Now that you’re accustomed to wearing a suit, and perhaps you have a suit (or suits) of your own, it’s time to transport your garment for an out-of-town event.
The poor packing of a suit can leave it wrinkled and deformed. A suit’s compromised integrity causes it to look ill-fitted and low quality. A great suit that falls victim to sloppy appearances wastes your money. So, make sure you’re packing your suits appropriately.
A few critical adjustments in your packing routine can make all the difference in the look of your post-travel garb.
This guide will provide you with steps you can take to keep your suit crisp during transport, whether you’re traveling with a checked suitcase or a carry-on bag.
How to Travel with a Men’s Suit
These steps break down how to pack each individual element of a suit, beginning with the jacket and pants, then working down to shoes, and ending with accessories. Say goodbye to careless handling and uncover the benefits of a properly packed suit. Here’s how to preserve your suit during packing:
How to Pack Jackets and Trousers
You’ll want to exert caution for the most distinctive and distinguished portions of your suit to ensure they look polished. Following these steps will have your suit jackets and pants folded like a pro in no time:
- Grab your suit jacket so the shoulders are facing you and lining is facing outward
- Fold the shoulder points together to line up the sleeves
- Align the collar, notch, and lapel parallel to the other side
- Lay the jacket onto a flat surface
- Fold the lapel side in half lengthwise
- Flip the fold over face down, grab your suit pants
- Fold your suit pants in quarters and place on top of the folded coat at the edge
- Fold your jacket from the lapel points over the pants
This technique will work regardless of the material of your suit. Try to position these toward the top of your suitcase so there aren’t many (or any) things on top of them.
How to Pack Dress Shirts
Because you’ve probably put lots of thought into the color and style of your shirts, you’ll want to display them at their best. Try to forgo as many wrinkles as possible. For minimal creasing, follow this method for packing the shirts for your suit:
- Button the shirt up.
- Lay the shirt button-side down on a flat surface.
- Fold the left and right sleeves across the back of the shirt.
- Fold both sleeves crosswise, so the cuffs meet the shirt’s collar.
- Fold the shirt in thirds lengthwise.
- Fold the shirt up from the bottom crosswise in thirds.
Pay close attention not to pack things on the collar to protect its shape.
How to Pack Waistcoats or Cummerbunds
The nice thing is that a waistcoat or cummerbund doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase. If you’re attending an event fancy enough to require one of these, here’s how to pack them most effectively.
For a waistcoat:
- Lay the waistcoat on a flat surface.
- Fold the waistcoat in half lengthwise.
- Fold the waistcoat in half crosswise.
Try to pack the waistcoat sandwiched between two sturdier pieces of clothing, like jeans, to prevent it from moving around, causing wrinkling.
For a cummerbund:
- Start from one end and roll the cummerbund up.
- Tuck it somewhere safely inside the suitcase.
You’ll probably need these the least often on the list, and you probably won’t have to pack both for the same trip.
How to Pack Dress Shoes
Shoes seem to take up an unnecessary amount of space in a suitcase. This solution provides you with a way to make them more economical. This method helps alleviate the most significant concern with packing dress shoes by ensuring they don’t become scratched or crushed:
- Roll up a few small and indelicate items like socks.
- Store them inside the shoes.
- Put your shoes on the bottom of the suitcase.
Doing this will help prevent the shoes from collapsing. Some other things to remember are to pack your shoes first and surround them with soft items to avoid marking them.
How to Pack Suit Accessories
Make sure to handle your suit accessories carefully. Keeping them in pristine condition will complement the tidiness of your suit and give it an extra boost of sophistication.
For a tie:
- Fold the tie in half crosswise.
- Starting at the narrower end, roll up the tie.
- Store in a secure spot in your luggage or a ziplock bag.
Pocket squares can also go in a separate baggie, making them easy to find and access.
For a belt:
- Put the tail end of the strap through the belt buckle loop.
- Pull the tail all the way through.
- Place the tail through the loop again.
- Repeat until you roll up the whole belt.
Keep your valuable items like cufflinks separate, and consider keeping them in a designated case or jewelry pouch.
Final Tips on How to Pack a Suit for Travel
While packing to attend a formal event like a wedding or important business meeting, correctly readying your suitcase will save you from a needless wardrobe malfunction.
Once you prepare everything, try keeping the suitcase as minimally filled as possible. Stuffing too many items into a bag will put pressure on the suit and may even cause damage you’ve worked diligently to avoid.
Put more delicate items, like shirts, as close to the top of your suitcase as possible to avoid other articles of clothing weighing them down and causing wrinkles.
If your suit ends up with a few creases and you’re in a pinch, hang the suit up in the bathroom while you shower—the steam will help let out some wrinkles.
Feel free to pick and choose what works for you from this list. Depending on your reason for traveling, you may rely on different tips at different times. If you’re lucky to take your suit out for a spin often, this list can be a point of reference for you in many instances.