How to Pack Formal Attire for Traveling

You have your suit picked out, the hotel is booked, and your flight is confirmed. The only thing left to do is every travelers nightmare…’s time to pack your suitcase. Whether you are traveling for a weekend business trip or a trip for the holidays, we all just want to take the easy way out and stuff our clothes in the suitcase to deal with the wrinkly clothes later on. Is it worth the stress? Absolutely not. Every single time you pack your suitcase improperly, it will leave your formal (expensive) attire with wrinkles, crevices, and creases every time, which is a great way to ruin the look of a fresh suit. With taking just an extra 5-10 minutes to pack your suitcase properly, it can leave your clothes looking like the way you had them before you packed. Here is how to do it.


The Jacket


The jacket is the easiest clothing item to pack in order to prevent wrinkles and creases in your material. The trick? Fold your jacket inside out and then fold it. It’s seriously that easy. Your jacket is multilayered so by folding it inside-out, any folding wrinkles and crease occur on the material that you will be wearing on the inside. To fold the jacket after turning it inside out, fold the jacket in half with the sleeves aligning (buttons towards the inside). Second, fold the sleeves down to the side of the jacket with one sleeve folded over the other. Third, fold the jacket from the collar to the bottom with the sleeves folded to the inside of the jacket.


The Shirt


Here comes the trickiest and hardest clothing item to prevent wrinkles and creases from occurring. The best technique to utilize is the rolling method. The folding method creates too many edges that eventually becomes compressed and creased into the material so try to avoid it if necessary. The rolling method begins by buttoning the shirt just shy of the collar button. Second, fold the shirt in half so the sleeves align with the buttons towards the outside. Third, you want to fold the sleeves down to the side of the shirt with one sleeve folded over the other. From the bottom of the shirt, you want to begin rolling your shirt up to the collar with the sleeves towards the inside of the roll. If your shirt seems to wide when rolling, try folding the shirt in half one more time with the sleeves towards the inside.


The Pants


All formal dress pants have a permanent crease along the side which can be found near your thumb as your arm hangs down the side of your body. You will fold your pants along that crease (the crease is not where your hem is). To fold your pants, you want to grab your pants from the waist line and fold them in half so your pants material is flat from the crease. Second, find the middle of your pants and fold the waist line down to the bottom of the pants. Third, fold the pants in half one more time and you are all set with a flat pair of pants.


The Socks


Don’t underestimate packing the socks because there actually is a “smart” way to pack them. Typically, socks are folded at the top  which stretches out the material that is supposed to be snug against your shin to prevent the socks from slipping down. First, lay the pair of socks flat on the ground, one sock on top of the other. Start from either end of the sock and tightly roll them up. That’s it!


The Shoes


A nice suit comes with a nice pair of shoes that you will wear out around the town. When traveling with shoes, it’s important to not just protect the shoes, but to protect your clothes from the shoes. Think about where you had walked in them and what you stepped through today. Now imagine all that dirt on the bottom of your shoes rubbing on your nice shirt and jacket you just packed. To prevent this, all you have to do is invest in a nice little shoe bag when traveling which will prevent any dirt, moisture and other things from falling off your shoes and onto your clothes packed away.


Tips and Tricks


You just arrived to your hotel and somehow, your shirts and pants ended up with some wrinkles on them. If the hotel or accommodation that you are staying at doesn’t have an iron, don’t fret, there are a few easy things you can do. If you have a small wrinkle or crease, try spraying or dabbing some hot water on the area. After, get a blow dryer and heat up the area until it is dry and the crease should be gone. If the majority of the shirt or pants has creases and wrinkles, turn on your shower steaming hot to create steam in the bathroom. Hang your wrinkly material near the shower to allow all the material to take in the steam. After a few minutes, the wrinkles and creases should have disappeared and you can allow your clothes to hang dry wrinkle free!

I hope this simple guideline on how to pack your attire helps you on your next trip!

This post was originally written for Gentleman’s Box as a guest writer which can be read here!

World Traveling, Coffee Addicted, US Army Veteran


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