From cruises, to corporate retreats, romantic getaways, and international adventures, packing to look your best requires planning. Delicate clothing, costumes, and other fragile items require more effort than tossing swimwear and flip-flops into your carry on bag.
Knowing how to pack a dress shirt in a suitcase or how to pack a dress so it doesn’t wrinkle will spare you having to iron on arrival. Instead, follow these pro tips on how to pack delicate clothes, fabrics like silk and linen, costumes, dresses and other tricky items to arrive without a crease.
How to Pack Clothes with Delicate Fabrics
There are several ways to pack to ensure items keep their shape and wrinkle-free. For starters, don’t overpack your luggage. Doing so will literally press wrinkles into your clothes. If you have a lot to fit into your bag, certain folding techniques will help you get the most of your packing space.
While you might not wear silk daily, knowing how to pack a silk dress or how to pack a silk blouse for travel will come in handy for special events or gatherings. Despite its luxurious nature, silk tends to wrinkle and snag easily. Place silk clothing in dry cleaning bags or between other soft clothes in your luggage to protect it from damage.
Linen is a great choice for keeping cool in warmer climates, but it is also notorious for wrinkling. Here are two of the best ways to pack linen clothes so that you don’t look like a crumpled mess.
Padding–Place a rectangular sheet of non-colored tissue paper underneath the linen item and another sheet to cover the top. Then, gently fold the article of clothing with the tissue paper as padding to reduce chances of wrinkling.
Stack and Roll–Gently stack several linen items, then roll them loosely in a cylindrical form before placing them in your luggage. Remember to not overpack, so clothes don’t get pressed.
Velvet is festive and great for the holidays. Learn how to pack a velvet dress in a suitcase or how to keep your velvet jacket or trousers from getting crushed. For a velvet dress or jacket, the best approach is to hang it up and place it in a garment bag. Follow the linen tips above for packing velvet pants.
How to Pack Difficult Clothes and Accessories
Sometimes, the shape of a garment or the way it’s constructed makes packing challenging. Dresses, hats, and costumes are prime examples.
Whether you’re attending a formal event or simply packing for nights out on the town, it’s not ideal to fold and stash your dress in your suitcase. Invest in a modern garment bag to ensure it stays looking its absolute best from the time you board the plane to the moment you slip it on. A good garment bag protects hanging clothing and has pockets for other items, like accessories, folded clothing, and more.
If you’re heading somewhere sunny or just topping off your look, a hat may be on your packing list. Straw and raffia can be easily damaged, while brimmed hats can get misshapen. You don't have to wear your hat. Learn how to pack a hat in a suitcase, so you don’t have to sacrifice style or buy one on vacay.
Start by layering clothing on the bottom of the luggage for cushion. Place the hat in the luggage upside down, and fill the crown with items like socks, underwear, and T-shirts. This will help keep its shape. Continue packing the rest of your clothing around the hat, securing it in place without crushing it. Pack heavy items, like shoes, in a separate area, and never pack a hat with a brim that’s wider than your luggage (unless the hat is foldable).
Can you wear a costume on a plane? This might be a question if you’re traveling around Halloween or other holidays, especially if you have little children who don’t want to miss out on the fun.
The short answer is yes, TSA allows guests to wear costumes on planes–within reason. It cannot have any dangerous features, such as spikes. Even fake weapons won’t fly.
The safest way to transport your costume is in a well-made rolling or carry-on garment bag that has plenty of space for all your needs. These bags will ensure your outfit stays immaculate during travels. If your costume also includes accessories, learn the best way to pack jewelry and other accessories to keep them protected as well.