Whether you’re a jetsetter or someone heading out of town on his first business trip, there’s one great equalizer among every well-dressed man who travels: how to pack a suit.
In an ideal world, you’d gently lay it into a garment bag, get to your destination and have it pressed, and be good to go. But maybe you don’t feel like lugging a garment bag along, or maybe you’re on a budget and can’t fit a garment bag into your baggage allowance – let alone pay for someone to iron it when you arrive. Here’s some advice to help you travel smart with a suit and get to your event looking slick.
The 3 tips you should know when you pack your suit
Go with the Fold. So there you are, suitcase or backpack open, wondering just how you’re going to fit your suit, shirt, shoes, socks, and tie inside – and how you’ll be able to take them out without your clothes being so wrinkled there’s no going back.
Guess what? You’re not alone.
Even a quick online search will bring up tons of sites and blogs offering advice about the best way to pack your suit, folding to both maximize luggage space and minimize wrinkles. Some – like this one — get the job done…mostly. Because the sad truth is, no matter how carefully you do it, your suit and shirt are still going to be at least a little rumpled when you unpack. Still, it’s not a lost cause to look up and use a folding technique; you’ll at least minimize wrinkles, which means you’ll have less to deal with. And that can be important, especially if you’re on a budget and have to smooth out your suit and shirt yourself.
Be smooth. Okay, so you’ve arrived at your destination, unpacked your suit, and even if you followed folding advice perfectly, it still has a few creases and wrinkles. If you’re not traveling on a budget, you’ve got a lot of options. Start by seeing what services your hotel offers. If for some reason they don’t press suits, see if the concierge or front desk person can point you to the nearest dry cleaners. Going the DIY route? If you’re ironing your suit, set the iron to “steam” and add some water, or sprinkle a little water on the suit; remember, suits need to be steam-cleaned. If you don’t have anything extra to spend on such a pressing detail, and your hotel doesn’t have an iron you can use, you can try this time-honored trick: Hang your suit and shirt neatly in the bathroom. Then, run a hot shower so that the room is completely full of steam. Take your damp suit and gently smooth the wrinkles and creases into place. Let it hang like that until it’s dry.
Bag it. There are different opinions on exactly how to fold a suit and shirt so that they’ll take up the least amount of space in your luggage and be as wrinkle-free as possible. But one thing is for sure: when it comes to your shoes, tie, and anything else (like, say, a pocket square), keep them separate. Your shoes should go in a drawstring or plastic bag; that way, if they have dirt on their soles, it won’t get on anything else. The best way to pack your tie is to roll it, then put it into a small plastic bag so it stays rolled up and doesn’t get wrinkled. As for your pocket square, fold it neatly and keep it in a small box. If you’re looking for a pocket square, here’s another tip: the ones we make at Glamorous Pochette are not only unique and stylish; each one also comes with its own handy box.
When you’re traveling with a suit, think of it like a buddy who needs a little extra attention. Take good care of him and you’ll end up having a much better time.