Wrinkle Free Clothes When Traveling
How to look neat and fresh, even when
living out of a suitcase for weeks at a time
When traveling, you want to pack as little clothing as
possible, which means you'll need to wash and reuse items.
These new fabrics allow you to wash without the need for
pressing. Your clothes look fresh for each
subsequent wearing, like the shirt and trousers pictured on
New generation textiles can
free you from the costs and hassles of using hotel laundry and
dry cleaning services. You can hand wash them and have
them dry wrinkle free.
These items are also more
likely to emerge from your suitcase crisp and fresh.
I've always been a bit
suspicious of 'travel clothing', suspecting it to be too formal
for casual wear, and too casual for formal wear, and overpriced
for both! So it was with
some uncertainty that I ordered a shirt and pair of trousers
from Magellan's. The pricing seemed good, but I wondered
about the actual quality and functionality.
My shirt and trousers arrived a couple of
days later, and to my delight, both items proved to be perfect
for both business and 'smart casual' wear.
The shirt was made of a 2-ply combed
cotton - not quite sure what that means, but it looks and feels
The trousers were of a stretch microfiber that is a
combination of poly, viscose and lycra. The description sounds like
some sort of paint, but again, the trousers look and feel nice.
Shirts are available in
a mix of different collar and sleeve lengths, so it was
easy to get one that was exactly the right size. They come
in five different colors, from classic white to a more casual buttercream or blue.
The shirt has an excellent
feature - two spare buttons sewed on to it. This can be
invaluable in an 'emergency' while traveling.
The trousers come in a
variety of different waist/leg lengths, and also have a feature
that allowed me to continue to pretend a 36" waist size was
all I needed. This extra feature is a hidden bit of
elastic/stretch in the waistband, enabling you to still fit into
the trousers even when they're really a bit too tight - for example, towards the end of a cruise and
after too many midnight chocolate buffets!
The lycra component of the
trousers gives the fabric a bit of stretch, which helps to make
them both more comfortable and also more stretch resistant while
wearing them. For example, you can be seated in a plane
for several hours, then get up and go to a meeting with your
trousers still looking fresh, not crumpled.
They have four pockets, with
buttons on the back two pockets, and good strong linings.
are available in three colors, all of which are good neutral
colors that can be matched with a range of shirts and jackets.
I crumpled up the shirt and trousers
and then dumped them
into my washing machine, added washing powder, and gave
them a full wash and spin dry cycle.
I noticed an interesting
thing when taking them out of the washing machine. They
were already nearly dry, unlike normal washing which is still
drip damp. Magellan's confirm they choose special
materials that dry more readily - something that is invaluable
when you're in hotel rooms without a proper clothes drying
I then hung them up on
hangers on my shower curtain rail. Next, and
inadvertently, the curtain rail collapsed and they crumpled and
were lying on the floor for an hour or so before I noticed and
picked them up again!
Finally, when they were dry, I studied them
carefully for wrinkles.
Seeing is believing. Click the picture above to
see a large image of my shirt after I washed it.
The lines on it
are caused by how it is hanging on the hangar, they
are not wrinkles.
I'd rate the shirt about an
8 out of 10 for being wrinkle free. It was apparent that
it was not starched and pressed, but it was almost wrinkle free
with just some soft shading suggesting the lack of commercial
pressing. The cuffs and collar all looked perfect.
Being as how my usual
standard of hand-washed-in-a-hotel-room shirt is more like a 3
out of 10, I judged this to be a great success.
I'd happily wear the shirt without
any embarrassment and without feeling the need to keep my jacket
tightly buttoned up at a meeting to hide the shirt creasing that
would otherwise be present!
Click the picture
above for a large image of my wrinkle-free trousers after I
As for the trousers, I'll
rate them at 9 out of 10 for the quality of their appearance and
lack of any wrinkles or crumpling.
They are close to
indistinguishable from perfectly pressed, and - amazingly - even
retained sharp creases on the legs.
