How to Fold a Dress Shirt for Travel to Save Space [3 Methods]

Dress shirts are essential items for many travelers, whether they are attending a meeting, wedding, or formal event. However, packing these shirts can be a challenge because they tend to wrinkle easily and occupy a lot of space. Fortunately, there are some ways to fold a dress shirt for travel that will minimize wrinkles and maximize space. In this article, we will teach you how to fold a dress shirt for travel in three different ways that will be super helpful.

How to Fold a Dress Shirt for Travel

While packing dress shirts for travel, you may have plenty of folding choices. You can compare them and choose the one that suits you best.

Method 1: Bundling the Shirts

Method 1: Bundling the Shirts
Method 1: Bundling the Shirts

Bundling is a unique folding technique you may use to prepare your excellent dress shirts for travel. By using this method, you may conserve space while preventing excessive wrinkling of your dress shirts. Although it requires some practice, it will be worthwhile!

Step-by-Step Guide

Make sure you have two or more dress shirts that you want to pack in your bag. Choose a durable and strong shirt because you’ll be using it to fold the others. It implies that the shirt should be made from a fabric that is resistant to tearing or stretching, like cotton or polyester. Now, do these steps to pack them nicely.

  1. Place your dress shirt on a flat surface and check that all the buttons are tightly closed.
  2. Gently place your finger at the neckline and fold both sleeves downwards. Then align them with the sides of the shirt.
  3. Move the left sleeve over to the fold you’ve created and position it on the back of the shirt. If dealing with a shirt with short sleeves, the folded sleeve should be positioned on the upper third of the shirt. If you have a shirt with long sleeves, make sure the folded part of the sleeve goes all the way down.
  4. Repeat the folding process for the right sleeve so that both sleeves are neatly folded along the back of the shirt.
  5. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases, and make sure the shirt lies flat and even. Take another dress shirt, and place it on top by leaving a small portion (around 3-5 inches) hanging beyond the edge of the first shirt.
  6. Envelop the second shirt by folding the first shirt around it and creating a “bundle.” Turn the bundled shirts around so that the front is facing you. Now, they’re ready to be packed into your suitcase.

Using this technique can stop your shirts from getting wrinkled while you travel. But when you arrive at your destination, it’s a good idea to hang or lay out your shirts to keep them looking neat and smooth.


This is one of the best approaches to fold a dress shirt for travel. How? Let’s find out.

  • More clothing can fit in a tiny bag which frees up room in your suitcase.
  • Your shirts won’t crease or wrinkle because they are wrapped around one another and shielded from pressure and friction.
  • It is easy to do because you only need to fold your shirts once and then bundle them together.
  • It is adaptable because it can be used with any style of shirt, whether it has short or long sleeves, cotton or silk.


There are barely any cons to this approach, but keep the following in mind.

  • If you only need to pack one shirt, this approach won’t be helpful.
  • It did not work on thick or heavy shirts as they might make the bundle excessively bulky or difficult to fold.

Suggested Reading: Use Polo Shirts When Traveling to Make Room for More Luggage

Method 2: Folding the Shirts

Method 2: Folding the Shirts
Method 2: Folding the Shirts

The simplest and most common way to pack a dress shirt for travel is to fold it. This strategy can also help in maintaining your shirt neat and wrinkle-free. However, it might not save space. If your suitcase is already full, skip this method. It is only recommended for someone who has a reasonable space in their luggage or has a few shirts to fold only.

Step-by-Step Guide

Sometimes you have to go somewhere fast, and you need to pack your clothes quickly. Don’t worry. You can rely on this folding technique. The best part is you don’t need to do anything hard. Follow these few steps, and your dress shirts will be ready to go.

  1. Begin by locating a flat surface, such as a table, chair, or bed, on which you can lay your shirt. This action will facilitate wrinkle-free folding. Proceed to button up your shirt fully (from the collar down to the bottom) to create a smooth folding.
  2. Position your shirt face down on a flat surface. Fold one sleeve towards the shirt’s center, stopping just short of the collar. This action will result in a third of the front section overlapping the back. Repeat this step with the other sleeve and ensure symmetrical alignment.
  3. After that, fold both sleeves forward, tracing their edges, shaping a distinct “V.” This maneuver reduces bulkiness and enhances compactness.
  4. Finally, fold the lower portion of the shirt (the tail) upwards, lengthwise. Depending on the shirt’s length, you may need to fold it once or twice.

Repeat the process with another shirt. Be sure to layer it over the first shirt while maintaining some space between them.


This approach is beneficial in several ways.

  • This technique significantly diminishes the visibility of wrinkles and ensures your garments maintain a tidier appearance.
  • It’s easy to execute, making the folding process hassle-free.
  • This approach is advantageous for delicate fabrics that tend to wrinkle easily.


Consider the following aspects before following this approach.

  • There’s a chance that folds could create lines on the shirt.
  • You might need to search through your suitcase to find a specific shirt.
  • Takes up a bit of extra space.

Method 3: Rolling the Shirts

Method 3: Rolling the Shirts
Method 3: Rolling the Shirts

For optimal utilization of your bag’s packing area, consider rolling your shirts instead of folding them. Dress shirts of a medium weight benefit the most from this feature. However, you shouldn’t roll shirts made of silk, linen, or wool because of the risk of snagging or creasing the fabric.

