Do you have a vacation or business trip planned for the near future? If so, you’ll probably want to bring some dress shirts. Even if you don’t intend to wear a suit, sporting a dress shirt will help you create a cleaner and more formal appearance, especially if you pair it with the right trousers. But you’ll want to think twice before stuffing your dress shirts into your luggage. Even if they’re clean and wrinkle free when you initially stuff them into your luggage, you may discover that they are ridden with wrinkles and creases once you arrive at your destination. To protect your dress shirts, follow these tips when packing them in luggage.
Wash and Dry Them
It’s always a good idea to wash and dry your clothes before packing them in your luggage, and dress shirts are no exception. Granted, you can always wash and dry your dress shirts once you arrive at your destination, but it’s better to go ahead and do this before you pack them in your luggage. Placing dirty shirts alongside your other, already-washed clothes is never a good idea. Dirt, debris and bad odors may leach onto your clean clothes, forcing you to rewash everything in your luggage. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations listed on the care label to wash and dry your dress shirts before packing them in your luggage.
Button Them Up
After washing and drying your dress shirts, fasten the buttons on the front so that they aren’t left open. Leaving the buttons unfastened when you travel won’t damage your dress shirts. It may, however, lead to wrinkles. When the front of a shirt is left open, there’s more loose fabric. And loose fabric is a leading cause of wrinkles. To protect your dress shirts from wrinkles, fasten the buttons on the front before placing it in your luggage.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to a fold dress shirt. Unfortunately, most people use the wrong approach to folding their dress shirts, resulting in wrinkles and creases. So, how should you fold them when preparing to travel? You want to fold your dress shirts into a rectangular shape — the same folding shape used by most retail apparel stores when displaying their dress shirts. This is done by folding the dress shirt in half vertically, tucking the sleeves down, and folding the bottom upwards. You can check out this article by Business Insider for a visual walkthrough on how to fold your dress shirts.
What About Rolling?
Some people prefer to roll up their dress shirts — and that’s okay too. However, rolling up a dress shirt means that it will take up more space, and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t completely protect them from wrinkles. Even when rolled up, your dress shirts may still develop wrinkles. Wrinkles are less likely to occur, though, if you fold them using the method previously mentioned.
Bring an Emergency Kit
If you’re traveling for an important event or occasion, consider bringing an emergency kit with your dress shirts. This kit should include common items that you can use to repair your dress shirt if it breaks. Although you can use your own imagination when creating an emergency kit, some items that you may want to include are extra buttons, stain-removing wipes, a sewing needle and thread. Hopefully, nothing happens to your dress shirts. But if you discover a missing button or other damage, you can repair it using this kit. Without an emergency kit on hand, you’ll be forced to take your damaged dress shirt to a professional tailor.
Place a Dryer Sheet On Top
A neat little hack to make your dress shirts softer and smell better is to place a dryer sheet on top of them. After you’ve washed and folded your dress shirts, place them in your luggage. Before closing it, toss at least one dryer sheet on them. When you arrive at your destination and open your luggage, you’ll smell the fragrant aroma of the dryer sheets coming off your dress shirts. As a side benefit, dryer sheets also protect against static cling. With winter fast approaching, this is a huge benefit, as static cling is more common during the cold months than the warm months.
Secure Them in Place
It’s important that you secure your dress shirts in place when packing them in your luggage. If they are loose, they’ll get knocked around when you travel, thereby negating all the hard work that you invested into folding them. The easiest way to secure your dress shirts in place to pack them tightly together. Ideally, you should fill nearly every square inch of available luggage space. Any unused space means that your dress shirts or other items may knock around. If you don’t have enough dress shirts to create a secure, tight fit, toss some other garments in your luggage, such as jeans and trousers.
Beware of Liquids
If you’re going to pack other items in your luggage, you should consider whether or not they can damage your dress shirts. Many men, for example, store cologne alongside their dress shirts. If a cologne bottle breaks open, though, it may saturate nearby clothes. Not only does cologne have a strong smell, but it can also permanently stain fabrics. If you’re going to carry liquids like cologne, place them in a sealed container or bag before placing them in your luggage. If the bottle breaks, the container or bag will protect your dress shirts and other items from damage.
Bring a Variety
Perhaps the most important tip to follow when packing dress shirts in your luggage is to bring a variety. If you’re going on a seven-day vacation and only bring two dress shirts, you may find yourself wearing the same shirt up two or three times. Consider the weather and the occasion, and bring a variety of dress shirts that are appropriate.