Summer is travelling time – either for work to those slow business months conferences and expos , or for exotic weddings, and other trips that require you to dress. Unfortunately our luggage is also getting smaller and cramming everything you need into a small case or worse, your carry-on bag, is a nightmare: Especially if you have to pack a suit.
You don’t want your delicately woven masterpiece of tailoring – that cost you hundreds – to get stuffed into a duffel bag only to be man-handled by the baggage guys.
We’ve all tried to squeeze in a suit at the last minute. You’ve got everything else in your bag, socks, ties and shirts, but when it comes to the suit you’re at a bit of a loss and a panic. Especially when it comes to unpacking at the other end and it comes out totally wrinkled. It’s not just wrinkles and creases. Folding a suit incorrectly can actually cause damage.
Fortunately, there are ways to pack a suit in such a way that when you take it out at your hotel, your first thought is of the poolside bar and not the laundry service. These are some favourites:
The Quarter-Fold Method
Lie the jacket flat, buttoned up facing you on a table
Flip the jacket over so it’s facing down and brush away any creases
Now fold each side of the jacket inwards so a quarter of the jacket is facing inwards either side
Fold the trousers in half twice, so they’re a quarter of their size
Place the trousers at the top part of the jacket
Fold the remaining part of the jacket over the trousers so now you have the bottoms inside the folded blazer
Remove any creases and flip over again, so the front of the jacket and its lapels are facing you
The Wraparound Method
This alternative approach also finds a way to bundle up jacket and trousers with an effective wraparound technique. This works for suitcases or even carrying your suit in a duffel bag.
Lay the suit jacket flat and face down
Take the left shoulder and fold it back
Turn the right shoulder inside out and tuck the left shoulder into the right
Fold in half lengthwise and then fold the jacket over horizontally
Place folded jacket in centre of outstretched trousers
Fold the trouser bottoms over the jacket
Repeat with the top of trousers to make a bundle
The Easy Jacket Fold
This simple technique is one for beginners – a quick and simple technique that will fold your jacket neatly. Place it at the bottom of a flat suitcase to keep the wrinkles at bay.
Lay the jacket face down on a flat surface
Fold the left sleeve back so the jacket is three quarters of its width
Now fold the right sleeve back so the shoulders are slightly overlapping
Fold the bottom half of the jacket up and tuck the bottom hem under the collar
The Roll Method
Rolling is the best method for space saving when packing luggage. It’s derived from a Japanese packing technique (Marie Kondo swears by it!) and saves on both space and creases.
Fasten the top button of the jacket and lay it face down
Push the left sleeve and shoulder pad inside-out
Fold the right shoulder over towards inside-out left shoulder. The two lapels should cross over a little
Place your quarter-sized folded trousers on the top end of the folded jacket
Don’t stuff too much in there or the roll won’t hold properly
Roll from the top and continue rolling into a neat bundle
With men’s jackets, it’s best to lay them flat with some tissue paper in between and the suit’s lapel should never be flat; they’re actually meant to be rolled, so roll some tissue paper up and place it under the lapel.
If you don’t own a suit bag and are forced to travel with dress items in a suitcase, you can still look wonderfully put together when you unpack by taking care of your jacket – a quick steam once you get to your room will also do wonders for your look.
Don’t forget to use underwear as shoe stiffeners, as well. After all they are all going to need washing when you return. Protect ties by folding them neatly and transport them inside sandwich bags!