How to Pack a Suitcase Like a Pro
The author of Wander Love shares her tried-and-true advice for keeping your clothes—and favorite straw hat—from getting crumpled in transit.
Photos: Courtesy of Aubrey Daquinag
Roll Versus Fold
Ah, that great old debate on rolling versus folding—a topic of comparison like coffee versus tea, New York versus L.A., tom-ay-to versus tom-ah-to. It's true that rolling your clothes is a more efficient use of luggage space than folding them—countless experiments have taken place and overload the internet. But in my own experiments, I've found that I like to do both:
Roll lightweight fabrics you wish to keep wrinkle-free.
Tops, dresses, lightweight bottoms such as trousers, skirts and shorts, underwear ... These are all pieces that are best when rolled because it compresses the garment and minimizes wrinkles. Fold the item in half and get rolling. By pairing similar pieces and rolling them together you can cut the amount of time spent doing this in half.
Fold heavier fabrics such as sweaters and jeans.
There are items of clothing that are just too bulky when rolled up—these are the pieces that are best folded. Instead of packing the folded pieces horizontally on top of each other, place them all together vertically in your suitcase so that you're able to see all of your options instead of only the piece on top.
How to Pack a Hat in Your Suitcase
- Gather all of the items you'll be packing along with your hat, and separate items by material and type: shoes, bags, lightweight fabrics like cottons and silks and heavier fabrics such as denim.
- Pack your accessories in an even layer on the bottom of the bag. Keeping one item made of heavier fabric aside, place about half of your clothing on top of the accessories, creating a flat surface for your beloved hat to sit on.
- Next, take the item made of heavy fabric that you've put to the side, fold it and then roll it up like a sushi roll.
- Place rolled-up, sushi-like item inside the hat, aligning it with the bottom inside edge of the crown. This support will help to maintain the hat's shape.
- There'll probably still be some empty space inside the hat; if so, fill it with another smaller piece or two of clothing in a lighter fabric. You want the inside of the hat to be completely full, but don't overdo it—the last thing you want is for it to stretch.
- When the crown is full, place your hat on top of the flat surface you've made in your suitcase. Then pack the rest of your items around it.
- Et voilà! A happy hat packed nice and snug, just waiting for some sun.
Excerpted from Wander Love by Aubrey Daquinag, published by Hardie Grant Books, April 2018, RRP $24.99 hardcover.