Going on vacation with a very minimal wardrobe is no excuse for anyone to dress sloppily. Especially if you’re going on a business trip, you need to make sure you look and dress the part. Check out these tips to figure out the most effective way for you to pack those formal wear and avoid wrinkling:
- Take extra care when folding your shirts
Seasoned travelers highly recommend rolling your shirts up to maximize luggage space. Yet, you can’t just do the same for dress shirts. There’s an art to do it, and it’s not as hard as many think. Start by making sure that your shirts are free of creases. They should have been properly ironed and starched just the way you want them to be. Folding up creased shirts will guarantee more creases and wrinkles in your luggage, so before you pack, make sure that the clothes you are actually packing aren’t disheveled.
Now that you’ve got that covered, start by buttoning the shirt up and laying it out on a flat surface. Fold both arms over the back of the shirt. When doing so, be careful to smooth out creases in the fabric. Now fold both sides of the shirt in so that their edges meet in the middle of the back of the shirt. Afterwards, fold the top down until the collar meets the bottom of the shirt and lays flat. In every step, always take the time to smooth out creases in the fabric. Not doing so will guarantee wrinkles in your shirt, making them look like they’ve been slept in.
- Don’t pack too tightly
As much as you want to maximize your luggage space, this is an ultimate no-no when it comes to packing dress shirts. Regardless of the material, it will easily get wrinkled when pressure is applied to a fold. You’d easily know if your bag is too stuffed if you have difficulty forcing the clothes down to make the cover and body of your suitcase meet. What you should do instead is to stack them neatly into your luggage. The best way to go about it is to secure them in place with straps, so that they wouldn’t slide around.
- Put your dress shirts in boxes
There will be times, even if you’ve done everything carefully from folding properly to packing loosely, you will still be surprised to see wrinkles in your shirts. It’s not 100% fool-proof, especially when you’re on a long-haul flight, as even just a small amount of pressure on the shirts can still lead to wrinkles.
If you want to make sure your dress shirts are absolutely scot-free, putting them in shirt boxes is absolutely the best way to go about it. Make sure that when you pack them in your luggage, you don’t crush the boxes together. By now, you can probably imagine what that would result to.
- Pack by the bundle
Although the previous tips have been centralized on folding techniques, this ingenious one actually involves zero folding! Instead, it requires you to bundle your shirts around a flat object like your books or magazines. Start with your clothes that you don’t mind getting creased then lay the object on your shirt and carefully draw the collar, arms and bottom up over it. Once you’re done, wrap a towel around the bundle to keep it together so you can pack it. This time, it’s important for the bag not to have any loose spaces to prevent your clothes from shifting. You can do this by filling up the gaps with socks, pants, shoes and other necessities you will be bringing. This tip can be your last resort if you’re packing too many dress shirts and can’t fit shirt boxes in your luggage.
- Make good use of the plastic from the laundry
Another option you may wish to consider is not folding your clothes and putting them in plastic bags, as if they were from the dry cleaners. The plastic bags create a semblance of a barrier that prevents the clothes from being too tight with each other and thus prevents it from wrinkling. Take note that when you’re going down this route, you have to put the plastic bags on the topmost layer of your luggage. Putting them on the bottom is just an absolute recipe for disaster and will defeat the purpose of plastic protection entirely. No plastic can withstand weight after all.
- Arrange your items inside your luggage properly
Realistically speaking, you will not be only bringing dress shirts with you when you travel. Truth is, you will also need the right kind of shoes and a grooming kit, among many others. In order to pack efficiently, you need to place your shoes in your bag first. Best to make use of the spaces on the side to have ample space for your other items on the bag. It is recommended that you stuff your shoes with items such as socks, ties and small bottles of toiletries, so you don’t waste any space. Next, make sure to tightly roll and carefully arrange your undershirts, jeans, and other items you’ve deemed to be non-delicate. Arrange them in such a way that folded or bundled up dress shirts won’t have too much space to move around in order to avoid friction.
If you’ve tried all these tips and can’t get any to work for you, here’s a bonus one for your consideration: Bring a small bottle of wrinkle release! This miracle worker helps in ironing out the creases of your clothes just by a little tugging and smoothing out. If all else fails, you can always ask your hotel if they can lend you an iron or a steamer for your shirts. It may be a little inconvenient, but at least you know it’s not the end of the world. However, just a few sprays of the wrinkle release can do the trick.