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How to Fold Collared Shirts: Fast and Small (Photos + Video)

Folding collared shirts can be a daunting task for many. But the fact of the matter is that once you’ve got the hang of it, it is just as easy as folding any other article of clothing.

In this step-by-step guide, I’m going to teach you how to fold your collared shirts in the classic front up style, but also with the modern file fold, and the compact Block Roll that will help you save some space and keep your shirt from wrinkling.

I have divided the illustrated guide into 3 sections, but I recommend that you watch the video first if you have the opportunity.

How to Fold Button Up Shirts (Works for All Collared Shirts)
Timestamps: Class fold 0:28 and 2:12, file fold 3:33, Block Roll 5:04

So these folds are going to work for both short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts. There is only a very slight alteration in how we fold in the arms between the two types.

There is also a video where I fold women’s blouses a little further down in the guide in the file-folding section, but you will find that both men’s and women’s collared shirts are very similar aside from women’s shirts being a little smaller, and more curved in its shape.

How to Fold Dress Shirts to Display the Front

The classic way to fold your dress shirts has the advantage of showing the collar, and it is also very gentle on the collar compared to the next two folds.

I’m going to teach you how to fold the shirt a little more compact than some traditionalists prefer, but you can just fold in 1/4s at step 3 if you prefer the class style.

  1. Close all the buttons and place the shirt with the back facing up
  2. Fold in the arms one at a time. For long sleeves fold the arms up 90° at the elbow.
  3. Fold the left side of the shirt in 1/3 of the total width of the shirt.
  4. Fold the right side in 1/3 of the total length as well so that it completely overlaps the left side fold.
  5. From the bottom, fold the shirt up 1/3 of the total length of the shirt.
  6. From the top, fold the shirt down 1/3 of the total length of the shirt.
  7. Turn the shirt around so that the collar faces up.
  8. Make adjustments to the shoulders as needed until you get the hang of the fold.
As you can see this variation on the classic collared shirt folds creates a neat little rectangle that will not take up much room in your dresser or luggage.

How to File-Fold Button-Ups

3 Clever Ways to Fold Blouses (and Save Space)
I have added a second version of the collared shirts video. Here I fold women’s blouses instead of men’s shirts so that you can see the differences. There really isn’t much difference but feel free to watch this one instead if you’re folding blouses.

The file-fold has become very popular over the last decade, so it is only natural that some want to file-fold their collared shirts as well.

I can’t really recommend this fold for a button-down, and other delicate collared shirts like ones made from linen, pure cotton, and some wools as they tend to crease up a bit when using this fold.

For button-downs, you’re better off using the previous fold, and for the other delicate shirts, you can consider using the next fold.

The file-fold will however work great for your casual shirts, button-ups, and most other wrinkle-resistant shirts.

  1. Close all the buttons and place the shirt with the back facing up
  2. Fold in the arms one at a time. For long sleeves fold the arms up 90° at the elbow.
  3. Fold the left side of the shirt in 1/3 of the total width of the shirt.
  4. Fold the right side in 1/3 of the total length as well so that it completely overlaps the left side fold.
  5. From the top, fold the shirt down 1/3 of the total length of the shirt twice
  6. Turn the shirt up vertically so that the end with one fold faces up, and the shirt rests on the other end.
  7. Place multiple shirts next to each other in your dresser so they can support each other standing up.

Tap here to learn how to fold the rest of your clothes using the file-folding method.

If you’re struggling to make the shirts stand up, place them against the wall of your drawer, or invest in an organizing system for your dresser. I use this one from IKEA (Amazon paid link), but you can also use shoe boxes or anything else in the beginning really.

As you can see in this version of the fold, we fold the collar on the inside of the fold instead of on the outside like in the previous method. Therefore I prefer using this method on shirts whose collar won’t crease up so easily.

I wrote a guide on how to fold more casual long-sleeved shirts that you can check out as well if you’re interested.

How to Fold Collared Shirts to Save Space

Finally, we are here! The Block Roll is the most space-saving, and surprisingly, the most wrinkle-resistant fold of all three options. I’d skip this fold if you want to keep your collar as unwrinkled as possible, but for everything else this fold is fantastic.

It is also the fold I teach in my Space-Saving Rolls Guide.

  1. Button up the shirt and place it flat with the back facing up.
  2. Fold the shirt in half from side to side so that the front faces out.
  3. Make sure the buttons lay evenly on one side of the fold.
  4. Fold both arms in to the front of the shirt.
  5. From the bottom up, gently roll the shirt all the way to the top of the collar.
  6. Let the shirt rest on the end of the roll.

This fold can also be combined with your suit jackets when you’re going out traveling, but more on that over in the folding jackets guide.

This is a fantastic fold if you lack the closet space, or if you are going out traveling.

If you want to learn to roll up a bunch of your clothes to save space, I have a free article that you can check out next.

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