How To Pack Dress Shirts

Learning how to pack dress shirts in a suitcase and keeping them from being wrinkled is a challenge.  A carry-on garment bag is one solution for the traveler that does not mind toting the garment bag over their shoulder.  But if you want to pack your dress shirts in a suitcase, the first thing to remember is to not overstuff the suitcase.

Iron your shirts before you fold them.  Place your dress shirts on top of your other clothes so there is less weight on them.  Fold the dress shirts carefully so there are as few wrinkles as possible before putting them in the suitcase.

  1. Button the dress shirt up from top to bottom and button the cuffs.  This will help get the wrinkles out of the shirt and make it easier to fold.  Do not button or close French cuffs, just fold neatly.
  2. Lay the dress shirt with the buttons down on a solid surface like a table.  Smooth out any wrinkles with your hands so the shirt is flat on both sides.
  3. Take one sleeve and turn it toward the middle of the dress shirt. The cuff should be at the bottom or tail of the shirt.  Flatten it out with your hands so there are no wrinkles.  
  4. Take the cuff of the dress shirt and fold it back on itself so it does not hang over the edge of the shirt.
  5. Fold the other sleeve the same way.
  6. Gather the tail of the dress shirt into your hands and make a fold a few inches up the back of the shirt.  Then fold again so bottom or tail of the shirt is right behind the collar of the short.
  7. Turn the dress shirt over and smooth out any wrinkles with your hands.
  8. Place tissue paper, plastic bags, or plastic from the cleaners in the opening of the shirt to help hold the shape.


  • For that important business trip, you may want to invest in a travel steamer.  It is relatively inexpensive and may save the day when you have to get all of the wrinkles out for your trip.
  • Take you shirts and suits out of the suitcase as soon as you arrive.  Hanging the clothes in the closet will help remove the wrinkles.  If they are still wrinkled, you can hang the shirt in the bathroom while you take a shower.  The steam from the shower may also help remove the wrinkles.
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