How it works
Wrinkle free clothing is
nothing new, and not always anything special, either. Most
other wrinkle free clothing has the anti-wrinkle treatment
applied before the garments are sewn. The thread does not
have the anti-wrinkling in it, and so after washing, the threads
can distort and encourage wrinkling.
Magellan's products, new
this year, have
special anti-wrinkling treatments applied after the garments
have been completed, so that every part, including the threads,
linings, etc, are all wrinkle free. This really makes a
Unlike some types of spray
on treatments, the special process that Magellan's use is long
lasting, and should keep your clothes wrinkle free as long as
you continue to wear them.
Amazingly, the sharp creases
in my trousers will also remain sharp for an extended time, even
with repeated washing and wearing.
Ooops - a bad choice of jacket
I tried a
Transatlantic Travel Jacket from Duluth Trading Co.
This blazer style jacket was described as not needing ironing,
but upon receiving it from Duluth, it was massively wrinkled,
and simply hanging it up didn't do much to cause the wrinkles to
disappear by themselves.
I managed to somewhat iron
the jacket, and tried wearing it a couple of times, but the fit
was poor, and the sleeves in particular were really strange,
with an extra band around the cuff at the end, like someone had
realized the sleeves were too short and so sewed on another inch
By some surprising
coincidence, one of the other people traveling with me on one of
my group tours had the exact same jacket. He didn't like
his jacket either, but confessed he had no fashion sense.
We polled the various women in the group, and after an initial
polite hesitation, all told us they didn't like the style or fit
of our jackets.
Alas - a good idea in
theory, but a bad choice in practice. Not recommended.
Women's clothing, too
For obvious reasons I didn't
test wear any of the women's clothing items! But
Magellan's also have a wide range of similar products suitable for
women; including similar blouses and pants, and additional coordinated
Links to specific products
are in the Resource section below.
Two ways to remove wrinkles
from your clothes
Clothes get crumpled and
creased both from washing and also, almost unavoidably from packing. Even my
new shirt had some gentle crease marks when I first unfolded it
out of its package.
Here are two tricks to
minimize the wrinkles in your regular clothing.
The first trick has some
devout believers, but some skeptics, too. However, try it
and see. Depending on your crease and crumple tolerance
level, it might work for you.
Hang crumpled clothes in the
bathroom, and have a nice long hot steamy shower, making the
whole room very humid and moist. Some people find that
this treatment softens the creases sufficiently as to make them
no longer objectionable.
I use this as an emergency
solution myself. When I do this, I'll sometimes put the
shirt on while it is still probably a bit moist and soft, and
hope that it will then lose its crumpling while I'm wearing it.
A better solution is to buy
a portable steamer and keep it with you on your travels. These can be very
small and lightweight. A good steamer will be
multi-voltage and so can be used everywhere in the world. You
simply pour water into its container, plug it in, and after
a couple of minutes, steam starts to hiss out its vents.
Paint the creases with the steam and watch them miraculously
A portable steamer can also
be used as a great way to quickly heat up a single serving of water to
make into a cup of coffee.
I purchased my shirt and
Magellan's. Probably other stores sell similar
clothing, but with Magellan's you get the reassurance of dealing
with an established company with an excellent reputation and a
no-questions asked return policy.
Items for Men
Magellan's have a
range of Shirts and
with varying degrees of wrinkle resistance and varying
degrees of cost.
Magellan's also have several
different models of steamers. I recommend their
dual voltage fabric steamer because it is their smallest and lightest model,
and so easiest to pack.
Items for Women
Magellan's also have plenty
Wrinkle resistant clothing
helps make your traveling easier in two ways. It means you
don't have to pack as many clothes to start with, and it means
you can more easily and more conveniently wash your clothes
while traveling without the need for hotel laundry services.
These quality items from
Magellan's cost much the same as other good quality clothing
made from ordinary fabrics. So you're paying no more and
getting a lot extra.
And, for when the wrinkles
do get out of hand with regular clothes, or perhaps for a formal
dinner on your cruise when you absolutely must be looking your
finest, the portable steamer is a miracle worker.
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13 Aug 2004, last update
30 May 2021
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.