Hi Simon,

First of all let me say I’m a massive fan of your blog. In fact I’ve even cancelled my GQ subscription because of your blog. Doesn’t mean you should start charging us though! I was wondering if you could do a post on how to carry your suit while travelling? My Samsonite has a ‘suit compartment’ which is pretty much a zipped closure on the lid of the suitcase but the suit always come out crushed at the end of the journey. Look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Joe


Hi Joe,

In the same way as previous reader questions asking for practical advice on such things, I’m not going to describe in detail how to pack, but rather give my experience of different techniques.

My first point would be that if you can avoid packing a jacket, do so. If I’m just travelling for a night or two and don’t need to many changes of formal clothing, I will usually take my travel blazer or a suit and not pack it up. No matter what technique you use, there will be some small creases. Wear your jacket to the airport and take it off when you’re on the plane, either hanging it on the hook on the seat back or putting it in the overhead compartment.

If you do pack a jacket, make sure to fold it carefully whatever technique you use. Don’t get it trapped when you close the lid; take things out of the pockets; pack it at the top of the suitcase; and smooth it out as you do.

You can use a suit carrier, either a small one or a big one that also allows you to pack shirts and shoes etc in it. While this will cut down on the creasing a lot, it is one extra thing to carry and I usually can’t be bothered.

If using a suitcase, the basic method is to just lay the jacket on its back, making sure the collar and shoulders are far enough from the sides, and fold up the bottom half. You need a case that is as wide as the jacket.

Louis Vuitton, in its Art of Packingseries, recommends folding like this but putting things like socks in the tops of the sleeves, and a sweater and trousers from the suit inside the jacket, before folding it over. This makes sense as it reduces hard creases and also works well if you fold shirts around each other. I can never be bothered to be this intricate, however.

The main alternative technique is to fold the jacket lengthways, but turn it inside out first. This is illustrated quite well on a video here. The biggest advantage of this method is that it protects the material of the jacket from nicks or pulls. I haven’t found it has many benefits in terms of creasing, but it is the technique I normally use. Again, it helps if your case is as long as the jacket, so you don’t need to fold up the bottom at all.

Some tailors when making visits overseas even use this inside-out technique and then roll the jacket up. In my experience this only works on softer jackets, in terms of both cloth and construction. Don’t do it with worsted, but with a cashmere jacket for a weekend away, this can even be ok in a holdall.

Finally, hanging the jacket in a steamy bathroom does have some benefits. But it’s only marginally better than hanging the thing up in a wardrobe overnight. Look after your jacket, don’t leave it on the floor and brush it down.
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Anonymous

Ah Ha….I think I can solve this problem for you!!! A little while ago I came across a clip on YouTube posted by a tailor in Hong Kong. He carefully folded the suit jacket and placed it inside a large sealable bag (a bit like an oversized sandwich bag) and sealed it. Their was enough air left inside the bag to prevent the jacket being crushed in the suitcase. After watching this clip I promptly trotted down to Argos and purchased a cheap multi pack of vacuum bags that come in various different sizes and placed one pair of trousers in each bag being careful to leave enough air in the bag to create a cushion and then stacked them on top of each other at the bottom of the wardrobe. Weeks later I pulled out a pair of golfing trousers and there was not a single crease to be seen!! (they were also protected from dust & moths!!) Such a simple and effective solution I wish I had thought of this ages ago!! Give it a go. Regards Mark

Anonymous

Found the YouTube link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDGWW7_O2sI

How to fold a suit, pants and shirt to go in a suitcase without wrinkling

Regards Mark

Anonymous

Put This On offered an instructional video a while ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJQbpTW7HSk

AFJ

“… hanging it on the hook on the seat back…”

Good luck with that on a low-cost airline…

Michael Murray

Simon,

I may have missed a previous post when searching but wanted to ask. For suits that are well taken care of and encounter a little bit of snow and salt in the winter what do you recommend for maintenance? Annual dry cleaning with a good press? I just wanted to get your thoughts.

Thanks,

Michael B. Murray

Aaron W Byrd

Hi, Simon!
On this same note, I’m curious to find out what sorts of things you recommend to travel in.

Some of the style magazines have recommended LuLuLemon Kung Fu pants with a polo shirt and jacket for long-haul trips, but at the end of the day, they’re really nothing more than dressed-up sweatpants. I know at one point you had a bespoke travel blazer made, but unfortunately, bespoke is not in the budget at present.

That said, do you recommend a pair of trousers that are comfortable for long airplane rides, but still look put together, and a jacket that won’t look as if I’ve slept in it but still has plenty of pockets?

Also, are there any plans to make your Friday polo in a 2XL? As Jeremy Clarkson observed, some of your American cousins are somewhat more rotund than you Brits. đŸ™‚

Thanks in advance!
Aaron