Wrinkles, creases, and a sloppy mess are all you get when you pack a suit in a suitcase.
Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could easily carry the suit in a carry-on or suitcase without making a mess?
Well, there are some efficient ways of folding and packing a suit that every gentleman must know.
Knowing these, you won’t only save some space but also avoid wrinkles and creases to a great extent.
How to Fold & Pack a Suit Jacket
There’s no single correct way to fold your suit; however, this method happens to be one of the most effective at keeping creasing at bay.
It also allows you to pack the jacket in the bag with your pants to save space.
Remember to smooth out the fabric of your suit jacket after each step so that any unintentional folds don’t become deep wrinkles.
Spread your suit jacket out on a flat surface in front of you, with the front of the jacket facing down. The arms should be at the side.
Fold the left shoulder to the middle of the jacket, with the arm flattened down over it.
Turn the right shoulder inside out so that the lining faces out.
Fold this part toward the center and tuck the left shoulder into the inverted right shoulder.
Fold the bottom of your suit jacket up underneath the top half.
You can also take the folded suit jacket and put it in a dry clean bag.
This will prevent your jacket from wearing and tearing from rubbing up against other cloth.
It’s worth mentioning that this method has one drawback; it leaves wrinkles since the jacket is folded both vertically and horizontally.
How to Fold & Pack the Suit Pants
Now that you have folded your suit jacket, it is time to give the suit pants the same level of care and attention.
You need the whole suit in good shape, so it only makes sense to keep the pant from crumpling and wrinkling.
On top of it, folding suit pants is probably the easiest. Here is what you need to do:
Grab the suit pants by the ankles and hold them with the waist side hanging at the bottom.
Lay the suit pants on a flat surface and fold them longwise along the natural crease. Ensure that one leg is equally over the other through the crease line.
Place the folded suit jacket on top of the pants right in the center.
Use the bottom half of the pants to drape over the folded jacket.
Bring the waist of the suit pants across the bottom of the pants and the jacket.
Voila! Your suit jacket and pants are perfectly packed in a neat and tidy square, ready to be put in the suitcase.
How to Pack the Dress Shirt
Folding your dress shirt is a challenge.
The only way to ensure it arrives at your destination sans wrinkles is to use a garment bag.
However, this is the most effective way to fold it.
- Lay your shirt flat on a hard surface, face down.
- Fold one sleeve across and down toward the center.
- Turn it at the elbow to fold the bottom half of the sleeve up along the center, toward the collar.
- Repeat with the other sleeve.
- Fold the side edges about 2/3 of the way across the center of the back of the shirt.
- Fold from the bottom, bringing the bottom 1/3 up.
- Fold the rest of the way to the collar.
Another way to go about it is to roll the shirt.
But do that only if you need to save space for other stuff:
- Put the shirt on a flat hard surface with the button side facing down.
- Fold the arms towards the middle such that the shirt takes the shape of a rectangle. The sleeves probably extend beyond the shirt’s hem.
- Fold the shirt vertically toward the rear side. Place the shirt with the front side facing up.
- Take 3-4 inches of the fabric from the bottom and fold it upwards.
- Now start rolling from the bottom until you have it in a cylindrical shape.
How to Pack Dress Shoes into the Suitcase
Your dress shoes must always be the first thing you pack.
They need to go at the bottom of your bag to help distribute weight evenly and prevent them from wrinkling your suit or getting your clothes dirty.
Use a protective plastic cover or bag for each shoe to ensure that your clothing stays clean and that your shoes don’t get scuffed while in transit.
Pro tip: put your socks, underpants, and other small items into your shoes.
You’ll find this tip has two benefits. First, it saves space.
Also, it helps your shoes retain their shape. They can’t get crushed if they are full.
Finally, the most convenient way to keep them in good shape while traveling is to wear them.
How to Pack the Whole Suit by Rolling It Up
If you don’t have a spare room in your suitcase or carry-on bag, you can try this method for a more compact packing solution.
- Hold the jacket by the shoulders with the front of the jacket facing away from you.
- Turn one shoulder inside out by flipping half of the jacket’s side entirely inside out.
- Fold the opposite shoulder into the inside-out half. Get as much inside as possible to make your jacket as small as possible, gently so as not to crush the material.
- Optional: Roll up a t-shirt to act as a firm center for your suit. Insert one edge of the rolled shirt into the shoulder of the suit jacket.
- At this point, lay the garments on a hard, smooth surface.
- Begin the rolling process by wrapping the top of the suit jacket down around the shirt.
- Keep rolling the fabric over itself, smoothing the fabric as you go.
Work slowly to flatten out any creases along the way. You’ll end up with a perfect cylinder.
It is a great method to neatly pack the suit and save some space for other stuff but only if you get the hang of it.
It will take practice to help you perfectly do the roll without causing any creases or wrinkles.
How to Use the Dry Cleaning Bag to Pack a Suit
The dry-cleaning bag method is a good alternative for those who want to be extra wary of wrinkles.
Hang your suit on a rigid hanger and slide it inside the dry cleaning bag.
Pull the hanger’s hook through the top hole of the cleaning bag to make it convenient for carrying around or hanging.
Once in place, zip up the dry cleaning bag and fold it in half horizontally so that the bottom of the suit lines up with the jacket’s collars.
A dry-cleaning bag helps prevent wrinkles and creases on the suit. It is a great suit-packing method, especially if you are packing in a hurry.
On the brighter side, you don’t even need to invest in an expensive dry-cleaning bag. Any cheap or free bag that comes with the suit will also work.
However, it is not the most efficient way to utilize space in a suitcase.
Therefore, if you are traveling for a longer time and have to carry more stuff, I would recommend folding or rolling up the suit instead.
Other Things to Consider Before You Pack a Suit
Packing the suit isn’t as easy as packing the rest of your wardrobe.
It has to be treated with extra care and in ways that most people are unaware of.
However, that doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to pack a suit right.
Knowing vital things such as the type of bag and handling the wrinkles is key to successful packing.
How a Good Carry-on Bag Affects Packing the Suit
Usually, suitcases are the best choice when it comes to packing a suit.
However, a medium-to-large carry-on bag can do the job just fine.
Thanks to its design and functionality, it is quite simple and easy to fold and pack a suit in a carry-on.
Make sure you get a carry-on bag because it offers more room for the suit to be neatly packed.
It is important to keep the airline’s guidelines in check, though.
More importantly, the carry-on bag must-have stiff and rigid sides for added protection for the suit and other items in the bag.
Should You Carry Iron for Wrinkles and Creases?
Even if you have taken extra precautions while packing, the suit is still likely to get wrinkled or creased.
Although most hotels have standard irons, I would still recommend packing an iron or mini steamer to be safe.
Still, the best alternative to keep the suit wrinkle-free is to wear it while traveling.
You might not feel comfortable during the flight or ride, but you sure will look stylish.
Lastly, if you decide to pack the suit in a bag, I would advise you always to keep it on top of other clothes.
This will help prevent substantial creasing due to the weight of stuff on the suit.