Tan France Wants You To Stop Using This Popular Bag For Packing Light - Here's Why

Fashion designer Tan France wants you to look good — and feel good. As the style expert on the TV series "Queer Eye," France brings his sartorial philosophy to real people, helping them upgrade their wardrobes and lifestyles. "When I'm not dressed the way I want to be dressed, I definitely don't feel as confident. I don't feel as powerful," the designer explained in an interview with Good Morning America. "What I do on the show is to encourage men to dress a certain way to make sure that they feel the best they can possibly feel that day."

France's fashion-forward attitude applies to both everyday life and travel, though — as many of us can personally relate to — looking stylish while living out of a suitcase can take some extra effort. Firstly, France is a fan of packing light with as few bags as possible, as he shared with Real Simple, and he warns against overloading luggage with too many garments. In particular, France told the outlet that travelers who want to look sharp while sightseeing should ditch the vacuum-sealed compression bags when packing their vacation wardrobes.

Vacuum seal bags can wrinkle clothes

Vacuum-sealed compression bags are designed to fit several garments in a plastic, airtight storage cube, allowing you to cram more items in your limited luggage space. For fashionistas, the bags might seem like a handy way to pack more outfit options, but Tan France argues that the containers might make you look more frumpy than fabulous. The reason: The pressure on the garments can cause them to wrinkle before you make it to your destination.

"Most people aren't staying at a hotel that has an amazing iron," France told Real Simple. Even if your room does come equipped with a high-quality iron or steamer, de-wrinkling your clothes can be a major time-suck while you're on vacation. "It's not worth it," France added. "Just pack lighter."

The "Queer Eye" star prefers to keep it simple when fitting clothes in his luggage. Besides skipping the vacuumed packing cubes and containers, he also doesn't waste time rolling each garment. "Folding works just the same. I don't see you saving any more space with rolling," he revealed to PopSugar. "The only thing that I do do is I put as many socks into my shoes as possible. I only take the amount of socks that fit into my shoes, so I'm saving space there. And I will not fold my underwear, I will lay it flat completely, and that seems to save me room as well. Otherwise, you're throwing it in and scrunching it into your suitcase."

Other ways to avoid wrinkled clothes when traveling

Whether you forgo the airtight packing bags on your next vacation or not, there are several other tips that can keep your travel clothes looking fresh and wrinkle-free. One option is to only pack fabrics that are less likely to wrinkle. That means leaving cotton and linen behind (even though they might keep you cool during a hot summer getaway) and packing wool and synthetic materials instead. Keep in mind that there are some exceptions. For instance, cotton denim isn't usually prone to wrinkling. Garments made with stretchy spandex are also less likely to wrinkle compared to stiffer items.

If Tan France's habit of simply folding clothes and placing them in a suitcase or carry-on bag makes you nervous, try organizing your favorite shirts and tailored pants in a packing cube instead. This will help keep the garments neatly folded so you don't have to worry about unwanted creases. Packing folders are another solution that come with a folding board (ideal if you're not a natural Marie Kondo) and an envelope-like organizer to keep garments secure.

Finally, be strategic with weight when layering clothing in your bag. Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, director and co-founder of D'NA boutique in Saudi Arabia, told Harper's Bazaar that she always places heavy garments at the bottom of her luggage and leaves the top for lighter pieces. That way, the delicate, easy-to-wrinkle items are less likely to be crushed under the weight of coats and knits.