- Buyer's Guide
Packing a Suit :: How to Travel Wrinkle-Free
When you’re flying into town to seal the big deal or for an important meeting, it’s important that you and your suit are looking crisp and professional – but the realities of airborne transit can leave your good suit wrinklier than a hand-crushed paper bag. So, with good impressions in mind, here’s a handy guide to keep you relaxed and wrinkle-free when business travel calls.
The first step to a crisp suit?
Choose wisely. Lots of suits aren’t made to travel. And different fabrics are more prone to wrinkling than others — for instance, avoid linen, it can crease up if given as much as a sidewards glance. Whereas wool relaxes after time, and its wrinkles can fall out after a little overnight hang time.
When shopping for a travel suit, the shear number of fabric choices and blends might boggle the mind, so a good simple test is to scrunch up a sleeve with your hand. If the creases relax quickly, then it’s a good suit to travel in. If the creases remain, then give it a miss.
Leave the beige suit at home (unless you’re off on safari, that is), and choose solid and dark colors, like navy and black. Even when beaten up a little, they’ll still appear less wrinkled than lighter colors.
“A good test is to scrunch up a sleeve with your hand. If the creases relax quickly, then it’s a good suit to travel in. If the creases remain, then give it a miss.”
When to wear and not to wear
The safest bet to get from point A to point B with a crisp-looking suit (and it’s an obvious one) is to wear it on the plane. Especially if your meeting’s on the same day.
But if there’s a wait, we recommend you get your fold on. And when you arrive at your destination hang it up overnight to breathe or hit it with some steam. A handheld portable steamer is a handy investment. Or there’s always the budget option of hanging your suit in the bathroom and running a steamy shower (but you can never bet on this; hotel showers vary, like a lot!).
Go hard and learn the fold
This is the tried and true method of most savvy business travellers.
Travel with a hard case and learn how to fold your suit properly. There’s a bunch of ways and plenty of videos online. Here’s a great roundup of three common techniques:
Let your bag do the work
If the thought of mastering ‘the fold’ sparks feelings of domestic-tinged anxiety, then traveling with a garment bag or specialized suit-carrying luggage is your next best option. If going with the specialized luggage option, make sure to select something with structure and rigidity, as overhead lockers are prone to bags being squashed together, and your suit’s more likely to feel the crush.
“If mastering ‘the fold’ sparks feelings of domestic-tinged anxiety, then a garment bag or specialized suit-carrying luggage is your next best option.”
Packing your garment bag
When packing your garment bag, place your suit, shirt and tie onto a hanger, just as if you were dressing yourself — shirts and pants first, then your coat and so on. Use hangers with pant rods and button up your clothes to keep items from shifting or sliding off.
Stuff your sleeves with tissue paper or socks and underwear to shirk the chances of creases forming. And try slipping your suit into a plastic dry cleaner bag to keep items from sliding against each other and bunching up.
And that’s the basics… if you have your own suit-ish tips, we’d love to hear them in the comments!