a dress shirt, and how to deal with wrinkles, it’s time to talk about the qualities to look for in the best dress shirts for traveling.
1. Quality of Materials
Like with most purchases, the quality of materials that it consists of is one of the most important factors to consider. Not only does the quality of materials determine most of the other factors that qualify a great dress shirt, but it is also a personal choice.
The best dress shirt should not only be comfortable, some sort of material you enjoy, but it should also make you feel confident in your attire. Furthermore, the material should be breathable so that regardless of temperatures and weather factors you are able to avoid excessive sweat and odor.
Polyester, cotton, spandex, and nylon, are amongst the most popular types of materials and mixes of materials found in excellent dress shirts. Wool is a great choice as well, as it keeps you cool when its warm out, and warm when it is cold.
Dress shirts are not necessarily designed for traveling which is why you should be extra critical when picking one out for such. Many dress shirts are advertised as UV-resistant and wrinkle-free. Take advantage of such deals when possible.
Furthermore, packing as little as you can, dress shirt wise, will allow you a much easier trip and less to worry about. However, if your dress shirts are not versatile enough, this won’t be an option. So, when shopping, try to keep an eye on shirts that work well for more than a single type of event. If you can wear a shirt for a business meeting, a wedding, and dinner, you have found a winner.
It should go without saying that you should avoid button-ups with crazy prints and logos. Rather, look for sleek, well-fitting, solid-colored shirts that make you feel good and confident.
An excellent dress shirt lasts for a long time if maintained properly. Again, this is where material and versatility come in to play. For example, a nylon and polyester shirt is very stretchable, so is less likely to be torn. And, wool, is heavy-duty, so naturally lasts a longer time than lighter materials such as cotton.
The higher the level of durability possessed by your potential dress shirt purchase, the better. You will get more use out of it and not need to replace it nearly as soon as a cheaper less high-quality dress shirt.
Depending on the materials used in dress shirts, their weight can vary greatly. And, it’s really a no-brainer that the lighter your clothing is, the less weight your luggage is, the easier your trip will be as far as traveling goes.
So, when shopping for the best dress shirt, keep in mind the weight. Again, the material is crucial here as fabrics like wool will be heavier than cotton. Likewise, polyester and nylon will are amongst the lightest.
However, also keep in mind that lightweight is not always the right choice. Depending on where you are going, what time of year it is, and other factors, a heavier shirt is not necessarily a bad thing. And, only you can be the judge of that.
Traveling for business meetings, weddings, and other major events is always exciting. That said, learning how to fold a dress shirt for traveling will save you time and money (no extra services such as ironing or dry cleaners will be necessary) and make your trip that much more enjoyable with one less thing to worry about.
Furthermore, just remember that no matter what type of dress shirt you travel with, or how you fold it for that matter, it can still become wrinkled while traveling. So, keep in mind our tricks for reviving wrinkles with little effort.