How to Fold Pants and Jeans

Folding pants and jeans properly not only saves space in your drawers and closets, but can also help keep them looking crisp and wrinkle-free. With some simple folding techniques, you can neatly organize your bottoms while minimizing creases. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fold pants and jeans using various methods.

Gather Your Supplies

Before folding, make sure you have a clean, flat surface to work on like a bed or table. Have your pants or jeans freshly washed and dried if possible to make folding easier. You’ll also need:

  • Hangers – for hanging folding method
  • Storage containers (optional) – bins, shelves or drawers to store folded pants

A clean workspace, quality hangers and optional storage containers will help keep your folded pants neat and organized.

Prepare the Pants for Folding

To ensure your pants fold neatly and precisely, do a quick prep:

  • Unbutton and unzip the pants so they lie flat.
  • Check pockets for items and remove them.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles or creases.
  • Position the pants so the waistband and legs are aligned.

This prep work takes just a minute but makes a big difference in how cleanly the pants fold.

Folding Methods for Pants and Jeans

There are a few primary folding techniques that work great for most pants and jeans. Choose the method that suits your drawers, shelves or hanging space best.

Standard Fold

The standard fold is a basic technique that neatly folds pants in crisp, clean lines:

  • Lay the pants flat with the waistband and legs aligned. Smooth any wrinkles.
  • Fold the pants in half lengthwise so the legs are stacked.
  • Fold the legs in half again widthwise.
  • Continue folding widthwise until the pants are your desired folded size.

The standard fold is quick and simple. It halves the pants so they store neatly in drawers.

Rolling Method

For a compact fold, try the rolling method:

  • Lay pants flat and smooth wrinkles. Align the waistband and legs.
  • Fold the pants in half lengthwise so the legs are stacked.
  • Starting at the bottom cuffs, begin tightly rolling the legs up toward the waistband.
  • When fully rolled, flatten and secure with ribbons, velvet strips or elastic bands.

Rolling minimizes wrinkles and stores the pants in a compact bundle. It’s great for packing pants in a suitcase too.

Hanging Fold

Store pants and jeans wrinkle-free by folding them around hangers:

  • Lay the pants flat and align the waistband and legs smoothly.
  • Fold the pants in half lengthwise so the legs are stacked.
  • Position a hanger at the waistband and fold one leg over each side.
  • Hang the pants folded over the hanger in your closet.

The hanging method keeps the folds crisp and can be easily accessed in your closet.

Folding Styles for Specific Pants

Beyond the basic folds, there are some specialty folds to try for certain pants:

Pleated Trousers

Pleats can easily lose their crisp shape. To keep trouser pleats neat:

  • Fold the pants in half lengthwise, aligning the pleats first before folding.
  • Fold widthwise, lining up the pleats precisely in each fold.
  • Try rolling pleated pants to better hold the pleat creases.

Aligning the pleats as you go keeps them looking sharp.


For casual flat-front chinos, utilize the standard folding method:

  • Lay the chinos flat, lining up the waistband and legs smoothly.
  • Simply fold them in half lengthwise, then fold widthwise in halves again until compact.

The clean folds preserve the crisp look of chinos.


Handsome khakis pair well with the military tuck folding technique:

  • Lay the khakis out flat and fold in half lengthwise.
  • Take the top corners and tuck them neatly into the center waistband.
  • Fold the legs widthwise to the desired size.

The tucked military style keeps the folds of khakis neat and tidy.

Cargo Pants

Cargo pants have extra side pockets that can bulge when folding. To prevent this:

  • Lay the pants flat and fold in half lengthwise below the cargo pockets.
  • Lift the pockets as you make widthwise folds to keep fabric flat beneath them.

Folding cargo pockets evenly distributes their bulk cleanly.

Dress Pants

For sharp creases, fold dress pants using the open fold method:

  • Lay the pants flat and fold them in half lengthwise.
  • Instead of folding widthwise, simply lay one leg over the other.
  • Store the open folded pants on hangers to prevent leg creases.

