It is a well-known fact among my friends and family that I have an obsession (or borderline compulsion) with smoothing out wrinkles. I can’t stand a crinkled dress, sweater, or even a T-shirt. Sometimes, when no one is home, I even press my sheets (one day I will own a rotary iron).
An obsession with pressed clothes is an occupational concern, too — I work as a fashion editor and stylist — and this summer, after becoming fed up with travel steamers that never fully cleared wrinkles to my exacting standards on photo shoots, I decided to spring for a more serious version while prepping for a job on location at Bonnaroo.
After doing some research, I bought the Rowenta X-Cel Steamer DR8080 and have never looked back. It weighs a mere 2.2 pounds and has all the functions a versatile steam tool requires. Unlike wimpy versions that puff more than steam, the X-Cel sports a wide stainless steel head that blasts powerful bursts of hot mist. It’s got a fabric brush for releasing wrinkles from delicates like silk and cashmere, plus a lint pad to clear wool sweaters and suits of travel fuzzies. And on long shoots, you really appreciate its thumb-saving ergonomic design (unlike overhead triggers on flimsier models, the trigger on the X-Cel is positioned under the steam head for you to pull with your index and middle fingers). In the end, we had a full-size steamer at Bonnaroo but didn’t even need it. Now, I don’t travel without the X-Cel, though I do wish it came with its own travel pouch (I’ve been keeping it in a shoe bag). I’ve used it on everything from suits and silks for destination weddings to slipcovers and sheets at home — I’ve even broken it out to give jeans a little polish.
Slate has relationships with various online retailers. If you buy something through our links, Slate may earn an affiliate commission. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change. All prices were up to date at the time of publication.