Next time you travel, try using plastic dry-cleaner bags to keep clothes from getting crushed. Cut the bags into shapes suitable for blouses, sweaters, etc. Then fold the clothes over the bags. You'll find they trap enough air to prevent wrinkling. And pack extras; they come in handy for storing wet bathing suits and dirty laundry.
* In some cases -- with knit pants, for example -- it's easier to roll the pants and plastic together. This takes up less room and is a guarantee against creases.
* Put shoes in plastic bags. I sometimes put gloves or pantyhose lTC in bags, too. It makes them easier to find. When I unpack I don't remove the bags until I'm ready to wear what's in them.
* Fold along permanent or "set" creases (in pant legs, shirtsleeves, etc.) whenever possible. This encourages the "fresh from the dry cleaner" look and cuts down on ironing.
* Tissue paper is another secret weapon against wrinkles. Line each garment with paper, then fold lengthwise in thirds (to correspond with the body's natural "creases": elbows, waist, knees).
* Pack the heaviest items on the bottom layer to prevent everything else from wrinkling, the most crushable items on top.
* Hang up clothes as soon as you reach your destination. If they're wrinkled, hang them in the bathroom, turn the hot water on in the shower and steam them.
* Should you need to take hangers along, the inflatable kind (available in travel stores) take up almost no space and weigh next to nothing.
* Pack what you need to wear first on top, so there's no need to search if you have an appointment immediately after you arrive at your destination.
* If you don't have a travel iron or steamer (another smart investment), you can usually get one from the hotel.
* Collect sample sizes of your favorite skin-care and makeup products (fragrance, too) before your trip. When you buy a beauty product, ask for samples for your travel kit. Check out drugstores for inexpensive, trial-size beauty aids, such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant.
* To keep luggage as lightweight as possible, carry pills and creams in plastic containers. Count out the number of pills or capsules you'll need for the days you'll be away and put them in labeled containers.
* Plastic makeup organizers with compartments are wonderful for storing essentials, from lipsticks to cosmetic brushes. Make sure the lining is plastic, too, for the easiest cleanup should a spill occur.
* Carry your cosmetics on board with you. They'll keep better at cabin temperature than in the cargo hold where extreme cold or heat can ruin formulations. And they'll be handy when you want to reapply them.
* Streamline your makeup choices with double-dry products, such as cream-to-powder base, eye shadow that pinch-hits as liner, lip pencil that fills in like lipstick, blush that highlights eyes, too. A suntan product with aloe vera also makes an excellent body moisturizer.
* Make sure cosmetics are "cushioned" (those plastic bags create protective pockets of air) to prevent breakage and leakage. To further safeguard against spillage from plastic bottles (shampoo, moisturizer, etc.), compress the open bottle, cover the opening with plastic wrap and then close the top while continuing to squeeze the bottle.
* Keep sharp-edged beauty aids (razor, scissors, etc.) encased.
* For easiest access, pack all-of-a-kind essentials together, in separate bags -- toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash; feminine hygiene products; shampoo, conditioner, hair spray.
From the book "Style" by Elsa Klensch. Copyright 1995, by Elsa Klensch. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, the Berkeley Publishing Group. A Perigee Book.