The open fold keeps dress pants creased perfectly along the legs.

Tips for Neatly Folding Pants

Follow these tips for ensuring your pants stay crisply folded in drawers, shelves or closets:

  • Always fold pants straight from the dryer or after steaming while still warm to set the folds.
  • Starch pants and jeans lightly before folding for added crispness.
  • Place acid-free tissue paper between folds to absorb moisture and prevent mildew.
  • Store pants folded vertically rather than stacked to avoid crushing folds.
  • Alternate the fold direction each time to distribute wear and maintain shape.
  • Unfold and refold pants about every three months to restore sharp creases.

With practice, folding pants and jeans can become a quick daily habit. And taking the time to fold them properly will keep them looking their best.

Frequently Asked Questions About Folding Pants and Jeans

Folding pants and jeans neatly sometimes takes a few tries to master. Here are answers to some of the most common folding questions:

Should pants be folded or hung?

This depends on personal preference, closet space and the pants themselves:

  • Hanging is best for dress pants to maintain crisp pleats and creases. The open fold method prevents leg imprints.
  • Folding works well for casual pants like jeans, khakis and activewear to save closet space. Use tissue paper to prevent mildew.
  • Heavy fabrics like denim are best folded as hanging can stretch the knees. Lightweight dress pants hang better to prevent fold impressions.

Evaluate your closet space, pant styles and fabrics to decide between folding vs hanging. Both keep pants neat when done properly.

How do you keep folds in pants while folding?

To help creases and pleats stay defined:

  • Fold pants while still warm from drying for crisp, molded folds. Let them cool completely before storing.
  • Lightly mist pleats and creases with water before folding to help set the shape.
  • Place strips of cardboard inside folds to better hold the shape while storage.
  • Unfold and refold pants every few months to refresh defined folds.

What is the best way to fold straight leg jeans?

Straight leg jeans fold nicely using the standard technique:

  • Lay jeans flat, aligning the waistband and legs smoothly.
  • Fold lengthwise so legs are stacked, then fold into even widths.

You can also roll straight jeans neatly from bottom up into a bundle. Hang straight leg jeans over a hanger for wrinkle-free storage.

How do you fold pants without creases?

To prevent creases while folding:

  • Use the rolling method which avoids sharp folds across the fabric.
  • Fold pants around thick cardboard pieces the same width as the pants legs to avoid imprints.
  • Stuff pants legs with acid-free tissue paper before folding to prevent creases.
  • Hang unfolded pants on wide, sturdy hangers that hold the shape smoothly.

What is the best way to fold yoga pants?

For folding stretchy yoga pants:

  • Fold them lengthwise with the waistband and legs aligned to match stretch direction.
  • Use gentle folds without pulling or over-creasing the fabric.
  • Store them stood upright rather than stacked to avoid flattening.
  • Arrange yoga pants with the waistband facing up so they unfold correctly.

How do you fold pants in a suitcase?

Some tips for packing folded pants neatly in luggage:

  • Use the rolling method, rolling them very tightly, to conserve space.
  • Place individual pants in sealable plastic bags to minimize wrinkles and keep pairs together.
  • Put strips of cardboard in hems and waistbands to help pants hold their shape.
  • Alternate pant fold direction each time and smooth folds frequently.
  • Stow belts, underwear and other slim items inside the folds of your pants.

With some simple preparation, your pants can make it through luggage transit wrinkle-free.


Learning how to fold pants and jeans properly can seem tricky at first. But mastering just a few fundamental techniques like the standard fold, rolled bundle, and open dress pant fold will have your bottom drawer looking neat and organized.

Follow general guidelines like folding on a flat, clean surface, pre-treating wrinkles, and folding with the stretch of the fabric. Adapt the technique to the garment itself – pleated pants need special alignment while activewear does best with gentle rolls.

Investing some care into properly folding your pants results in garments that maintain their shape and structure far longer. With a few smart folding methods, keeping pants and jeans neatly stored is easy.