Dress to Impress
Guide to Life: Pack a Suit
You have a job interview. Or maybe it’s a wedding. Either way, you need to pack a suit. Unfortunately, they’re not the easiest things to fold — not well, anyways. Any schlub can throw one in a bag, but keeping it wrinkle-free requires a little extra work. Sure, it’s a hassle. So is tying a double windsor knot. But if you want to keep a prospective employer (or the cute redhead at the reception) focused on something other than wrinkles, it’s a hassle that you’re going to have to own. Stay crisp and professional with these simple steps.
[Ed. Note: Some people like to fold the jacket horizontally over an arm. If that’s your style, go for it. However, we’ve tried both the fold and the roll, and while both keep the suit wrinkle-free, the roll saves room in your bag.]
1 Make a Decision. So you don’t want to carry a garment bag. Well, are you the kind of guy that wants to wear a suit jacket on a plane? Simply wearing your jacket is the easiest way to keep it wrinkle-free, but some people like to travel more comfortably, and/or don’t want to risk spilling Wolfgang Puck Express on their lapels.
2 Turn one shoulder inside out. With the suit facing away from you, pop one shoulder inside out. Don’t pull the sleeve inside out as well; leave it inside the pocket you’ve created.
3 Pull the other shoulder into the inside-out shoulder. Now one shoulder should be “nesting” inside the other shoulder, with the lining of your jacket facing outward.
4 The Roll. First roll up several smaller clothing items — a t-shirt or two should do it. Place that roll inside the shoulder well at the top of your inside-out jacket. Lay the jacket on a flat surface and, starting at the collar, roll the suit up like you would a sleeping bag.
5 Admire your well-rolled suit. For a bit of added protection, place the whole thing inside a clean, scentless garbage bag.
6 Placement. After you place the suit in your bag, resist the temptation to place any heavy or lopsided objects on top of it. Should you need to carry those as well, create separation with other flat objects, like shirts or towels.
As a final tip for advanced suit jacket packers, try hanging the jacket in the bathroom when you get to your destination. The steam from the shower should help get out accidental wrinkles.
1 Fold #1. Fold along the pleats. If you’re going to remember one thing about folding pants, remember this, because that’s really all there is to it.
2 Fold #2. Fold the pants horizontally over your arm.