Some people have the pleasure or curse of having to wear uniforms at their place of employment. I work in an office environment, and must maintain a “business casual” appearance.  This means I have to ensure my clothes are not completely wrinkled, or hide the wrinkles as best I can when I report for duty.
Yes, this requires me to fold my clothes, and stuff them into a pannier or messenger bag. I usually use a light weight dry-bag/compression sac such as made by Outdoor Research for kayaking to act as a protective receptacle for my laundry.

Just in case it rains, or if my thermos of coffee ever decides to explode, again, at least my clothing will be safe. This also allows me to compress the clothing to the smallest possible size to reduce bulk in my bag.

I think collars are the most important thing to keep in mind when folding a dress shirt. When you buy a fancy shirt from the department store it comes wrapped in a prison of plastic wrap, pins and card board, square like an envelope.  You want to try and recreate that shape by folding the arms backwards at the shoulders, and then folding the shirt in half just like you see laid out on the tables at the stores. Well as best you can anyway. You may have to consult mom. Next, fold the shirt in half again from collar to tails, then crease the collar at the nape of the neck when you make your last fold.

Pack shirts with a foot print no larger than the base of your laundry bag. Once I’ve expelled all the air from the OR dry bag, my shirts,  pants and socks etc.  fold down nice and tidy to the size of a novel. This bomb proof package rides next to my lunch and air pump in my commuter bag or pannier.

The following are a few more things I thought about on the ride home today:

  • Wear a sweater over your collared shirts to hide the wrinkles. If need be, go full on sweater vest.
  • Whether you pack jeans or slacks.Roll your pants from the cuff up after folding them in half along the crease.
  • Choose wrinkle resistant clothing containing a high polyester content. Avoid 100% cottons like the plague. That’s the quickest way to appear as the commuter hobo to your co-workers.
  • Static Guard spray is like mana from heaven. It can easily make you office hero for a day.

Here’s a little something to save you some time. If your uniform only requires you to wear a T-shirt.

Got any tips for commuter packing to share? Leave me a comment. Thanks.