How to fold a shirt neatly in 3 steps

How to fold shirts in a pile
How to fold shirts in a pile (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you have work shirts or a favorite, go-to shirt for the weekend, it’s useful to know how to fold a shirt neatly. This is also the case if you’re tight on closet or drawer space and need to store your shirts in a tidy manner. After all, the last thing you need are more wrinkles after you’ve just ironed a clean shirt! 

In addition, how to fold a shirt neatly comes in handy for traveling, when you want to fit them snugly into your travel bag or suitcase without fuss.

Just like learning how to fold a fitted sheet, knowing how to fold a shirt neatly may seem tricky at first. But it’s actually not that hard to do and can be quickly done in just a few, easy steps. So if you’re tired of creased shirts, here’s how to fold a shirt neatly in three steps, and look sharp.

Once you're done here, also check out how to remove oil stains from clothes without ruining them and learn how to remove blood stains quickly. Plus, if you're always washing, these 3 hacks will speed up laundry day.

How to fold a shirt

Shirt laid out flat on surface

Shirt laid out flat on surface (Image credit: Shutterstock)

1. Lay the buttoned shirt on a flat surface 

First, do up all the buttons on the shirt to make it easier to fold neatly. Clear some space on a surface, such as a clean table, your bed, or other flat area that gives you plenty of room. Then, lay the shirt face down on its front side, with its arms spread, and flatten out any creases with your hands, for a neater fold. 

TIP: If you want perfect alignment, you can use a cardboard template or wooden board to place in the centre of the shirt. You usually find these in shirt bags once you’ve bought a new shirt, but you can always use something solid like a magazine.  

Folding sleeves on shirt

Folding sleeves on shirt (Image credit: Shutterstock)

2. Fold in the sides of the shirt 

Next, fold the right side of the shirt to the middle of the back. Do this by gripping the shoulder and hem, then fold it to the vertical line in the middle. Then, fold the sleeve down so the inner edge is directly stacked on top of the side edge. Repeat this step on the other side of the shirt, folding the edge to the middle and overlapping the second sleeve on top of the first sleeve.  

Folded shirt tail

Folded shirt tail (Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Fold the tail up over the shirt

Then, fold the tail end of the shirt up over the cuffs of the sleeves. This should create a neat, even edge across the bottom of the shirt. Next, fold this bottom edge up to the middle to sit just below where the top sleeve overlaps the bottom sleeve.

Finally, fold the remaining top half back over the tail end of the shirt to make a neat shape. 

Your shirt should now be in a neat, square shape with the collar jutting up over the top edge and the buttons centred perfectly in the middle. 

Other tips for knowing how to fold a shirt

Ironing shirts with starch

Ironing shirts with starch (Image credit: Shutterstock)

—  Try not to pile up your shirts in the drawer after you’ve neatly folded them all. They could start to get messy, especially if you’re rummaging to find your favorite shirt!

—  It may seem old-fashioned but using starch when ironing your shirts will prevent them from creasing when you fold them. We can recommend Mary Ellen Products Clear Sizing Alternative Starch, Scent Free ($14, Amazon (opens in new tab)) for best results.  

Cynthia Lawrence
Homes Writer

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 


Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.


With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!