How to Pack a Suit for Travel

How to Pack a Suit for Travel

Planning a trip in the near future? If you are reading this, I'm assuming the answer is yes. Whether it's for business or leisure, you'll need to carefully pack your clothes so they don't become wrinkled. But how exactly are you supposed to pack a suit for travel? Being that suits are larger and more delicate, this isn't always an easy task. With a little bit of work, though, you can successfully pack your trousers, dress shirt, coat, necktie, and accessories all into a single suitcase.

Folding and Packing Suit Trousers

There are several different ways to pack trousers for traveling, although this is one of the easiest and most effective. Begin by holding the trousers upside down from the hem and look for the natural break. Next, lay the trousers down on a flat surface, along with their natural creases, and fold them once in half. Now fold them in half once more the opposite direction, and then fold them a third time back in the opposite direction. The trousers should be folded into a nice compact rectangle, which can then be placed inside your suitcase or luggage for safe travel.

Folding and Packing Suit Jacket

To fold a suit jacket for travel, hold it upright by the shoulders (front facing you) and fold it in half from shoulder to shoulder. Next, turn one of the shoulders inside out and the other shoulder with the lining facing outward. You can now either fold and place the suit jacket inside your suitcase, or you can place your trousers inside the jacket and then fold & pack it. Sorry if you were expecting more, but that's all it takes to fold a suit jacket for travel!

Folding and Packing a Dress Shirt

Now that you know how to fold and pack suit trousers and jackets, you might be wondering what the best approach is for a dress shirt. Again, there are several different ways to go about folding a dress shirt, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. With that said, one of the easiest techniques is to fasten all of the buttons and place it down on a flat, even surface (facing away from you). Now pinch the area between the collar and shoulder and do the same for the fabric near the bottom of the shirt. Pull these two areas together so you create a folding point. After you've created the folding point, let go of the fabric at the top of the shirt and grab the shoulder. Now fold this section over so it's underneath the collar. Next, fold the sleeve back in until it lies in a straight line with the fold; repeat this step for the other sleeve. You aren't finished just yet. Flip the bottom of the shirt up, grab both corners and fold them inward towards the middle. Move your hand along the bottom and fold these edges up once more, just enough so the fabric is sitting directly under the collar. When you are finished, you can place the newly folded shirt into your suitcase or luggage.


General Suit Packing Tips

  • Consider vacuum-sealing your garments and accessories before placing them inside a suitcase. Granted, it takes additional time and energy -- which is a luxury that some people may be able to afford -- but vacuum-sealing will prove invaluable in protecting your suit from wrinkles during transit.
  • For a necktie, roll it up into a ball (starting from the "fat" part at the bottom and working you way to the top), and then carefully place it inside of a sealed plastic bag.
  • Fill your suitcase or luggage with other garments so there's no "wiggle" room for your suit garments to move around. Wrinkles most often occur when garments get tossed around; therefore, filling your suitcase is an excellent way to protect them from this phenomenon.
  • Place a dryer sheet or two inside your suitcase to help prevent the formation of static electricity. Even if doesn't damage your suit, static electricity may attract lint and debris, forcing you to clean your suit before wearing it.
  • Avoid placing large and/or awkward-shaped objects in your suitcase, as this may create impressions on your suit garments. If you need to travel with such items, place them in a separate bag so they won't affect your suit.
  • If you are tight on space, try placing your rolled up necktie inside your shoes.
  • Make sure your suit is clean before packing it. I know this probably sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised to learn just how many men pack their suits without cleaning them first. Even it arrives at your destination wrinkle-free, you may be forced clean it before you wear it.

Help! My Suit was Wrinkled During Transit

If you follow the steps outlined above, your suit should remain clean and wrinkle-free during your travels. With that said, however, there's always the possibility of it getting tossed around, especially if you are traveling via commercial airliner. When this occurs, you have a few different options, one of which is to take your suit to the nearest dry cleaners. If this isn't an option, however, you can remove minor wrinkles by hanging your suit in the bathroom with a hot shower running for about 20-30 minutes. The steam from the shower should smooth out the wrinkles, leaving your suit nice and flat afterwards. After reading this, you should have a better idea of how to fold and pack a suit for travel. The key thing to remember is that you want to maintain the natural creases of your suit while minimizing the amount of room that it has to shift around during transit. Following these two tips will go a long ways in protecting your suit from wrinkles. And should wrinkles occur, you can remove them by hanging your suit in the bathroom with a hot shower running. What's your preferred method for folding and packing a suit?