Step-by-Step Guide

If the previously mentioned methods haven’t fully convinced you, consider giving this approach a shot to achieve a polished shirt roll!

  1. First off, find yourself a flat surface that’s smooth and clean. Afterward, fasten the buttons on your shirt and place it flat with the back side oriented upwards.
  2. Now, here comes the folding magic. Take your shirt, and fold it right down the middle by creating a crisp vertical line right through the center.
  3. Start by positioning your finger on the left sleeve, then elegantly fold the right sleeve over until those two cuffs come together.
  4. Gently fold both sleeves down the shirt’s body, neatly aligning them with the existing fold-line.
  5. Now, begin rolling the shirt upwards from the bottom and move carefully until you reach the collar.

And there you have it – a tidy and snug little cylinder ready to be stowed away. Use a plastic bag to organize your shirts or fold and stack them neatly. When traveling, packing cubes or compression bags can assist in organizing your folded clothes within your suitcase.


I personally folded my shirts before my trip to the USA. Following are the benefits I gained from this approach.

  • This method is super quick and easy!
  • You’ll free up a lot of space in your suitcase, making it a fantastic option for packing in a carry-on.
  • Finding items in your bag becomes a breeze, saving you from digging around.
  • You can use this method successfully for a wide range of clothing items like shirts, trousers, jumpers, and other garments.


A few problems are also possible in this approach so consider them as well.

  • You might notice more wrinkles compared to the traditional folding method.
  • This technique isn’t ideal for fragile or easily wrinkled shirts.
  • Bulkier clothing may not work effectively with this method.

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Extra Tips for Folding Dress Shirt for Travel

Following are certain extra tips that would help you retain the shirt’s outlook even after packing.

Extra Tips for Folding Dress Shirt for Travel
Extra Tips for Folding Dress Shirt for Travel
  • Use Tissue Paper or Plastic Wrap: To further prevent wrinkles, consider placing a layer of tissue paper or plastic wrap between folded shirts. This acts as a barrier and reduces friction, helping to keep your shirts smooth.
  • Pack Shirts Inside Out: If you’re concerned about delicate fabrics or prints rubbing against other items, pack your dress shirts inside out. This can help protect the outer surface from potential damage.
  • Utilize Collar Supports: To maintain the shape of the collar during travel, insert collar supports or plastic collar stays. This will prevent the collar from becoming flattened or misshapen.
  • Combine Rolling and Bundling: For a unique approach, try rolling each shirt individually and then bundling the rolled shirts together. This can create a compact bundle that reduces wrinkles and maximizes space.
  • Alternate Folding Directions: When folding the sleeves and body of the shirt, alternate the direction in which you fold them with each layer. This can distribute pressure more evenly and reduce the risk of creases.
  • Shake Out and Hang Upon Arrival: Once you reach your destination, gently shake out the shirts and hang them in the bathroom while you take a shower. The steam can help release any minor wrinkles, leaving your shirts looking crisp.
  • Use a Shirt Folding Board: If you want perfectly uniform folds, consider using a shirt folding board. These boards provide guidelines for folding, ensuring a neat and consistent result every time.
  • Pack Heavier Items on Top: If you’re stacking shirts in your suitcase, place heavier items like shoes or toiletries on top. This prevents unnecessary pressure on the shirts, helping to maintain their wrinkle-free state.
  • Practice Before Travel: Before your actual trip, practice the folding methods to become more efficient. This will help you get comfortable with the techniques and reduce the time you spend packing.

Read Next: How to Fold Shorts for Travel to Save Space?


Folding a dress shirt for travel might be a problem for many people since you don’t want to mess up an office meeting, or a corporate gathering. For this reason, whenever you are traveling, use the above-mentioned techniques to fold your dress shirt as these techniques. Personally speaking, this was one of the major problems I had too but now that I have learned about the different ways to fold my dress shirt, it’s all cool!

How to Fold a Dress Shirt for Travel? - FAQs

What is the best method for folding dress shirts to minimize wrinkles during travel?

Bundling the shirts is a highly effective method to minimize wrinkles during travel. By wrapping shirts around each other, they are protected from pressure and friction, resulting in fewer wrinkles.

Which method for folding a dress shirt is best for maximizing packing space in a carry-on suitcase?

The rolling method is ideal for maximizing packing space in a carry-on suitcase. It allows you to roll shirts into compact cylinders, freeing up more room for other items.

Can these methods be applied to dress pants as well?

While these methods are primarily designed for dress shirts, they can also be adapted for dress pants. Rolling, folding, and bundling can all help minimize wrinkles and save space for dress pants during travel.

How can I prevent wrinkles when using the folding method?

When using the folding method, ensure that the shirt is buttoned up completely before folding. This helps to maintain a smooth surface and minimizes the chances of wrinkles during t

Zonash Arshad
Zonash Arshad is a British traveler who has been dwelling around the whole EU to satisfy her wanderlust. She is an LLB graduate from the University of Westminster, which brings legal expertise to her writing along with a strong traveling sense. When she’s not fact-checking, writing, or reviewing the content on Hopdes, she can be found planning her next travel destination in her journal. She was last seen roaming around the Regent St, in London.