HOW I TRAVEL WITH LINEN

07.31.19

One of the top questions I’ve been asked recently is, ‘How do you travel with so much linen?’ and today I’m here to answer exactly that! Linen is one of my favourite fabrics to wear in the summer but it can be tough to embrace it’s natural tendency to wrinkle.

Luckily, there are ways to pack this crease-inclined material that can help prevent you from looking like a rumpled mess on your first foray out of the hotel room.

Traveling with linen has been a closet conundrum that involved a bit of practical problem solving and a bit of creative thinking. Today I’m sharing how those two approaches have led to a packing system that helps me bring my favourite linen pieces all over the world and wear them with confidence. The best part? No travel steamer required!



STEP 1 – Start with all your pieces pressed/steamed ahead of time.

I usually iron/steam all my linen items the day before I pack or far enough in advance that they’ll be able to cool down. Linen creases easier when warm and those lines can be tough to get out.



STEP 2 – On a clean floor or surface, begin by laying large items flat.



STEP 3 – Create a stack of 2-4 Similar items.

I often start with my wide-leg linen pants and skirts and then move onto dress, jumpsuits, tops.



STEP 4 – Align the top edge of the items & gently roll them all at once from waist to hem into a cylindrical shape.

TIP: Place the pieces that easily crease or the ones that show creases the most on the bottom of the stack. Put pieces that don’t crease as easily on the top of the stack. This way when you roll them the most easily wrinkled piece is on the largest edge of the roll.



Smooth out lumps and bumps as you roll the items up.



FUN FACT: I originally discovered this rolling technique when searching for ways to pack more efficiently in a small suitcase. Turns out it has the added benefit of not creasing your clothing like folding does, takes less time to pack and lets you bring more pieces overall!



REPEAT STEP 4 FOR DRESSES & JUMPSUITS, First folding at the waist.



& AGAIN FOR TOPS & SHIRTS



STEP 5 – PLACE ALL YOUR LINEN ROLLS IN ONE SPOT BECAUSE IT’S TIME TO PACK UP!



STEP 6 – IN A ZIPPERED SECTION OF YOUR SUITCASE OR LARGE PACKING CUBE, PLACE THE LARGE ROLLS SIDE BY SIDE.

TIP: Try not to overcrowd or pack too tightly but they can be quite snug and that’s ok.



SMALLER ROLLS CAN BE PACKED INTO CUBES OR A SECURE SPOT IN THE SUITCASE.

TIP: I try not to leave too many things loose in my suitcase as they can end up getting smooshed and this can create wrinkles.


STEP 7 – Now it’s time to add your extra items (shoes etc.), zip up and head out!



8 – WHEN I ARRIVE AT MY DESTINATION the first thing I do is unpack & hang up as many items as possible.


This way the fabric can breathe and any wrinkles and creases can begin to relax and fall out. I know it’s tempting to drop off your bags and immediately head out but that initial 10 minutes of unpacking right away can make a big difference.

You may take a quick steam or iron to some items but I find I almost never need to do that with this packing method. 99% of the time everything is fresh, smooth and ready to wear by the time I wash up for some exploring!

Tip: If you don’t have room to hang every item where you’re staying, you can lay items over the back of a chair, ottoman or even your suitcase.



& That my friends, is how I travel with linen!

To catch all these steps in action check out my latest video on IGTV.


Any further questions? I’m all ears, and hopefully, answers!

Care to share any of your own linen packing tips? Please do!


For information on the items shown above please refer to this post for sourcing details. You’ll also find proof that my method works since I didn’t iron a single item on that trip!


OUTFIT SOURCES: Cotton Crew | Black Cigarette Jeans | Belt | Sandals n/a linked to similar


THANKS FOR TUNING IN!

See you tomorrow as I kick off a fun series for the month of August!

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Kathleen Walker says:

    Great post! Can you remind me please, do you have the regular carry-on or the extra small one from Away? I have the small one and find it a challenge sometimes, but it’s a great suitcase for regional flights.

  2. Shelby D. says:

    This is so beyond helpful, thank you!! I’m traveling to Italy next month and bringing allllll my linen (which is basically all I wear in the summer anyway), so this is perfect!

  3. Em Dee says:

    Not going to lie – I was mainly focused on your outfit in this post! Would you mind sharing the details? Particularly those black jeans, sandals, and belt ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Pamela says:

    I’ve seen this multiple-item rolling trick before but didn’t believe it until you said you tried it with linen and it works ๐Ÿ™‚ I also enjoy a lot of linen pieces for summer and in fact it’s such a great fabric for all seasons.

  5. Deanne says:

    Very helpful post, thanks! When I pack linen, I also bring a small spray bottle. I add water from the hotel sink and spray lightly if a piece needs refreshing after wearing. I smooth with my hands and hang it up to dry another time. Easier than dragging out the hotel ironing board!

  6. Shannon says:

    Lee, Are you physic? This summer has included a few posts where I explicitly thought… “I need some hat recommendations….” or “I need some beach packing tips for all this linen…” and poof, an article!
    Thanks for all your advice. I feel like this site is a reliable place to find stylish ethical clothes and great suggestions.

  7. KIMBERLY says:

    Hi Lee, Great post! Just wondering, how do you wash your linens when your traveling?

    • Thanks Kimberly! I haven’t been on a long enough trip to need to do any washing but a friend of mine went traveling for a few months and brought a little bar of laundry soap to wash items in the sink and hang dry. That’s probably what I’d do as well. xo

  8. Nipa says:

    Thanks for sharing, Lee. I’ve used the rolling method when packing fabric but didn’t think it would work on linen! Also, never thought to stack and roll. Which steamer do you use? I keep meaning to get one. xo Nipa

    • I typically just iron my linen with the steam setting on high but for steaming only I have a handheld Rowenta steamer (similar to this). It’s not awesome but gets the job done. Thanks for reading Nipa!

  9. Linda says:

    Do you ever take a steamer along or just rely on whatโ€™s available @ destination?
    What steamer do you recommend?
    Thank you for the great tips!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    • I rely on there being a steamer/iron where I’m going but usually don’t need one. I’d rather bring an extra pair of shoes than a steamer haha. I don’t love the steamer I have and keep meaning to invest in a more serious one but I have a Rowenta handheld (similar to this one) that I use. Thanks for reading Linda!

  10. Melissa Eubanks says:

    Very informative and useful post! Thanks! One question: where did you get the tan sandals you are wearing?

  11. Great post – you have solved one of my biggest issues. Loved seeing your cat too ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Chloรฉ says:

    I will definitely try this method for my next travel ! Actually I sort of did it last time (just 1 item per roll) and can confirm it was already effective. I will have to improve on the unpacking though ๐Ÿ˜€
    Linen is so comfortable and breezy, it now represents the majority of my summer closet. And it’s one of the bests in terms of sustainability : less or no pesticides, less water, no microfibers pollution !