How To Pack A Suit For Your Next Trip

Whether you're trying to make a first impression or on the verge of completing that mega-merger, your appearance means everything. There's nothing much worse than showing up for an important interview or business meeting looking unprofessional. Part of that professional look is a quality business suit that's wrinkle free and well fitted. But if you're flying to this meeting, what can you do to keep the suit looking like it just came out of the dry cleaners? Here are a few tips on how to pack a suit.

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How To Pack A Suit

The Coat

1. Turn the coat around so that the backside is facing you.

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Step Two (Credit, Randy Yagi)

2. Fold one half of the coat inside out, then firmly press the padded shoulder area out to expose the inside seam. Next, do the same with the other side of the coat so that it's inside out. Then vertically fold the coat in half. Some experts say to insert a rolled up pair of briefs or a couple of pairs of socks into each of the padded shoulder areas.

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Step Three (Credit, Randy Yagi)

3. If the luggage is large enough, the coat may then be placed into the luggage. However if your luggage is smaller, the coat should be folded vertically once more, from top to bottom.

4. An additional option favored by some experts is to protect the folded coat in a plastic clothes bag such as the type commonly seen at dry cleaners and/or a packing cube.

The Pants

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Step One (Credit, Randy Yagi)

1. Lay the pants out, fold in half, then in half again, and then if desired, carefully wrapped with a plastic clothes bag in addition to the aforementioned packing cube before placing both items into the luggage.

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Step Two (Credit, Randy Yagi)

2. Another method commonly used to pack pants is to carefully roll the pants along the creases, so that it resembles a roll-up blanket.

The Dress Shirt

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Dress Shirt (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Dress Shirt

Folding a dress shirt will look much like it does before it's taken out of a package.

1. The first step is to fasten all of the buttons, including the sleeves. Then place the shirt face down.

2. The next step is to bring one sleeve across the shirt, then fold the sleeve so that it is vertically in line with the shirt. Proceed over to the other sleeve and repeat the process.

3. Flip the shirt in half, beginning from the bottom.

4. Flip the shirt over so that the front section is facing forward.

5. Place the shirt into a plastic bag.

6. Lay the shirt flat into the luggage, then layer other shirts on top of it.

After Arriving At Your Hotel

After checking in to your room, one way to remove wrinkles from your suit is to hang your suit in the bathroom while taking a shower. However, while many business travelers swear by this method, others argue it doesn't always work very well. What might be a better solution is to invest in a portable, handheld garment steamer, with prices ranging from about $20 to about $100. An even cheaper investment is a wrinkle releaser, typically available in grocery stores and drug stores, or a homemade version, with a cup of water, a tablespoon of fabric softener and a spray bottle.

Last Word Of Advice

Rooms in business class hotels typically include an iron and ironing board. However, please note that it's much better to use a steamer than an iron if you want to remove wrinkles from your dress shirt. A nice alternative is to simply purchase wrinkle free dress shirts from any of the top clothiers.

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on