You’ve been invited to a friend’s wedding in Argentina.
Or a business meeting in London.
And you have to pack your favorite suit.
The best way to transport your jacket, sports coat or blazer?
Wear it while you travel.
Maybe that’s not an option or you’re packing multiple jackets.
You could also stow it in a full-length garment bag and keep the jacket on a hanger.
If garment bags are too much of a hassle to travel with, there are ways to safely fold it in your checked luggage or carry-on.
How do pack your jacket without wrinkling it so that it is ready for wear when you arrive at your destination?
Apply one of the 3 methods listed below
Method #1 – Reverse Shoulder Insert (Tucked-Shoulder Fold)
Creases on clothes result from applying pressure to folds.
When clothes are packed in luggage, they are subject to pressure. It’s in your best interest to pack them in such a way that the pressure is distributed and not applied to the folds and seams.
The tucked-shoulder fold ensures that the pressure is applied to the lining and not the seams and folds, hence protecting the outside of the jacket from wear and tear.
- Fasten the top button of the jacket.
- Lay it face down on a flat surface.
- Flip one of the shoulders inside out as shown in the infographic. It is not necessary to pull the entire sleeve inside out, just the padding.
- Folding the jacket backward, tuck in the opposite shoulder into the one popped inside-out.
- Tuck the rest of the jacket length so that the lining faces out.
- Adjust the tuck until the front of the lapels and sleeves are lined up.
- Fold the jacket horizontally in half so that the top of the shoulders is lined up with the bottom edge of the jacket.
- The jacket is now ready to pack!
Folding the jacket with the lining facing outward protects the outside. Scuffs, stains, and tears on the lining won’t show when you’re wearing the jacket, but if the outside is ruined, you are forced to get it fixed immediately.
If you have to fold your jacket, always minimize the number of folds needed, and try to keep the folds along the seams. It is always better to avoid folding across a flat plane of fabric.
Can you use this method if your jacket is constructed without padding?
This method is slightly trickier if the suit jacket doesn’t have shoulder pads (especially if you got yours made by an Italian tailor).
Follow the same method – pull one shoulder inside out and place your hand in the shoulder groove for extra support.
Method #2 – Dress Shirt Fold
When you’re on the go and need to pack your jacket, use the folding technique employed by most retailers on dress shirts:
- Lay the jacket down on a flat surface with the back facing you.
- Tuck the left sleeves behind the back.
- Tuck the right sleeve behind the back with the shoulders overlapping slightly at the middle.
- Fold the jacket in half from the bottom, tucking the bottom hem up underneath the collar.
- The resulting bundle is about the same size as the one you get in Option #2, but a little thicker in the middle and not quite as even.
Expect a few creases in your jacket with this technique because it requires folding in several places – vertically and horizontally.
Remember to unpack it as soon as you arrive at your destination and hang it up so it retains its shape.
Method #3 – Bundle Wrapping Or Folded Jacket Roll
For the best insurance against wrinkles – roll, don’t fold.
The bundle wrapping technique is the best solution to the problem of wrinkles and creases. This approach involves the careful wrapping of the jacket around a few other items of clothing.
This technique takes several attempts to get it right. However, it ensures that your jacket is never folded across the fabric:
- Fasten the top button of the jacket.
- Lay it down on a flat surface with the front of the jacket facing away from you.
- Press one of the shoulder pad to pull it inside-out as shown in the infographic.
- It is not necessary to pull the entire sleeve inside out, just the padding.
- Tuck in the opposite shoulder into the one popped inside-out until the entire length of the lapel is lined up nicely.
- Line up the lapels so they lie on top of each other.
- Place a few other items of clothing on the top end of the folded jacket. Shirts and underwear will do the trick – Don’t try to cram too much in there — the roll won’t hold as well, and you’ll be more likely to wrinkle your jacket in the process.
- Start rolling from the top until the items of clothing are completely covered.
- Continue rolling so that the jacket is rolled up in a neat bundle.
- Place in a corner of your bag or suitcase.
