Tips for keeping your clothes fresh

suitcase packedLast week I wrote a post about a ten piece business travel capsule wardrobe, and how it would be plenty of items for two weeks. In the comments I got a question about how I keep my clothes fresh when I rewear them during a trip. Here are some of my tricks:

Don’t lounge in nice clothes. If I’m back at the hotel for the night, I change into my PJs even if it’s early. This way I’m not wearing my work clothes any longer than I have to.

Don’t eat in nice clothes. Obviously you can’t strip down your clothes for lunch with office mates. But if at all possible, I eat breakfast before getting dressed, and change into my PJs before eating room-service.

Hang up clothes. If I’m only traveling for a night or two, I will usually leave my clothes in the suitcase. Any longer than that, or if I’m rewearing stuff, I will hang everything up. I also read that if items aren’t touching each other it helps them stay fresh longer, so I try to leave a little space between everything.

Spritz of water/steaming. If something gets a little wrinkled I will spray some water on it and stretch it out. If it’s very wrinkled I will hang it up in the bathroom while I shower. Ironing is always the last resort!

Shout wipes/Tide pen. I have a friend who always travels with Shout wipes and a Tide To Go pen. If any stains happen, she treats them right away and can often wear the item again.

I have read some other tips that go above and beyond what I do, including clothing shields (Already Pretty) and spraying a tiny bit of vodka on your clothes(commenters on Corporette). Of course, sometimes you may have to just suck it up and use the laundry facilities at a hotel.

Oh! One more tip. If you are planning to wear things multiple times, always bring one more shirt than the minimum you need. On a trip many years ago I was visiting two offices in different cities, so I just planned to wear the exact same two outfits twice. Well, of course I spilled coffee on my white shirt, which necessitated a late night frantic visit to Old Navy. Whoops!

Readers, how do you keep your clothes fresh on business trips?



  1. Use dryer sheets to keep clothes smelling fresh. Good for getting rid of smoke smells (from cigarettes, cigars, or BBQ joints)

  2. If you end up with extra bars of small hotel soaps (particularly aromatic ones, like Aveda or Bath and Body Works), place in the luggage next to your clothes. This will impart a very light scent to the clothes. This is particularly true if the clothes are kept inside a plastic dry cleaner’s bag, which is always a good idea anyway, as this seems to suppress wrinkling.

  3. I always have a travel size bottle of febreeze. I also always change when I get to my hotel – even if I’m hanging out for a bit before going back out. If I’m switching locations part way through the trip, I make sure to use a shopping bag for my dirty clothes so that they don’t get mixed up with my clean clothes.

  4. I spritz my clothes with a light smelling body spray that doubles as my perfume. I don’t want to over power anyone. Light scent is the key.

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