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Your Complete Guide to Packing Undergarments

You’ve booked the hotel. You found the perfect restaurants to visit. Your beach towel is washed, dried, and fluffed. You’ve got daytime outfits, nighttime outfits, comfy fits for travel, and everything in between. Now you just have to figure out how to fit it all into one suitcase.

Remain calm, folks. When it comes to packing, the name of the game is saving space—and one of the key space-savers is learning how to properly pack up your underwear.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll teach you how to fold and pack men’s and women’s undergarments to keep your undies fresh, clean, and wearable long after your flight back home, washed or not.

Folding Underwear for Travel

It might be tempting to bunch and shove all your underwear into the corner of your suitcase before you rush off to the airport (because, obviously, you’re running late).

But just like it’s important to wash and care for our underwear, it’s important to keep them organized, too! Larn why it’s so crucial to treat your long johns like the precious cargo they are.

Benefits of Folding Underwear for Travel

There are a few worthwhile advantages of taking an extra few minutes to fold and pack your undergarments with care:

  • Folding keeps underwear wrinkle-free (just in case you want to show them off)
  • Folding properly keeps undies tear, snag, and hole-free
  • Packing thoughtfully means you’ll know exactly where to find a clean pair in a pinch
  • Efficiently folding and packing saves space in your suitcase (more room for souvenirs!)

How to Fold Underwear for Travel

Folding underwear for travel is an easy trick you can learn in minutes and use for a lifetime. Whether you’re working with men’s briefs, women’s cheekies, or that lacy, fancy bustier you only whip out on special occasions, we’ll show you how to fold underwear for any destination and every travel itinerary.

How to Fold Men's Underwear

Understanding how to fold men's underwear for travel involves two techniques: the fold and the roll.

You can try out both and see which works better for your style of underwear. Both methods utilize the elasticity of the waistband to maintain your undies’ structure.

Here’s how to perfect the Fold Method:

  1. Lay your boxers on a flat surface. Fold each side vertically toward the crotch area.
  2. Fold the side with the elastic band about ⅓ of the way down towards the crotch.
  3. Fold the opposite side the rest of the way up, tucking it inside the elastic band. You should be left with a little boxer brief bundle.

Folding Method, not your style? No sweat. It’s time to try the Roll Method, like so:

  1. Lay your boxers on a flat surface. Roll the waistband inside-out about 4 inches over the top of the boxers to create a pocket.
  2. Fold each side inward vertically toward the crotch area, just like the folding method.
  3. From the bottom of the boxers, or the side opposite the waistband, roll towards the crotch until you reach the folded-over waistband. Then, tuck the roll into the waistband pocket. Voilà: another boxer brief bundle, just softer.
How to Fold Underwear for Travel, infographic

How to Fold Women's Underwear

Bottoms up, ladies! Underwear bottoms, that is. Whether you’re comfiest in briefs or giving those cheeks some air time in a thong, these Fold and Roll methods work for most styles of women’s undies.

Here’s how to pull off the Fold Method for panties:

  1. Lay underwear on a flat surface. Fold the crotch up to the top of the waistband.
  2. Fold both sides of the waistband inward toward the middle to create a rectangle shape.
  3. Fold the entire shape in half once more, creating a small cloth square.

And if you favor a more well-rounded result, here’s how to try the Roll Method:

  1. Lay underwear on a flat surface. Fold the crotch up to the top of the waistband.
  2. Fold the left side of the underwear over to meet the right side, making a square.
  3. Roll the square tightly, moving away from you to create a cylinder shape.

How to Fold Bras

Proper folding techniques are especially important for bra-wearers, as it helps this undergarment maintain both structure and elasticity (which, naturally, are of existential importance to a bra).

These nifty bra-folding tricks can be used for both travel and home storage (you’ll thank us later for the extra dresser space) for numerous bra designs.

Let’s start with how to fold a bralette or sports bras:

  1. Lay your bra face-down on a flat surface. Fold the straps down into the center of the bra to create a rectangle shape.
  2. Fold each side of the bra inward, over the straps, and into the middle. You can fold once or in thirds for a more compact finish.

As for these bras’ cupped counterparts? Depending on the build of the bra, you’ll want to treat them as follows:

  • Flexible bras If you’re folding a bra with soft cups, stack them on top of one another. Crease the elastic once and tuck it beneath (excessively folding your bra elastic can lead to wrinkles or pilling).

