Every now and then, your travel plans will require a more formal attire. Typically, one bag and carry-on travel make packing wrinkle-prone formal wear such as suits and dress shirts a challenge.
But with some simple techniques, and a few everyday items, you’ll still be able to skip the luggage-check and carry-on.
Here’s how to get started:
In this case you’ll want a medium to large size travel bag that will still clear airport guidelines for carry-on size restrictions. About 30-40L should do the trick. Pick a more sturdy and rigid bag that will protect your suit from getting compressed. In our experience, this GORUCK GR2 performed really well on a business conference trip that required formal wear.
Your suit will be the bulkiest thing you bring, so maximize space by reducing everything else on your packing list. Unbound Merino antibacterial and odor resistant T-shirts, socks and underwear will let you save a significant amount of bag real-estate by reducing your list down to 2 of each basic item required for travel. Check out our blog post for Ultra Light Packing for even more ways to save on space.
Pack smarter by stuffing things like socks and underwear in your dress shoes. This will also help your dress shoes hold their shape. Then, make sure to wrap each shoe in a plastic bag to avoid scuffing and keep your other clothing clean and fresh.
Alternatively, you could opt for a more modern take on formal wear by pairing your suit with a crispy pair of Vans or Chucks that you could wear day-to-day while travelling.
Without further adieu, here’s our guide to packing your suit for carry-on travel:
A garment folder designed for travel will keep your dress shirts neatly organized, separated from all your stuff and can minimize wrinkles. We really like this one from Eagle Creek.
The best place to pack your suit is where it would lay flat against your back. This is the best way to protect your suit by keeping it flat and uncompressed.
Most hotels and hostels will have steamer you can access, or will be happy to press your suit for a reasonable fee. Alternatively, a steamy shower can relax small wrinkles.
A skill every man should know, right up there with tying a tie, or knowing who to call when you find yourself stranded with a flat tire. A wrinkled dress shirt is inevitable, so you’ll need to know how to iron it. Most hotel rooms will come equipped with an iron and ironing board, so watch this tutorial and start practicing.
More details here:
Dress Shirt Tip 1: If you don’t have time to iron your dress shirt, but have access to a tumble dryer, toss your shirt in there for a few minutes and the warm air will relax the appearance of wrinkles.
Dress Shirt Tip 2: Separate each fold with a layer of tissue paper to prevent your shirt’s fibers from rubbing together and creating wrinkles.
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