Tying your own tie. Making your bed. And of course, folding your clothes — specifically your fancy ones.

What do all of these things have in common? They’re all skills and habits every guy should learn and practice. No matter who you are, these are things you absolutely need to know and have down to a science.

If there’s one thing that can completely ruin an outfit, it’s wrinkles. You might not think they’re noticeable, but trust us, they definitely are — especially if you let it get out of control. 

You wear your dress clothes to only the best events. Even if it’s just an average day at the office, you still want to look your best.

If it is a special occasion, well, you’re simply not going to want to roll up with a wrinkled shirt. It’s just like having a bad stain — noticeable and an outfit ruiner. 

With all that being said, we’re here to help you learn how to properly fold your dress shirts to avoid bad wrinkles.


What’s the Easiest Way To Fold a Dress Shirt?

When it comes to folding, especially with nicer clothes, everyone is going to have their own opinion on what’s right and what does or doesn’t work. 

Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a bulletproof system stemming from multiple opinions on the best possible method for folding dress shirts. 

When you walk into a room, the first thing people are going to notice is your outfit, especially your shirt. You want it clean, crisp, and of course, wrinkle-free. A small wrinkle here and there isn’t the end of the world, and sometimes it can be unavoidable.

However, making a mess with your fabric is avoidable. 


1. Button the Buttons First

First thing’s first — you never want to fold an unbuttoned shirt. Leaving a shirt unbuttoned and folding it is asking for a disaster as the buttons give you more control over where everything goes.

When the shirt is unbuttoned, the fabric is going to go everywhere you don’t want it to. The only solution to this problem is the buttons. 

Start with making sure every button is ready to go and lay your shirt with the front side first so you’re looking at the back. Proceed to extend each sleeve as far as it can go.


2. The First Fold

Now, you’re ready to begin the fold. Take the right sleeve across the back of the shirt and place it on the opposite side. 

The cuff should be roughly two-thirds down from the length of the left sleeve, which should remain untouched until the fourth step.


3. The Second Fold

After step two, you’re ready to start the next fold. Grab the right sleeve again and fold it back over itself. The cuff should now be directly in-line with the bottom-most hemline of the shirt.

This will create a diagonal and visible line from the right shoulder above the sleeve right down through the center of the shirt.


4. The Third Fold 

After completing steps one to three, it’s time to start on the other side. 

Nothing new here — you’re simply going to repeat the previous steps with the left sleeve. The result should be your shirt laying face down with the left and right sleeves parallel and almost completely covering the back. 


5. The Fourth Fold 

Now that you have your shirt face down with the sleeves properly folded and ready for action, you’re almost done.

Next, fold the shirt from the bottom to the top slowly in thirds. You can do it again across the middle depending on the size you want your shirt to end up in. 

There you have it: a properly folded dress shirt! Clearly, the process isn’t difficult, and anyone can do it. Once you have this mastered, it’ll become second nature. Practice a little if you want, but it seriously is one of the easiest things to perfect. 

When it’s all said and done, there’s no doubt you’re going to be a mean folding machine — and more importantly someone who never shows up in wrinkled clothes.


How Do You Pack a Dress Shirt in a Suitcase?

Now that you know how to fold a dress shirt, you’re going to need this skill for a few more situations besides putting it away in your closet or dresser. 

For example, when you take a trip somewhere, you’re going to have to bring one of two things: a suitcase or a backpack, depending on how long you’ll be gone. We’ll get to the backpack later, so let’s focus on suitcase packing for now.

Suitcases give you the most room, so if your trip is longer than two to three days, we highly recommend bringing a bigger bag so you can avoid wrinkles. 

If your suitcase rolls, it’s likely the metal rods are going to run straight through your suitcase and stick up. This isn’t always the case, but if it is, avoid placing your dress shirts directly on top of this at all costs. 

We recommend placing everything that can get wrinkled on the bottom, such as underwear, socks, bathing suits, and any type of non-clothing item that isn’t super fragile. From there, you can either place your dress shirt on the very top or make a dress shirt sandwich by placing more items on top and below.

Remember, there’s a lot of movement in your bag when you travel, so sometimes wrinkles can be unavoidable. Preparing as much as you can before you go is the best way to decrease the odds of a wrinkle.


How Do You Pack a Dress Shirt in a Backpack?

If you’re headed somewhere for only a short amount of time, a backpack might be in your best interest so you don’t have to pay those pesky and outrageous airline fees. 

If that’s the case, your backpack could cause a lot of problems with your clothes, especially your dress shirts. Backpacks have far less space than suitcases, so even if you’re bringing a lot fewer clothes and items, it’s still going to all be squeezed together. 

How can you avoid this? First, you’re going to more or less repeat the folding steps up until the final fold. Instead of a traditional fold, you’re going to roll the shirt up to compact it as much as possible without spreading it out. 

You might still be left with some wrinkles, but far less than if you were to simply shove it in the backpack with the rest of your belongings. 


How Do You Wash a Dress Shirt?

After traveling and packing your shirt, you’re going to need to wash it when you get back. Unpack your suitcase and get ready for the cleanest shirts of your life. 

First, you want to make sure to pre-treat any stains with stain remover. Then, unbutton all of the buttons and remove collar stays.

To wash the shirt, put it on a delicate or gentle cycle. It’s best to use hot water for white and light colored shirts, and cold water for dark colored shirts. When it’s done, remove it from the wash and hang it to let it air dry. Finish everything off by ironing it before you hang it up.


All Citizens: Better Dress Shirts for Everyone

There’s one more solution to wrinkles we forgot to mention: you could just buy a dress shirt with anti-wrinkle properties, such as the All Citizens Performance Dress Shirt.

The Performance Dress Shirt is machine washable so you’ll never have to waste money at the cleaners. The commute-ready material also contains moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties, so a quick change into a fresh shirt is never necessary. 

The thick collar and hidden collar buttons are there to ensure your collar is always standing tall and looking as sharp and crisp as ever. 

Finally, the tailored athletic fit means your shirt will never be too short or baggy, no matter how you tuck it. 

At All Citizens, we’ve made it a personal goal to democratize comfort for all, one shirt, shorts, and pair of underwear at a time. We hope you’ll join us on our journey and never forget how to properly fold your shirt.


How to Fold a Dress Shirt for Packing | Art of Manliness

The Right Way To Pack A Dress Shirt | Insider

The Best Ways to Pack Dress Shirts for Airline Travel | USA Today

October 17, 2022 — Bridget Reed

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