How to Easily Fold Different Jacket Types
Whether you’re packing a suit jacket for a wedding or outdoor gear for a camping trip, how you fold jackets makes a huge difference to both the amount of space they take up and how the jacket looks when you unpack it later. (The goal always being: as wrinkle free as possible, no ironing required.)
This guide covers the best organizational methods for how to fold a jacket, based on type of jacket, including how to fold a jacket with hood, puffy winter parkas, a suit jacket, and all types of standard-length jackets (denim, athletic, bomber, etc.).
These folding techniques work for longer-term outerwear storage as well. Just make sure every jacket you’re packing away for an indefinite duration is freshly cleaned, even if that means a trip to the dry cleaners. It will extend the life of your garment in the long run.
How to fold a standard jacket
Denim jackets, bomber jackets, casual athletic jackets, hunting jackets, and all standard-length jackets travel well with this fold-and-roll method.
1. Lay the jacket face down on a flat surface
A bed will do, although an actual counter is better. Fold in half vertically.
2. Line up the jacket sleeves
Fold onto the jacket at the shoulder seam. At the point where the sleeves extend past the jacket, fold again in the reverse direction.
3. Roll the jacket
Roll from the collar towards the lower jacket hem.
Tip: Consider stuffing the jacket roll with a small, rolled bundle roll of other garments.
By increasing the size of the jacket roll, there’s even less chance of the jacket itself getting creased or wrinkled.
How to fold a suit jacket
This tucked-shoulder jacket fold method protects the suit coat’s exterior and requires only one fold that’s not on a seam, minimizing chances for creasing.
1. Fasten the suit jacket’s top button
Lay the jacket face down on a flat surface.
2. Create a concave space
With the suit jacket laying flat, lift the left shoulder and invert the shoulder portion, so it creates a padded, concave space. (There’s no need to invert the whole sleeve; only the shoulder.)
3. Fold the right side of the suit jacket
Fold along the back seam that runs down the length of the jacket. Tuck the right shoulder into the left sleeve, so that both shoulders are nested together.
Tip: Adjust as needed so that the sleeves are laying flat together and the lapels, too, lay flat and are lined up.
4. Fold the jacket in half horizontally
The shoulder seams should line up with the suit jacket’s bottom hem.
How to fold a rain jacket into its pocket
Check the front pockets of your rain jacket to see if one has a zipper with a pull tab both inside and outside the jacket.
If so, that means your jacket has a “ stuff pocket”—a built-in pocket designed to store the rain jacket when not in use.
1. Turn the stuff pocket inside out
Once you’ve located the stuff pocket, turn it inside out.
2. Stuff the rain jacket into the pocket
(This is not going to be a neat and tidy jacket fold.)
3. Zip closed
Make sure all of the shell fabric of the rain jacket is clear of the zipper, and zip closed.
How to fold a jacket with a hood
Don’t let the smooth, weather-resistant fabric of an outdoor jacket stop you!
1. Lay the jacket on a flat surface
Make sure the sleeves are extended. Zip up the coat. If the jacket’s hood is detachable, unzip it, fold it, and store it in a coat pocket.
2. Fold the sleeves onto the body of the jacket
Fold them one at a time, to make a rectangular shape. (The lower ends of the sleeves will overlap.)
Tip: If it’s easier to lay the jacket face down and fold the sleeves over the back of the jacket, that works, too. The key to this jacket fold is getting it into a manageable rectangle.
3. Fold the jacket in half horizontally
Bring the lower half towards the jacket collar. Roll the jacket towards the collar, taking care to keep the edges tucked in.
4. Tuck the rolled jacket into the hood
Secure the entire jacket roll with two rubber bands. Alternatively, if the detachable hood is already in a jacket pocket, secure the finished roll with two rubber bands.
How to fold a parka (or any bulky jacket)
Yes, there’s even a way to fold bulky winter jackets for maximum efficiency!
1. Lay the parka on a flat surface and zip it closed
2. Fold sleeve
Starting with either the right or left sleeve (your choice), fold the sleeve onto the parka at the shoulder seam.
Fold the sleeve again at an angle so that the sleeve lays flat in a downwards position on top of the parka without covering the zipper.
Repeat for the other sleeve.
3. Fold the parka in half at the zipper
Roll slowly, squeezing out excess air. Store the rolled parka in the manufacturer’s pouch (if provided) or a space saver bag.
Tips for traveling with a folded jacket:
- Choose a folding jacket style that has a minimal number of folds, to reduce the chance of creases.
- Pack the jacket in a position in your suitcase where it’s least likely to be crushed by other clothes. This could be on top of the rest of your clothes in the suitcase, towards the top of the suitcase based on how it stands when upright.
- Hang the jacket up as soon as possible once you’ve arrived at your destination.
- For business attire or formal/semi-formal jackets, consider having the jacket freshly cleaned and pressed before you travel. The fresh cleaning/pressing makes a jacket more resistant to wrinkles and creases while traveling.
How to fold a jacket
You now know how to fold a jacket in several different ways! Hopefully you found this tutorial helpful.
If you did, leave a comment and check out my post on How to Fold Pants in 4 Super Simple Ways for Optimal, Tidy Storage.
Military folding tips
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