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]
Note that this feature has been updated since it was originally published last summer.