  • Inflexible or delicate bras – If your bra is made of delicate materials or has a robust (pun intended) build, start by laying it flat, face-up. Insert balled socks into the cops to provide cushioning and retain structure, and pack on top of your other clothing to avoid “squishing.”

  • How to Pack Underwear for Travel

    Packing is a lot like Tetris. The trick to learning how to pack undergarments for travel is to use all of the space you’re working with strategically, from top to bottom—so let’s see how it’s done.

    How to Pack Men and Women’s Underwear

    Whatever your gender, the size of your bag and the length of your trip will invariably affect how you pack underwear for travel.

    However, women with dainty delicates may want to consider how much privacy they need when packing. You could invest in a packing cube, which helps keep your dainties clean, crease-free, and under wraps until you’re ready to unpack. Or, if you don’t mind your delicates being visible, store them at the top of your luggage to keep them from wrinkling.

    Whichever travel underwear you’re bringing along, here are three packing methods to try:

  • The file storage method If you’ve opted to fold your travel underwear, stack them vertically like files in a file cabinet. This uses up horizontal as well as vertical space in your luggage, and can usually fit several pairs into a very small space.

  • The roll layer method If your briefs are rolled, place them in the clothing section of your bag in a single flat layer. Placing them below your clothes offers added privacy in the case of a TSA bag check.

  • The top plop – This style works for both folded and rolled undies. Keep delicates fresh and save valuable luggage space by placing your underwear at the top of your clothing pile. For extra protection, lay a clean t-shirt over them.

  • How to Pack Bras

    A bra and underwear travel organizer can come in handy for packing different types of bras, particularly if you’re frolicking off to a romantic getaway and you plan to pack lots of them.

    If you don’t have a bra and underwear travel organizer, not to worry. Here’s how you can pack your bras straight in your suitcase.

  • The sports stack – Stack folded sports bras and your other sports clothing (leggings, tanks, and tees) in one pile together. That way, you can be ready at a moment’s notice for that sunrise trail ride you promised yourself you’d do at least once.

  • The sock support – For push-up bras or extra lacey delicates, prop cups up with a few pairs of socks to avoid denting during flight turbulence.

  • 3 Packing Tips for Keeping Clothes Clean while Traveling

    We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a few packing tips for how to separate fresh and gently used undies in your suitcase.

    Here’s how to defend the honor of your clean drawers with some protective precautions:

  • Pack a smell-proof laundry bag – One of the best things you can do if you travel a lot is to invest in a travel-sized, smell-proof laundry bag. As clothes get soiled, toss ‘em in the bag, and don’t worry about stink seeping into clean clothes.

  • Bring a travel-sized laundry detergent – You might arrive at your Airbnb delighted to find that they do have a washing machine—but no detergent. Throw a load in and take a load off at the beach instead of rushing out to find a corner store.

  • Remember a waterproof barrier – If you’re traveling to sunny skies and white-sand beaches, don’t forget to bring a bag or barrier to separate wet clothes from dry ones, as humidity and moisture are often the prime culprits for mystery musty smells.

  • Don’t Fold Under Pressure. Fold Underwear—from Tommy John

    Plenty of factors can cause stress when planning a vacation, but packing your underwear shouldn’t be one of them.

    Make first-class folds and whisk those knickers off to paradise with Tommy John. Our undergarments are made for vacation, designed with comfort at the forefront so you can savor every morning, noon, and night off the grid.

    Get ready to turn up, wind down, or finally (you mean it this time) take that sunrise trail ride and shop air underwear, bras, sleepwear, and other classic comforts at Tommy John today.


    Sources:

    1. Small Space Organizing. How to Fold Men's Underwear (3 Space Saving Ways to Fold Boxer Briefs). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gChU2ZupIcU
    2. WikiHow. How to Fold Boxer Briefs. https://www.wikihow.com/Fold-Boxer-Briefs
    3. Tommy John. How to Fold Underwear: Underwear Organization Methods. https://tommyjohn.com/blogs/news/how-to-fold-underwear
    4. Travel Fashion Girl. How to Pack Bras for Travel with Reader Hacks. https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/how-to-pack-bras/