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Thread: Packing a suit

  1. #1
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    Packing a suit

    I recently went to a wedding overseas and hit a problem of taking a suit and formal shoes with me. Iím not a particularly minimal packer generally, but ten days with just a carry-on suitcase would normally be fine; however, the suit and shoes meant taking a larger case and an extra Ä40 for checked baggage.

    Iíve rarely had to travel with (or even wear) suits in the past but itís likely to happen more and more in future, so it seems like a good time to figure out a more efficient way of doing so: does anyone have any suggestions?

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    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Different packing methods, like bundle packing, may help to keep your items more compact. Shoes will almost always be the factor that puts you over a carry-on sized bag, unfortunately. I am a shoe girl, and trimming my choice of shoes is always the hardest part of packing light for me. Smilie If you can manage to pack one/wear one for shoes, you should be able to manage.

    Some packing methods may help as well. I know a lot of people like bundle packing to help prevent wrinkles.

    This video was posted to the forums (I wish I could remember who by, so I could credit them), but I love it for folding a suit jacket to keep it unwrinkled in a suitcase: https://youtu.be/h_dwqicn5No
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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    This method is by far the best: How To Pack a Suit | Brooks Brothers

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    If you are carrying more than one suit, there is nothing better than a garment bag IMO. If you have one suit, put it into the plastic bag the dry cleaner gives you, and then pack it in the suit compartment of a hard sided roller. For some reason, I've found wrapping a suit in plastic keeps it from wrinkling. The problem with packing like Brooks Brothers recommends is that if you don't do it correctly, you're going to get a terribly wrinkled suit. A garment bag or one suit in a roller is a no-brainer.

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    Still waiting on TB to put out a garment bag or better yet, a garment duffel like this Amazon.com | Code Alpha Hybrid Garment Duffel Bag, Navy Blue | Travel Duffels
    Boots, Bags, and Beer. (And Coffee)

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    I've never been able to travel with a suit without some wrinkles needing care, so I just bite the bullet and fold it , using a bundle of other clothes to keep the shoulders rounded. Works better to get a suit into a WF. I haven't had an issue doing this with fused or canvassed suits. Most hotels' steam irons have a steam burst function that can take care of the wrinkles.

    The formal shoes are more problematic, soft packing of other items in and around them inside a packing cube is probably the best bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DubbySmurf View Post
    Still waiting on TB to put out a garment bag or better yet, a garment duffel like this Amazon.com | Code Alpha Hybrid Garment Duffel Bag, Navy Blue | Travel Duffels
    Interesting, but this seems like a tri-fold garment bag with an extra flap to make it enclosed like a duffel bag. So, in my view it creates an extra packing step merely for looks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NClens View Post
    Interesting, but this seems like a tri-fold garment bag with an extra flap to make it enclosed like a duffel bag. So, in my view it creates an extra packing step merely for looks.
    Not really, you can pack shoes and other bulky things in the center section unlike a traditional garment bag. Also, you can unzip an end to get things out quickly unlike a garment bag. I should note I don't have the bag shown here but have used similar ones in the past.

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    Eagle Creek makes a few Pack-It Garment Folders in different sizes.

    I use an 18in model in my Tri-Star (I think they now call this the Medium size), and it folds either a light summer suit or a heavy winter suit perfectly into any one of the three sections. I'm average height and weight; big and tall suits might have a harder time fitting into the Tri-Star with the 18in folder. The 20in folder (I think this is the Large) definitely doesn't fit in the Tri-Star--the backing board is too wide.

    The only complaint I have about the Garment Folder is that it weighs a surprising ~1lb by itself! But it does keep the suit mostly wrinkle free and very compact. Without the folder, the suit tends to settle into the bottom of the bag and bunch up. I still consider it worth the weight.

    It seems Eagle Creek has addressed the weight problem by introducing a new Specter Garment Folder made of lighter material, shaving ~3oz. My old one is called the Original Garment Folder now.
    Last edited by dchang0; 06-05-2018 at 03:16 AM.

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    Actually, my tri-fold garment bag has a pocket on the bottom that fits dress shoes or sneakers. Because the bag rolls up and stays together with clips on the side, you can also easily can jam stuff in between the folds as the bag is open on the sides and nothing will drop out of the bottom because of the fold. Basically, the bag, and I believe most tri-folds, is laid out almost exactly like the duffel you posted (wow $67 seems like a great price) but doesn't have flaps that seal the bag. You're right that a traditional garment bag is either open on the sides or zips closed, and if zips closed, that can make things slightly more cumbersome.

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