How to Pack a Suit

Efficient Folding Methods for Packing

The working-mom life often means trading luxury for efficiency—sports cars for minivans, stilettos for sneakers and, in the case of business travel, garment bags for carry-on suitcases. So when you're facing the task of packing your favorite suit into a carry-on bag, you need to have good folding methods at the ready.

Folding a Suit Jacket

  1. Lay the jacket face-down on a flat surface.
  2. Fold the left shoulder back (toward you).
  3. Turn the right shoulder inside out and tuck the left shoulder into it.
  4. Fold the whole jacket in half lengthwise, then again horizontally.

Folding Dress Pants

  1. Hold the pants upside down from the bottom hem to find their natural creases.
  2. Lay down the pants along their natural creases and fold them in half—and then fold them in half again.

Folding a Suit Skirt

  1. Find your skirt's natural creases and lay it on a flat surface.
  2. Fold it lengthwise, then again horizontally.

Keeping it Efficient

Consider folding your jacket into your pants, or vise versa. To do this, place your folded jacket in the center of your pants after laying out the pants on a flat surface. Fold the bottoms of the pants over the jacket, and then the top.

Or fold your pants first and fold them in half three times instead of two. When folding your jacket, place the trousers inside the jacket between steps three and four. If you're packing a suit skirt, it should fold easily into the jacket, as well.

When packing your suit into the suitcase, try to keep it as close to the top as possible to avoid squishing it beneath any heavy objects. Put shoes, books and other bulky items in the bottom of your suitcase.

Getting Rid of Wrinkles

Nobody's perfect. If, on arrival, you find your folding endeavors didn't keep the wrinkles out of your suit, don't worry—you can have it pressed and ready to go without leaving the hotel room.

  • Shower steam: Hang up your suit in the bathroom while the shower blasts hot water and the room fills with steam. Afterward, lay out the garments on a flat surface and smooth them with your hands by pressing down firmly.
  • De-wrinkling spray: Fill a clean spray bottle with water and lightly spritz your suit from about six inches away, being careful not to get it too wet. Use your hands to smooth out wrinkles and wait for the garments to dry before repeating.
  • Ironing: If you've got the time (and patience) to iron and your hotel room has one sitting in the closet, this is probably your best bet. Place your garment on a towel on the ironing board. Check the tag for heat setting instructions, though you'll most likely want medium heat. Then, iron away, taking your time and special care with lapels, pockets, collars, sleeves and underarms.

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