One of the greatest moments in contemporary cinema occurs in Reality Bites, in which Jeaneane Garofalo instructs Winona Ryder how to properly fold a shirt at The Gap. Channel this dynamic duo when packing the duffel for holiday travel. With a few tips, you'll save space and your clothes will emerge looking great.
Resealable Plastic Bags are Your New Best Friends
For jewelry, for toiletries, even for your shoes, the plastic bags will help keep items separated and corral spills.
Pair Like With Like
Stuff your socks inside your shoes, and stuff your bra with panties to help the cups keep their shape. (If you don't wear molded cup bras, then fold your undies, which will take up less space.)
Some Clothes Were Meant to Be Rolled
Rolling clothes can minimize wrinkles and maximize space. Rolling is best for soft items, like underwear, T-shirts, jeans, cotton pants, and knits.
Others Were Meant to Be Folded and Bundled (Like Newspapers!)
Button down shirts and blazers won't stand up to rolling. For these, try the bundle technique, in which multiple items are folded together in a kind of Gordian knot of clothes. Bundling saves serious space but also really cuts down on wrinkles.
Combine Rolling, Folding, and Bundling and You Get the Clown Car Approach
For your most wrinkle-prone silk blouses and dresses, put the items inside dry cleaner's plastic wrap, then fold as usual. The slippery surface of the bag keeps clothes shifting and sliding, so a wrinkle doesn't even have a chance to set.
No, You Do Not Have to Wear Your Beach Hat on the Plane
There are other options when you're headed to the shore. Stuff the crown of your hat with scarves, socks, and other soft items, then lay it brim-side down on the bottom of your suitcase and arrange rolled clothes around it.
Keep It All Fresh
Clothes are a little like people — packed into such close quarters, they can start to smell a bit musty. Layer a dryer sheets or two between your clothes or toss in the sachet of lavender from your underwear drawer.
Wear Your Bulkiest Items
Those killer boots, jeans, thick, waffle knit cashmere sweater and puffy coat? That sounds like a great outfit for the plane, because packed they'll take up way too much space.