Fold a Neat Stack of Shirts

The secret to a beautifully organized wardrobe might be in your kitchen.
Amy Bickers Mercer

Let’s call it "Gap envy." It's the state of wishing your shirts and sweaters were folded so neatly and stacked so perfectly that if you could buy them again, you totally would.

If you're like most people, your stacks are uneven and ready to topple over at any moment. But guess what? You don't need to work in retail to get those same-size, same-height stacks. Just grab a cutting board or clipboard, and get started.

Divide and Conquer
If you're serious about keeping stacks in line, there are plenty of products to help you. Here are a few to try.

  • Slide 'N' Stax clothing divider (www.stacksandstacks.com) is a clear organizer that comes with plastic dividers to place between sweaters or shirts.
  • Canvas hanging sweater bags are available at home stores.
  • Tweed Drop-Front Shirt Box (www.containerstore.com) is as good-looking as it is hardworking. It has a window in front so you can see what's inside. The rest of the box is covered in neutral tweed fabric.

Put this in your stack of fashion knowledge: When Lacoste introduced its crocodile-embroidered shirt in 1933, it was the first time a brand name or logo appeared on the outside of an article of clothing. 

Use a cutting board or clipboard to neatly fold shirts and sweaters. (Just make sure you reserve this cutting board for folding only. No chopping allowed.) We used Crate & Barrel's Jelli Board ($9.95, www.crateandbarrel.com).

Place the cutting board against the back of the shirt. Fold the arms back flat against the cutting board.  Fold up the bottom of the shirt, and slide out the cutting board. Place the shirt on a shelf or in a drawer.

Folding Directions

  1. Lay the shirt or sweater facedown on a hard surface. Smooth it out using your hands.
  2. Place the cutting board or clipboard―a large magazine also works well―at the top of the shirt or sweater near the collar.
  3. Fold each arm back flat against the board. Keep the shoulders even with the sides. Smooth out the fabric as you go so you don't get any weird wrinkles.
  4.  Fold the bottom of the shirt or sweater up so that the hem is even with the neckline. Smooth out the fabric. Pull out the cutting board, and you're done! 

 

"Know How To Fold ’Em" is from the March 2008 issue of Southern Living.