Click Here To See The Full Infographic For 3 Ways To Fold A Suit Jacket
The majority of the stress in the bundle wrapping technique falls on the shoulders and sleeves, which are made to flex. The back panels and broad front of the jacket get bent gently rather than pressed flat.
The only disadvantage of using the bundling technique is that a rolled-up jacket takes up more space than a flat fold.
Antonio Centeno is the founder of RealMenRealStyle having studied style in London, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. He is a former US Marine Officer with an MBA from UT Austin and BA from Cornell College. Want to learn how to Command Respect, Attract Opportunity & Increase Income by leveraging science of style? Click Here To Attend FREE Masterclass.
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When it comes to prepping for winter travel, maximizing space is essential. Packing a single pair of boots, a sweater, and a coat can leave you with little room in your luggage. If you’re traveling from an area with warmer weather, wearing your coat on the plane can be a major drag. Luckily, there’s an expert-approved alternative to jamming your favorite outerwear into your suitcase. For those planning an excursion into colder climates, it’s well worth freeing up some space and learning how to pack a winter coat properly. Read on to see how it’s done in six steps.
1. Zip It Up
The first step in packing a winter coat is to zip it all the way up. The same rule applies if your coat has buttons or snaps. Leaving a coat unzipped is likely to make rolling and folding uneven. If you leave your coat unzipped, it might take up far more space than needed.
2. Fold the Sleeves First
Lay your coat flat on its front with the sleeves and hood extended. Then fold each sleeve backward at a natural angle, roughly parallel with the sides of the body of the coat. The sleeves should not overlap.
3. Fold ItВ in Half
Next, fold your coat backward along the midline. You should now have a neatly folded coat. The front of the garment should be facing outward.
4. Roll It Up
Starting from the bottom of the coat, tightly roll the coat upward like you would a sleeping bag. Make sure to keep the edges straight and squeeze any excess air out of the coat as you go. Rolling tightly is essential to effectively packing a winter coat.
5. Band It Up
Using a set of heavy-duty rubber bands (hair bands will also work depending on the size of the coat), bind the rolled portion of the coat securely. Avoid using ultra-thin or flimsy bands, since these can snap in transit.
6. Stow the Coat
The final stage in packing up a winter coat is to place it in your luggage. If you’re using a hard suitcase, opt for a corner or side in order to take up as little space as possible. The same rule applies if you’re packing a duffel, where a coat can nestle along the edge and act as a buffer for more fragile items.
Ready for your next lesson in packing? Read on to discover how to pack without wrinkling your clothes.
As far as clothing maintenance goes, packing and transporting men’s suit and sports jackets is pretty high on the list of aggravating tasks.
A good wool jacket combines two major problems when it’s not on your shoulders: it’s bulky, and it’s vulnerable to permanent creasing if a fold gets pressed into the fabric.
You can steam or iron those out later, in most cases, but it’s still extra work, and hard on the jacket’s longevity.
It’s a problem that cries out for a solution.
Fortunately, we have three for you.
Jacket Fold Style #1 – Tucked-Shoulder Fold
This one does involve a large fold down the center of the jacket, meaning it’s not quite as crease-proof as a good roll.
That said, you often have to fold a jacket to get it into a suitcase — especially when space is very limited — and a flat fold is sometimes the only way to go. This one’s better than most, and reduces the number of folds that aren’t on seams to one.
Basically, you gently work one shoulder inside-out, then tuck the other shoulder into it, seam against seam. The sleeves lie straight down the jacket, one on top of the other, and the breast panels (with their linings turned outward) sandwich the whole thing. Then you fold it in half from the bottom and pack it away.
This one’s good for when you need a flatter fold than a roll and the jacket is going to be stowed for a while. If you’re good about not stacking too much weight on it, the crease down the middle shouldn’t set, and you’ve got the jacket lining protecting the outside of the jacket from any wear or tear.
Its big disadvantage, other than the single fold that can potentially crease, is that it can take a couple tries to get it right, and that you generally need a clean flat surface to do it on. It can be done standing and holding the jacket, but it’s tricky.
Jacket Fold Style #2 – The Shirt-Style Fold
For the guy on the go, sometimes the easiest way to deal with the jacket is just to quickly fold it over like a dress shirt.
