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.
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.