There are two camps in the battle of clothes packing: the folders and the rollers. Both certainly can tout the advantages of either method. In the case of folding, it’s faster to do, and many of your items are already folded at home. But rolling takes up less space overall, and it has the added benefit of reducing potential wrinkles. How’s a traveler to know which team to join?

The best-packed suitcases contain a combination of folded and rolled clothing—sometimes, both in the same article of clothing!

How to roll

  1. Lay article of clothing on a flat surface, bottom flat, front side facing up.
  2. Fold in half (along the seam, if applicable).
  3. Begin rolling the item from the short side.
  4. Arrange in the suitcase with the roll opening down.

BEST FOR: All bottoms (pants, shorts, skirts), dresses, jackets, and non-collared tops. Secure items with hair ties to keep them rolled up in transit.

How to fold

  1. Lay article of clothing on a flat surface, with the front facing down.
  2. Fold in one sleeve and one-fourth of the shirt.
  3. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Fold the bottom of the shirt to the top, and flip over so the front is facing upward.

BEST FOR: items made of delicate material (think silk, cashmere, and embellished pieces). Fold them in tissue paper to protect against damage from other items in your suitcase. Collars should always be facing upward and packed at the top of your bag to prevent crushing. Stuff small items (undergarments, socks, scarves) inside the collars to preserve their shapes.

How to combo

  1. Lay articles of clothing on top of each other, with the longest item at the bottom.
  2. Fold all the items in half lengthwise.
  3. Roll the items tightly.
  4. Secure the outfit roll with a hair tie.

Any guesses on which of us likes to fold and who likes to roll?

by Josh and Brent

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