How to Fold Pants in 4 Super Simple Ways for Optimal, Tidy Storage

Erin Lindholm
by Erin Lindholm
5 Minutes

Pants: Everybody owns ’em, which means everyone knows how to fold ’em—or not. The reality is, because pants are such an everyday wear type of item, we hardly ever really give them much consideration (beyond style and comfort, of course).

Odds are, if you’ve landed on this guide, you’re probably looking for some insight on how to fold pants or jeans for a reason— wardrobe space constraints being one of them.

Keep reading for the best way to fold all different kinds of pants, from slacks to overalls!


How to fold pants and jeans

It’s time to wrangle all those Wranglers, once and for all.

1. Lay jeans or trousers on a flat folding surface

(A bed works, although an actual laundry folding counter is better). Tuck your hands in front and back pockets to make sure the pocket lining isn’t bunched up anywhere. 

Tip: Have a pair of trousers or jeans that always looks wrinkled? Hold the waistband and give ’em a good shake before laying them out to start folding. 


Folded jeans

2. Fold in half lengthwise so that the legs of the pants lay flat together

With your hands, smooth out the denim or fabric so it’s as flat as possible.

Tip: Based on how pants are cut for sewing, there’s likely a little extra fabric in the seat area above the inseam.

Feel free to roll it or tuck it under the pant legs, if you prefer long, straight pant leg lines. (But it’s not going to affect the next folds in any way.)

Folded jeans

3. Fold the pants in half

Fold the pants in half so that the waist meets the hem of the legs, smoothing out the denim again. 

Folded jeans

Fold the pants in half again. And voila! A tidy pair of folded jeans. 

How to fold dress pants with creases

Using this method to fold slacks and any dress pants with vertical leg creases helps preserve that crisp, tailored look.

1. Hold the pants upright

Hold the pants upright gathering the fabric from front to back. The sides will flatten out and the vertical creases will fall naturally along the fold of the pants. 


2. Shake out the pants gently to release any bunching

Then lay them on a flat surface, taking care to make sure the legs are aligned. Smooth out the pant fabric. 

3. Deal with the excess fabric

To accommodate the bulky fabric of the waistband and zipper and button closures, make an accordion fold at both the front and back of the pants.

Tuck the zipper and button closure fabric inwards, in a narrow V-shape. Tuck in excess fabric along the waistband on the back of the pants the same way. 

4. Fold pants in half horizontally

The waistband and pant leg hems should align. Smooth pants again and fold over one more time. 

Tip: If you’re traveling with these dress pants, a fresh pressing before packing helps keep travel wrinkles at bay and protects the creases.  

How to fold pajama pants, sweatpants, and athletic pants

Soft pants

Ultra-soft fabrics can be folded in two ways. 

Folded soft pants

Option 1:

Fold in half, tucking in the excess fabric in the seat area above the inseam. Smooth out fabric and fold in half horizontally two additional times. 

Folded soft pants

Folded soft pants

Folded soft pants

Option 2:

As before, fold in half, tucking in the excess fabric in the seat area above the inseam.

Then, roll PJs or sweatpants as you would a sleeping bag, from the lower hem up towards the waist.

Folded soft pants

Folded soft pants

How to fold overalls

Overalls have just that little bit of extra fabric to deal with… 

1. Lay on flat surface

Much like how to fold jeans, start by laying overalls out on a flat folding surface and checking to make sure all of the pockets are properly tucked in.

2. Fold the overalls in half lengthwise

The legs should lay flat together. With your hands, smooth out the denim or fabric so it’s as flat as possible. Also smooth out the fold of the overall bib portion. 

3. Deal with excess fabric

Overalls tend to be much looser, so it’s critical here to tuck in or fold over excess fabric from the seat area. The goal being, all fabric of the pants should fit within an imaginary “rectangle.” 

4. Fold bib and straps over onto the pants

Keep one hand pressed on the beltline of the overalls.

5. Fold overalls onto themselves again, the length of the bib and straps

From here, roll the overalls, if desired, for a compact storage solution. 

How to store pants

Save some space in your dresser or closet shelves with these tips:

1. Alternate jeans as you stack them 

Ever noticed how, when you stack several pairs of jeans together, the stack is higher on one side?

It’s caused by the waistband, which is the bulkiest part of most any pair of pants. Stack pants in an alternating pattern, where waistbands face front/back or left/right (and repeat). 

2. Store jeans with jeans, trousers with trousers 

You’ll get a much neater, tighter stack of pants when you keep like fabrics together—and it’s easier to find what you’re looking for in the morning, anyway.

Have a lot of one type of garment, like jeans? Sub-sort by style or color. 

3. Use shelf dividers to sort different types of pants sharing the same storage area

About those compact stacks of pants, generally speaking, even stiff pants are still quite soft, relatively speaking.

Using shelf dividers to organize your different stacks of pants helps regulate how much precious storage real estate any one stack can take up.

How to fold pants

Hopefully you found these tips on how to fold pants useful! If you did, leave a comment down below. Do you have any of your own tips for folding pants? 

How to fold a denim jacket

If you enjoyed this tutorial, then you may want to check out this post on How to Fold Your Denim Jacket to Save Space!

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