I’ve been a costumer for film and television for the last twelve years, so I know a thing or two about garment care. Last weekend’s travel to the Emmy Awards made me realize that I’ve learned a few tricks that help me look (and smell) fresh as a daisy while I’m traveling. So, here are 10 tips to help you stay put together, even when you’re living out of a suitcase!
1. Choose Friendly Fabrics
I know, your linen dress is sooooo cute, but that thing will stay wrinkled all day every day. Fabrics like polyester, wool, denim and knits don’t wrinkle as easily, so they are more likely to look nice after you pull them out of the bottom of your suitcase.
2. Pack Properly
Don’t you dare cram your clothes into a bag and expect them to come out looking good. Most clothes can be rolled to avoid a lot of creases. Suits and dresses should be carefully folded.
3. Use Dryer Sheets
Throw a few dryer sheets in between clothing layers to keep everything smelling fresh. Dryer sheets can also be rubbed on clothing to help reduce static electricity.
4. Hang Clothes
As soon as you get to your hotel, get your clothes out of the suitcase and into the closet. The less time they spend folded, the easier it will be to remove the creases.
5. Spray Wrinkle Release
Once your clothes are hung, you can give them a quick spray of wrinkle release to help relax the fabric. You probably don’t want to spray anything you plan on wearing right away, since it may look and feel wet for a bit.
6. Iron Wisely
You probably (hopefully) know how to iron a basic shirt, but you should also know that you can’t iron everything (#tbt to that time my sister melted my polyester soccer shorts). Almost all irons show which settings are best for which fabrics, but if you’re not sure, don’t risk it.
7. Use a Steamer
For clothing that can’t be ironed, use a steamer. Either pack a hand steamer or ask the front desk of your hotel if you can borrow one. Still sans steamer? You can use the iron in your room! Fill it with water and make sure the steam button is turned on, then hold it next to, not touching, your garment while you press the steam button.
Pro tip: Steaming also helps erase deodorant stains from clothing!
8. Hang Clothes in Shower
This is for the lazier travelers who want to look good without any real effort. Assuming you actually took the time to hang your clothes, simply put them in the bathroom while you shower and close the door. The steam from the hot shower will help relax the fabric and minimize the wrinkles.
9. Have Dirty Laundry Bag
Don’t mix your dirty clothes and clean clothes unless you want everything to smell like that seafood restaurant you dined at on the first day of your trip. Use a mesh beg for your soiled laundry so it doesn’t trap smells and moisture indefinitely.
10. Keep Shoes Separate
Have you ever noticed that zipper at the bottom of your suitcase? It’s for your shoes! Keep those stank nasty shoes and their filthy soles away from your clothes. If your travel bag doesn’t have a shoe compartment, put them in a separate bag before you pack. If your shoes are extra stinky, try a little baby powder to ease the odor.
Now, get out there and show the world how you can look put together anytime, anywhere!
Need a little guidance on how to pack for your next trip? Check out my packing lists!