This article was co-authored by Caitlin Jaymes and by wikiHow staff writer, Janice Tieperman. Caitlin Jaymes is a Closet Organizer and Fashion Stylist based in Los Angeles, California. With a background in Fashion PR and Fashion Design, she specializes in creating wardrobes for her clients with pieces they already own. She has experience working with celebrities, editorial shoots, and men and women of all ages. Caitlin uses fashion and organization to help instill and influence confidence, ambition, and stress-free lifestyles for all her clients. She runs her business by two guiding principles: “fashion has no rules, only guidance on how to look and feel your best” and “life has too many stressors, don’t let clutter be one of them.” Caitlin’s work has been featured on HGTV, The Rachael Ray Show, VoyageLA, Liverpool Los Angeles, and the Brother Snapchat Channel.
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Whether it’s in a dresser or a suitcase, folded clothes provide a helpful and less cluttered way for you to organize your everyday life. At any given time of year, you may have a variety of shirts, skirts, pants, shorts, and other clothes to fold and put away. With the proper methods, you’ll be ready to store your tops and bottoms in no time.
Folding Shirts and Tops
1Make your T-shirts as compact as possible. Place your garment facedown, and bring the left half of the T-shirt to the center. Flip the short sleeve so that it faces the outer edge of the shirt. Repeat this with the right half of the garment before tucking the curved neckline into the shirt to create a rectangular shape. Fold the shirt once more to get it ready for storage. X Research source
- Stick to simple folds. While complex folds might be able to save you a little more space, they are more time-consuming to do and can make it hard to distinguish your shirts from one another. X Research source Jaymes, Caitlyn. Personal interview. 16 December 2019.
- Once you’ve folded your shirt, you can keep it upright in your dresser or wardrobe drawer.
- This type of folding also comes handy when you want to fold T-shirts for travel since it can help you maximize space in your suitcase.
- If the T-shirt is on the larger side, consider folding it in thirds instead of halves.
2Fold polo shirts lengthwise to store them. Place the shirt facedown on a flat surface and check that the shirt is completely buttoned before continuing. Tuck the sleeves into the center of the back, and fold the shirt in half so that the shoulders are touching. Complete the fold by bringing the bottom hem of the shirt to meet the collar. X Research source
- This method also works for dress shirts, or any shirt with buttons.
3Fold tank tops into a small square. X Research source Set the tank top facedown on a flat surface before folding it in half lengthwise, making the garment look like a narrow rectangle. Next, fold the tank top in half again so that it forms a square. Store the tank top in a dresser, or in any place where it will fit.
- If your tank top has thinner straps, tuck them beneath the shirt.
4Keep your dress wrinkle-free by folding it into a rectangle. Set your dress on a flat, smooth surface and brush out any obvious wrinkles from the garment. Fold the dress in half lengthwise and tuck a third of the skirt into the dress, making the garment look like a rectangle. Repeat this process on the opposite side of the skirt before folding it in half or in thirds. X Research source
- Smaller dresses can be folded in half, while larger dresses should be folded in thirds.
- If your dress is especially fancy, consider hanging it up instead of folding it.
5Tuck in the sleeves when folding a long-sleeve shirt. Set your shirt facedown on a smooth surface, like a table. Bring one third of the shirt into the center, folding the long sleeves into an “L” shape as you go. Bring the neckline of the shirt down to the hem so that the garment looks like a rectangle. Fold it half one more time before storing it. X Research source
- With this method, you can store your long-sleeved shirts in an upright position.
6Fold sweaters in half after tucking in the sleeves. Arrange the sweater facedown on a flat surface. Cross both of the sleeves into the center, as if the sweater is hugging itself. Finally, fold the sweater so that the bottom hem touches the neckline of the garment. X Research source
- If your sweater is especially bulky or big, feel free to tuck in the bottom third of the garment before folding it in half.
Putting Away Bottom Garments
1Keep the seams lined up when folding shorts. Fold your shorts in half symmetrically, so the material is creased over the center seam. Next, fold the center seam into the middle of the shorts. Finally, fold the shorts in half lengthwise to hide the seam. X Research source
- Use your hands to flatten the material as you go.
