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How to Pack a Suit Without a Garment Bag

Updated

Whether you're flying on business or en route to a fancy occasion, chances are you've got a two- or three-piece suit in tow. There's also a good chance that the first class closet is full and you're going to have to shimmy your garment bag into a tight overhead compartment. While there's probably an iron at the ready at your final destination, a garment bag is supposed to help your garb travel wrinkle-free. But when it's not packed correctly in transit, it can be cumbersome to tote around. So why bother?

Park & Bond — Gilt's high-end retail site for men's apparel and accessories — has created a helpful guide to packing a suit that ditches the traditional garment bag. There are just a few simple steps to packing your suit ever so conveniently in your carry-on suitcase. The tricks? Roll your garments, and pack them gently. To pack your pants, lay them flat and fold them along the pre-pressed crease. Then gently roll them from hem to waistband. The same idea applies to your jacket: lay it flat, fold it in half so that the lapels are opposite the back of the jacket and the sleeves come across the top of the folded jacket on a diagonal. Now roll from the collar downwards. The roll-and-pack technique is big in the Army because it saves space. But it's also an easy way to minimize the potential for unsightly rumpling of your nice duds.

Now that you've got your items rolled and at the ready, you'll want to pack them in an upright, rolling suitcase (as opposed to a duffel bag). In this simple and sturdy piece of luggage, you'll want to place your shoes and any other heavier items towards the bottom, and the lighter, neatly rolled garments at the top. And remember not to overstuff the suitcase: you'll crush the suit origami you've just created.

Ready to test these techniques out? Well, you'll obviously have to start with a suit. The Dolce Vita Men's Slim Fit Suit in Sliver Shark Metallic ($139 with free shipping, a low by $11) is a flashy option. However, if you're looking for a more conservative ensemble, we often seen great suit sales and deals from Jos. A. Bank, Slim Suit Shop, Men's Wearhouse, and Charles Tyrwhitt. While you shop around, be sure to consult our guide on how to buy suits online for additional style tips.

The only thing smarter than careful packing is getting an excellent suit at an affordable price; and with both, you'll appear dapper on the other end of a tedious bout of flying. [Park & Bond]

Features Editor Emeritus

Emily Dovi is a former DealNews Features Editor. She occasionally switched from red to black to pen some of DealNews' features. Follow her on Twitter at @emilydovi.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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2 comments
LookingSharp
Most places that sell suits online, I thought, always put them in garment bags that keep them from wrinkling when shipping. At least when I order from http://www.NewDressSuits.com all the suits have come in looking perfect. Thats where I get all my dress suits
justincase1
I travel often for work and wear suits and have found the best thing to do is the following:  Put the slacks on the same hanger (wood is best) as the jacket, then cover the suit (and slacks of course) with a plastic garmet bag, such as the ones dry cleaners cover your clean clothes with when you pick them up clean.  I then use a garmet bag (such as the Protege 48'' Garment Bag, Black - ://www.walmart.com/...rment-Bag-Black/13269108[/ur) to cover the suit (that is wrapped in plastic).  Fold the garmet bag in half (keeping the hanger on, placing the top of the hanger toward the chest in the garmet bag).  Put the folded garmet bag on top of everything else in the suit case (ie the garmet bag must be moved to get anything in the garmet bag). 

This process can be done for about 3 suits max (in 1 garmet bag) and will fit in carry-on luggage such as the American Tourister mentioned in the article.

The most important thing to do to prevent rumpling, wrinkles, ect is the plastic bag - it keeps the suit (or any other clothes) looking good and wrinkle free (or very close to it).
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