The sleeves tuck behind the back, with the shoulders overlapping slightly at the middle, and the whole thing gets folded in half from the bottom, tucking the bottom hem up underneath the collar. The lapels and collar sit right on top, and you get a pretty neat square shape.
The resulting bundle is about the same size as the one you get in Option #2, but a little thicker in the middle and not quite as even.
The big problem here is that you’re folding the jacket in several places, both vertically and horizontally. That’s a good way to get at least some creases, especially where the folds cross each other.
So why bother mentioning it? It’s a lot quicker to throw together than the other two folds, and it’s easy to do without a flat surface. You just tuck the collar of the jacket under your chin and make three quick folds, and bam, you’re done.
If you know you’re just going to be throwing the jacket on top of a case for a short period, this’ll work just fine. For longer travel, or if it’s going to have weight pressing down on it, you’re better off with one of the other methods.
Jacket Fold Style #3 – The Jacket Roll
My personal favorite!
To get the least number of folds possible, there’s an easy solution: don’t fold the jacket at all.
You still need to do some creative tucking and layering, but it is possible to roll the whole jacket up (rather like a sleeping blanket or sleeping pad) into a soft tube of fabric.
The big advantage here is that, properly done, a rolled jacket is never folded across the fabric. Most of the action happens around the shoulders and sleeves, which are made to flex, and the broad front and back panels of the jacket get bent gently into a curve rather than pressed flat into a corner.
You can also usually tuck a shirt or a couple pairs of underwear into the roll, if you’ve got a deep enough suitcase. Just don’t try to cram too much in there — the roll won’t hold as well, and you’ll be more likely to wrinkle your jacket in the process.
The main disadvantage of a roll is that it takes up more space (especially vertical space) than a flat fold, and that it can sometimes take a few tries to get it right with no wrinkles.
And remember, you need to take those extra tries — if you force the jacket into storage with interior wrinkles, they’re likely to crease.
Transporting a Jacket – Steps You Can Always Take
However you fold and store your jackets (more on that in a minute), there are a couple of ways to always minimize the damage to it:
- First off, avoid folding the jacket at all. If you’re flying, wear at least one of your jackets onto the plane so that you don’t have to pack it at all, apart from maybe a couple hours in the overhead.
- Whenever possible, use a full-length garment bag and keep the jacket on a hanger. These work on airplanes or in cars, but they’re limited in carrying capacity.
- If you do have to fold, minimize the number of folds needed, and try to keep them along the seams. The less you have to fold across a flat plane of fabric, the better.
- Where possible, stow the jacket with the lining facing outward, not the surface. If the lining gets scuffed, stained, or torn in transport, it won’t show when you’re wearing it, whereas damage on the outside can ruin the jacket, or at least require immediate repair.
It doesn’t do anything about the bulk (we’ll show you some creative folds in a minute that will help with that), but treating the jacket gently in the first place, no matter what you’re doing, can help it get to its destination crease-free and ready to wear.
The Next Step……
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How to Pack a Suit
Our expertsвЂ™ guide to pack-n-goВ travel
Once a standard travel accessory, the garment bag has been replaced by the more efficient carry-on. Making the most of limited packing space is a skill that saves you time and keeps your suit fresh and pressed. Bonus point: You skip the baggage claim and gain time to prepare for the big meeting. Our experts share six simple steps for packing your suit like a jet-setter.
Interested in expanding your wardrobe? Explore our menвЂ™s suit collection .
Lay suit face down on a flat surface.
Fold left shoulder back.
TurnВ rightВ shoulder inside out, then tuck left shoulder into the right.
Fold in half lengthwise and then fold horizontally.
Place folded jacket in center of outstretched trousers.
Fold trouser bottoms over jacket and repeat with top of trousers.
An Expert Tip
Using the protective plastic cover from your dry cleaning, place your folded jacket (after step 5) in the top of the bag where the hangers are typically gathered. Lay this on top of the outstretched trousers. The plastic will keep the fabric from rubbing against itself and causing wrinkles.