- Ideally, your shorts should look like a smooth, flat square of fabric.
2Fold skirts into thirds to store them. Smooth the skirt with your hands after placing it on a flat surface. Fold the skirt in half lengthwise so that it looks like a narrow rectangle before continuing. Next, tuck in the bottom and top portions of the skirt to make the garment more compact. Finally, fold it in half or in thirds to get your skirt ready for storage. X Research source
- To prevent wrinkles, continue to smooth out your skirt as you fold it.
3Continue folding your leggings in half until they form a small square. Smooth out your leggings on a flat surface before you begin. Crease the material along the center hem so that the legs are touching before folding the leggings in half lengthwise. Finish the fold by tucking one end of the leggings into the waistband. X Research source
- Since leggings are generally made of a stretchier material, try to squeeze them into smaller drawers.
4Fold dress pants along the crease to keep them smooth. Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles, then fold them along the crease or center seam. Check to make sure that the material is smooth before folding the dress pants in half lengthwise. X Research source
- If you don’t have a lot of room to store your nice pants, consider folding them in thirds.
- If possible, try storing your dress pants in a garment bag.
5Fold jeans into thirds. Shake out the jeans on and smooth out the inner pockets with your hands. Next, fold the jeans in half so that the back pockets are touching. After arranging them on a flat surface, tuck the groin seam into the jeans. Fold the jeans lengthwise by halves or thirds depending on where you plan on storing them. X Research source
- When you tuck in the groin seam, it should resemble a small triangle.
QuestionHow do I fold shorts?Community AnswerFold in half from side to side, then bottom to top, it's just like folding trousers.
QuestionHow do I fold a swimsuit?Community AnswerI would look through the storage information in wikiHow's article about caring for swimwear.
QuestionHow would I fold men's t-shirts?Community AnswerFold the shirt from side to side. After you have done that, fold the shirt from bottom to top.
If your clothes tend to get wrinkly, be sure to steam or iron them before you put them away. X Research source
Not all clothes should necessarily be folded. Fancier clothes, like long dresses, gowns, blouses, blazers, coats, and dress pants should be stored on hangers when possible.
When folding long socks, bring the cuff over to the toe.
- ↑ https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/organizing/tips/a33217/how-to-fold-shirt/
- ↑ Jaymes, Caitlyn. Personal interview. 16 December 2019.
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P2hpG0a7hk
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntKVSeXPJ4g
- ↑ https://www.mamaslaundrytalk.com/how-to-fold-a-dress-or-skirt/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRAtYEBVLfk
- ↑ https://www.today.com/style/how-fold-chunky-sweaters-so-they-stay-perfectly-stacked-t67246
- ↑ https://www.mamaslaundrytalk.com/how-to-fold-shorts/
- ↑ https://www.mamaslaundrytalk.com/how-to-fold-a-dress-or-skirt/
- ↑ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oI7EINA1iAk&t=0m17s
- ↑ https://getaway.10best.com/13466299/how-to-fold-dress-pants
- ↑ https://www.mamaslaundrytalk.com/how-to-fold-long-pants-and-jeans/
- ↑ https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-steaming-your-clothes-including-why-its-way-better-than-ironing-245502
About This Article
To fold clothes, start by folding shirts in half vertically with the sleeves together. Fold the arms onto the shirt and then fold the shirt in half horizontally. For pants, fold them in half vertically, and then in half horizontally so that the waist is touching the ankles. From there, you can fold horizontally again to make them more compact, or leave them as they are. If you can’t hang up your skirts or dresses, fold them in half horizontally and vertically to make a rectangle, and fold again horizontally to make a smaller square. If you want to learn how to roll your clothes when you're packing bags, keep reading the article!
Reader Success Stories
"Simple and easy steps following a general square/rectangle theme. Helped me recognise my bad habits in clothes folding; I over-complicate the things; on occasion, the folded items were unrecognisable and had to be unfolded to identify."..." more