The Best Way To Pack A Dress So It Stays Wrinkle-Free

Traveling out of town for a big event, like a wedding or a family reunion? Perhaps you plan on dressing up to see friends you haven't hung out with in a long time. Many of us love getting fancy when we travel, and sometimes that involves dresses. You might spend a lot of time picking out just the right one, and then you get home and reality hits you: How are you going to pack it?

Dresses don't exactly lend themselves to folding neatly, and doing it the wrong way can make you look like you slept in it. Doing laundry when traveling isn't ideal, and unless you're in a place that happens to have an iron and an ironing board, what do you do when you unpack a crumpled mess? There are hacks for that, but wouldn't it be great if those wrinkles never got there in the first place? Let's talk about the best way to pack a dress so it stays wrinkle-free — and what to do if you end up with them anyway. 

The best way to pack a dress

To pack a dress in a way that keeps it neat, you must start with a wrinkle-free garment. That means using the iron before you pack. Then, if possible, clear off a table to do the folding. Here's how to start: Save any plastic dry cleaning bags that you can and put that or a large piece of tissue paper down and put the dress on it. We even like to put a second bag or tissue paper on top of the dress. This can help keep wrinkles down. 

Spread the dress on the table (with its paper or plastic), pulling the bottom sides out as far as they'll go. As you fold, smooth out the wrinkles and fold the plastic or paper with the dress. Tuck in any straps, then fold the wider part of the skirt into the center. Do the same with any sleeves. Then fold down from the top and up from the bottom. 

The next big step is to make sure you're putting the folded dress on a flat surface in your suitcase. Many suitcases have bars in the back that make the bottom lumpy, so putting in other things to even out the surface can help. Plus, packing the dress(es) on top of the rest of your clothing (with all the heavy things on the bottom) can help keep it from getting smushed. Keep each garment separate with its own plastic or paper. 

More packing tips and tricks

There are even more packing strategies that can help keep your dresses fresh from the suitcase. You can invest in a folding board or even make your own to ensure each folded garment is the exact same size. Pull the fabric tightly around the board as you fold to prevent wrinkles. 

After all of your careful packing, your dress might still come out wrinkled. If this happens, you can use small spray bottle filled with water. Give the fabric a light spritz and hang it nearby as you shower so the steam can loosen creases. Of course, you can pack a hand steamer, though this only works if you have the space and available poundage in your suitcase. If you have packed a hair straightener, that can work to get wrinkles out of cuffs or small spots. Overall, when you reach your destination, hang your clothing immediately. 

As far as fabrics, avoid linen, which seems to wrinkle if you merely look at it for too long. Cotton isn't great either. Wool, silk, and hair fibers like cashmere, on the other hand, are all good natural fabric choices that don't wrinkle as easily. This is also one of those times when using synthetic fabrics will benefit you. Things like acrylic, nylon, polyester, and certain poly blends with cotton or wool will be less likely to crease on you. So go ahead and pack that dress with confidence — even better if the dress has pockets.