How to Pack a Suit - The Essential Guide - Joseph Abboud
- by Off The Cuff
- September 23, 2022
- 5 min read
Whether it’s a day in the office or a night out in your hometown, nothing turns heads quite like perfectly tailored men’s suits—but what about when you’re traveling?
Is it even possible to safely pack a suit for a destination wedding? How will you keep your suit looking flawless for an important business trip? These are natural questions to have when it comes to protecting the investment you have made in your suit.For those who fear packing a suit for a trip abroad, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to pack a suit in a way that will have you looking your best for your next adventure.
What to Do Before Packing a Suit
If you’ve been wondering whether or not it’s safe to pack your suit in a suitcase, we have good news: the answer is absolutely. In fact, this method is far safer than leaving your suit at the mercy of the overhead luggage compartment without protection. However, before you start packing your suit, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Plan Your Pack
First, you’ll want to assess the other items you plan to pack. If you have limited space to work with, you’ll want to gather everything else that you plan to bring and give your pack a “trial run.” This will help ensure that your suit will fit with the other items in your luggage without any trouble.
While this is especially relevant if you plan to pack everything you need in a carry-on bag, you’ll want your suit on top of the rest of your items regardless of your choice of luggage. This gives you your best shot at eliminating potential wrinkles and creases.
Consider Your Choice of Luggage
Another element to evaluate before your trip is the bag you intend to travel with. Investing in a proper carry-on bag or suitcase isn’t just a good idea when traveling with a suit; it’s essential for traveling in general. The larger the bag, the better—as long as it fits airport guidelines.
Size restrictions for carry-on baggage seem to change overnight, so investing in a bag that is at or under current size guidelines is typically the safest choice.
The standard domestic carry-on size within the US is only 22″ x 14″ x 9″. If you plan on traveling outside of the US with nothing more than a carry-on bag, you may find yourself needing to work with luggage that’s even smaller.
Have the Right Tools
When all else fails, you may want to consider a garment steamer. These small devices can remove creases and wrinkles from your suit and will typically fit in a carry-on bag.
While the methods we outline below will support your packing goals and help keep your suit tidy, there is no folding or packing method that is 100% guaranteed to prevent wrinkles. This is why having your own steamer on hand can save you the headache of wrinkled slacks and suit jackets on arrival.
Another advantage of having your own clothes steamer is that they’re affordable and keep the fine fabrics of your suit in excellent condition. Multiple dry cleaning trips will actually break down natural fabrics over time, so save dry cleaning for genuine emergencies and invest in a great garment steamer.
How to Pack Your Suit Jacket in a Suitcase
You can easily pack a suit inside a suitcase. However, there are two parts to your suit: The jacket and the trousers. You’ve got a few different options for packing each component, so let’s start with the jacket.
The Traditional Method
The traditional way to fold your suit jacket and pack it in a suitcase is similar to folding a shirt.
To start, lay your suit jacket face down on a flat surface and spread it out. Some packing experts recommend filling each sleeve of your suit jacket with a sheet or two of tissue paper at this time to provide support and reduce wrinkling.
From there, fold both shoulders one at a time inward toward the midway point on the back and keep the sleeves flat.
Once that’s done, you’ll take the bottom half of your suit jacket and fold it toward the top. The bottom hem of your jacket should land just below the collar.
Lastly, flip the jacket over—you should have a neat and tidy square!
From here, there are two options: You can place your folded suit jacket on top of all items in your suitcase and risk it getting tossed around by the TSA during your toiletries check. Alternatively, you can place your suit jacket on the bottom of your suitcase with your toiletries at the very top.
If you go with the bottom-of-the-suitcase method, you’ll first want to build a protective layer of underclothes at the base of your suitcase to separate your suit from the bar supports typically found at the bottom of your bag. Then, lay another layer of tissue paper on top of these underclothes to separate and cushion your suit.
You’ll cover your suit with another protective layer of tissue paper before you begin placing additional layers on top.
The Tucked Shoulder Fold
The tucked shoulder fold is a great option for conserving additional space in a small suitcase or weekend bag.
To start, you’ll take your suit jacket and hold it up with the back of the suit facing you.
From there, take one of the shoulders and turn it inside out toward yourself, and then take the opposite shoulder and tuck it into the other side. Do your best to push this shoulder as far inside as you can. This will help you make the fold smaller and take up less space. However, don’t overdo it: you don’t want to mess up the material!
Lastly, fold your suit in half, starting at the bottom. That’s all there is to it!
Using a Dry Cleaning Bag
Is a dry cleaning bag necessary for packing men’s suits? No, but it can certainly help those who don’t want to go through the intricacies of folding their suit using the above methods.
With a dry-cleaning bag, packing your suit is simple—hang your suit on a sturdy hanger, fold your suit from bottom to top, gently press any air out of the bag (without pressing too hard on your suit jacket), and then place it in your suitcase.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that!
How to Pack Your Suit Pants
It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief: your suit pants are far easier to pack than your jacket.
Start by grabbing your pants and holding them out in front of you upside down.
Next, you’ll want to find where the crease line is. Once you’ve found it, lay the trousers down on a flat surface along the crease—one leg should be placed on top of the other.
Here’s the best part: You can place your folded suit jacket inside the pants to conserve space. Take your folded suit jacket and put them on top of your pants near the center. Bring the bottom of your pants up to the suit jacket, and then bring the top half down to the same spot to create a “suit package.”
There you have it: a perfectly packable suit.
Need the Perfect Suit for Your Next Trip?
If you want a dream suit that fits you perfectly for your next big event, look no further. Whether it’s for wedding season or an important business trip, Joseph Abboud has you covered.
We offer in-person fitting services to those located in Los Angeles or the Northeastern United States to ensure a perfect fit every time. If you’re located elsewhere, take advantage of our virtual appointments. We’ll get you a perfectly fitted suit that has you looking and feeling your absolute best.
Ready to build your dream suit? Book an appointment with our master tailors today.