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How to Fold a T-Shirt Military Style? – It Only Takes a Minute

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

how to fold a t shirt military style

Space is a luxury in the military. So, learning how to fold a t-shirt military style is as important as anything else when you enlist. Needless to say, there is a “right” way to fold your clothes. You will need a bit of practice to become accustomed but it is not rocket science.

The most common type of folding is the ranger-roll. But details make a difference. The steps to fold will slightly vary depending on the article of clothing that you are working with.

Continue reading! We will guide you on how to fold t-shirts, dress shirts, trousers, boxers, and socks. You will master the art of military folding in no time!

How to Fold a T-Shirt Military Style

Folding shirts military style is not as difficult as it sounds. Get your shirts ready and follow these steps:

Method 1

  • Find a flat surface to spread out your shirt. Make sure that you have the front side facing up.
  • Lift about three inches of the end of the shirt and fold it like you would with a beanie. This creates a cuff. Straighten the corners and any creases.
  • Fold the left side, along with its sleeve, over to the center. Then, do the same for the right side.
  • Roll the shirt from the collar down towards the end as tightly as you can. Again, make sure that there are no creases.
  • Using the folded end that you have made earlier, wrap it around the rolled portion of your shirt like a burrito.
  • Voila! You have a military fold shirt!

Method 2

  • Follow the first two bullet points in method one.
  • Fold the left side over to about 1/3 of the way.
  • Fold the left sleeve over itself.
  • Fold the right side, sleeve included, over the left fold.
  • Fold the right sleeve over itself, just as you have done with the left sleeve.
  • Roll the shirt up from the bottom until it passes over the cuff that you have made in the beginning. Be sure to do this as tightly as possible.
  • Fold the cuff inside-out and wrap it over the entire shirt. Your final product should look like an uncut

You can choose either method. They are both called ranger-rolls. Also, both methods can use for the tactical jacket. Go for the one that you are most comfortable with and least time-consuming.

Fold Shirt Military Style: Dress Shirts


Method 1

  • Like with folding plain shirts, lay your dress shirt out on a flat surface.
  • Button up your dress shirt and consider ironing it. If not, smoothen it so that all creases and wrinkles are gone.
  • Fold the left sleeve and an inch or two of the side into your shirt.
  • Then, flip the same sleeve back and fold in by the edge.
  • Repeat for the right sleeve.
  • Bring the edge of the right sleeve up towards the beginning of the collar and fold it down, lining up with the buttons.
  • Do the same for the left sleeve.
  • Fold the shirt into thirds, from the bottom up.
  • You will end up with a rectangular, space-saving fold that keeps your already-ironed dress shirt from wrinkling. You can unfold and throw it on whenever you need to!

Method 2

  • Lay out your dress shirt and check that all the buttons are fastened.
  • Fold the cuffs Into the center of the entire shirt and position the cuffs to be parallel to the hem of the shirt.
  • Then, fold the collar and the hem towards one another but leave about palm’s length between them.
  • To complete, use your hands to lightly crease the center of the palm’s-length space to fold.
  • Again, you will have a rectangular, space-efficient fold.

You can use the same methods to fold your tactical hoodie.

Fold Clothes Military Style: Trousers


Method 1

This is also referred to as a ranger-roll. It is a bit more difficult than folding shirts. But it is not impossible. You just have to practice regularly and do not give up midway!

  • On a flat surface, lay out your trousers.
  • Turn the top part of your trousers inside out. Make sure that any accompanying folded pockets are straightened so that they do not create a bulge in your fold.
  • Flip the trousers over. The drawstrings and flyers should no longer be visible.
  • Fold the left leg over the center. Then, the right leg over the left leg. But do not fold the upper sides all the way.
  • Roll from the bottom of the trousers up towards the top.
  • Pick up the trousers and pull the top over to wrap. Start with one side first, then the other.
  • Pull the drawstrings to tighten the roll and knot it to secure. If you use a bow knot, tuck in the loose ends.

Method 2

This is an alternative approach to folding trousers. You will get a rectangular shape rather than a burrito-like roll.

  • Lay out your trousers.
  • Smooth them out with your hands.
  • Fold one leg over the other.
  • Tuck the crotch portion of the trousers in. At this point, you should have a single leg line.
  • For the waist and cuffs into the center.
  • Then, lift the bottom up and fold it in half.

Military Folding: Socks

  • Pair your socks up, and smoothen out any creases and wrinkles.
  • Lay one on top of the other.
  • Fold the heels in first. Then, roll the toes all the way up to the elastic around the top of the socks. It should look like a thick sausage at this point.
  • Take the opening of the sock underneath and pull it apart slightly while pushing the end of the rolled portion in. Imagine you are stuffing something into a bag or net.
  • Ultimately, you will have a ball-like, inside-out, and rolled-up pair of socks.

It is tidier to keep your socks this way. You will not have to look for the right pairs when you are in a rush or are half asleep.

Military Folding: Boxers

  • Lay your boxers out on a flat surface. Have the waistband facing you.
  • Fold it in hand with one leg over the other.
  • Fold the crotch portion in.
  • Then, fold the entire boxer in hand—hem to the waistband.

Furthermore, you can check this article to find the right ways to fold pants military style.


With that, you have reached the end of this article. We have gone through the military version of how to fold various pieces of clothing. You should now know how to fold a t-shirt military style, as well as trousers, boxers, and socks. Scratch this off your list of preparations for enlistment!

Hopefully, you have learned a lot. If you have any other questions on this topic or want to share your experience of applying what you have read, feel free to leave a comment. We are always super excited to hear from our readers.

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