Christmas Party Clothing: Travel Guide
With the festive season just around the corner, many of us are gearing up for plenty of seasonal celebrations and parties. From work Christmas dos and family parties to New Year's Eve celebrations, this time of year offers us the opportunity to get dressed up and explore the formal side of our wardrobe. But what if you’re travelling to get to your party? Or you’re getting ready in the office? How do you keep your festive outfits looking their best?
To help festive party-goers look and feel great this holiday season, we’ve created a handy guide to keeping your formal clothing looking clean, fresh, and photo-ready after commuting or travelling. Whether your shirt has spent the day in a suitcase, or your dress has been cooped up inside a dress bag, these simple tips and tricks will help you feel great no matter where you get ready for your Christmas party.
How to prevent clothes from wrinkling in transit
Remove wrinkles before packing: To best ensure that your shirts, suits, and dresses don’t come out wrinkled at the other end, it’s important they aren’t wrinkled before they’re packed. Using an iron or a steamer, take care to remove all wrinkles. From there, hang your clothing on a hanger, ideally away from any other clothing, until you are ready to pack them. The less time they can spend in your bag or suitcase the better, so if possible freely hang your clothing when you arrive at your destination.
Invest in anti-wrinkle clothing/fabrics: Fully wrinkle-resistant fabric is hard to come by, however, many shirts and suits will now offer anti-wrinkle properties to reduce the wrinkles that occur. If you’re purchasing a new suit, jacket, or blouse ahead of your Christmas party, do some research on anti-wrinkle fabrics or brands that offer it.
Use packing cubes or suit/dress bags: Packing cubes and suit or dress bags are a great way to prevent wrinkling, particularly those that are lined or made of reusable plastic. As wrinkling is made worse when the fabric is against the fabric, packing cubes allow you to isolate each item in your suitcase to prevent wrinkling. Slippery/nonabrasive surfaces such as plastic will also reduce the resistance against the fabric, making suit and dress bags ideal for travel as well.
How to iron a shirt
The caveat of the above is the assumption that you feel comfortable using tools like an iron or a steamer. As fewer people are required to wear the classic shirt and tie to work, ironing shirts daily is not as common as it used to be and not all of us feel comfortable taking a hot iron to our expensive clothing.
There are plenty of useful guides and videos online to show you how to iron a shirt, including specific techniques for certain fabrics or tricky areas like pleats, collars, and cuffs. To help you get started, here are a few of the basic tips for using an iron:
- Check the specific care instructions of your formalwear as well as the iron manufacturers’ instructions. This will let you know whether your item is suitable for ironing and may include any additional ironing requirements such as turning the item inside out. The iron may also require a certain amount or even type of water.
- Select the appropriate temperature - most irons will come with a dial setting identifying the best temperatures per fabric type. Once the iron has reached its required temperature, you can begin ironing.
- With the shirt unbuttoned, iron it in sections, ensuring the fabric is flat against the ironing board. Start with the collar, cuffs, and areas around the buttons. Drape the shirt over the ironing board to iron broad/flat sections, while using the narrow end to ‘dress’ the board in areas like the shoulders to achieve a flat surface that you can iron against.
- Take your time - be careful to not rest the iron on the fabric for too long as this may lead to burning the fabric.
- Hang the item immediately after ironing is completed.
How to fold shirts for travel
The best method for folding shirts for travel has been long debated - several factors come into play including fabric type, how heavily packed the suitcase is, the type of case or bag, and so on. Below are a couple of tips on how to best fold a shirt for your Christmas party:
Rolling technique: When it comes to wrinkle prevention, many swear by the rolling technique. This involves removing all wrinkles with an iron or steamer before folding the clothing at the seams and rolling gently into a burrito-type shape, taking care that no wrinkles are rolled up along the way.
Flat folding technique: Similarly, many people swear by the flat fold. Using a freshly ironed shirt, lay the shirt out on a clean flat surface. After buttoning the shirt up, lay it face down, taking care to smooth out any wrinkles.
- Fold along the seams where possible, taking advantage of the natural creases in the shirt
- Fold the shirt symmetrically, mirroring any folds that you make on both sides of the shirt
- Flatten the shirt out with each fold, ensuring you do not fold wrinkles into the fabric
Skip the fold if you can: If you’re transporting a single shirt and jacket for an event, where possible, it’s best to use a suit bag. This is far more likely to keep your suit looking wrinkle-free vs a bag.
No matter where your festive celebrations take place this Christmas, we hope the above guide helps you to get your formalwear from point A to B and still look your best.