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How to pack a suit in a suitcase

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Q: I read your “How to Pack for a Weekend in Vegas” post (loved it) and was wondering how to pack a suit in a suitcase without it coming out like wrinkled tissue paper at the destination. What’s the best way to pack a suit in a suitcase and minimize wrinkles when traveling? – Jason L. 
A: Hey Jason, here’s how to pack a suit in a suitcase the way we do when we pack our suit jackets for a trip:

Step 1: While holding the suit jacket upright, pop in one of the shoulders and pull it inside-out as seen below (some choose to pull the entire sleeve inside out as well, but this is not necessary): 

How to pack a suit in a suitcase: Steps 1 & 2

Step 2: Tuck in the opposite shoulder into the one previously popped inside-out until the entire length of the lapel is lined up nicely.

Step 3: Fold the suit jacket vertically so that everything is lined up to the width of one shoulder.

How to pack a suit in a suitcase: Steps 3 & 4

Step 4: Fold the jacket horizontally in half so that the top of the shoulders is lined up with the bottom edge of the jacket.

How to pack a suit in a suitcase: Step 5

There you have it! That’s how to pack a suit in a suitcase Black Lapel style. The suit jacket is now ready to pack. Fold your pants along the crease and your suit should come out looking just as fresh at your destination as it did at your departure! Incidentally, this is also how your suit arrives fresh out of the Black Lapel box.

How to pack a suit in a suitcase: Final

Got any questions about this folding method? or any other suit/style-related questions you’d like us to answer for our next “Ask a Black Lapel Stylist” post? Leave a comment below or send us your questions at concierge@blacklapel.com! 

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73 thoughts on “How to pack a suit in a suitcase”

  1. Bill Mc Menemy says:

    Thought I knew how to pack a suit in a case ( wrong ) packed my suit a week ago in with rest of clothes to see how they would fare given the distance travelling, South Australia to Los Angeles 15 days Cruising Hawaii,a week back in LA then back home to S.Australia, I was amazed that there was not a wrinkle at all, will feel relaxed knowing that my suit will be wrinkle free when on board ship. thank you for a great idea.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s some vacation for a suit! We’re glad you were able to put our advice to the test and still come out with a wrinkle-free suit.

  2. Hi there,

    Just to let you know you were featured on our blog!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Why thank you, Colleen. We’re honored. Not as honored as we would be if you, say, sent us some tickets to Hawaii to show off our packing skills, 😉 but honored!

  3. What do you consider a long time to have a suit folded in this position?… I am mailing a couple suits home from another country and I looked on here for some advice.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Unless you’re talking about a very short trip, Julius, you’ll want to steam the jackets before wearing them when you return. Don’t worry, though, you won’t do any damage to the jackets by having them packed up for a few days while you ship them.

  4. Will be flying from Georgia to Guam for a wedding in May. I will definitely be using this method to keep my stuff in decent condition. Luckily, I should arrive with enough time to hit up a dry cleaner if necessary. Now all I need to stress about is the flying with my wife and three children.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Wow, Georgia to Guam with three kids for a wedding! The bride and groom ought to buy YOU a gift. If you need to give them a hint, tell them Black Lapel offers gift cards ;-).

  5. Come across this incredible website and ordered a steam shower and never ever glanced back, great information here cannot give thanks enough

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad to be helpful. A steamer can be live saver, or at least a style saver! Keep it handy, use it often.

  6. Mike Pritchard says:

    Thanks for that. It’s something I need to know ’cause we’re going to a Wedding in L.A.
    Mike- Southampton, England.

    1. Southampton to L.A. is a long trip, Mike. Now that you’ve got the jacket figured out, get some rest so you don’t arrive looking like YOU were stuffed in a suitcase for the whole trip!

  7. Very quick and very helpful. Thank you ever so much!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad to help. Safe (and stylish) travels!

  8. Just changed my life with this one! Can’t wait to pack…

    1. Life changing? You better believe it! If anybody questions your packing skills, you have now earned the right to say…”Pack it up, pack it in / Let me begin / I came to win / Battle me? That’s a sin.”

  9. Another tip that has worked for me business travelling for 20 years. First thing you do when you get to your hotel room – even before you unpack. Go to the bathroom, open the show curtain full and turn on the hot shower on full and walk out closing the bathroom door behind you.

    Start you unpack etc and after 15+ minutes, get your suit(s) and put them on hangers with jacket and trousers separately and trousers full hung from the cuffs and hang them in the now steamed up bathroom (turn water off first). Close door behind you and leave till next morning when any travel wrinkles and creases will have dropped out…

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Kev, thanks for sharing the smart tip! The old shower steam method is a classic quick fix when you find yourself with a bind with a wrinkled suit and no time for a visit to the dry cleaners.

  10. A while back I purchased a roll-up carry on suitcase for keeping clothes wrinkle free on short trips – would it be preferrable to pack the suit jacket as outlined here, or is rolling it in my skyroll an okay option?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We prefer the method outline here as it not only prevents wrinkles, but is extremely efficient and easy to do. However, if a roll-up carry on suitcase works keeps your suit wrinkle-free, there’s no reason why you can’t opt for it on those shorter trips.

  11. What about if a suit jacket doesn’t have shoulder pads? I find it much harder to do and can’t seem to get it right.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Nic, it may be a bit trickier to do with a suit jacket that doesn’t have shoulder pads (and a little flimsier), but the method is the same–pull one shoulder inside out (in your case, use your hand for extra support in lieu of the shoulder pad) and slip the other shoulder into it until the entire length of the lapel is lined up. Folding the suit in half should also help keep it place. Hope that helps!

  12. Thanks for the tips! What do I do with the sleeves though? Do I just leave it as is when I start folding 1 shoulder into the other?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Ken, once you do the tuck, lay the jacket down flat and adjust the sleeves accordingly so they’re laying inside flat and neatly before you fold in half. Hope that helps!

  13. Thanks for this. I have been using this technique for a while, but I wish that I had printed copies of these instructions to hand out on planes and trains. I cringe every time I see someone crumble up his suit jacket and place it in the overhead compartment. I am going to share this on my blog, in the hopes this tip will save a few wrinkled souls.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Print copies of The Compass for every plane and train…we like the sound of that! Thanks for reading and sharing Matthew!

  14. THANK YOU! This is a lifesaver especially with more than one suit.

    1. We’re real glad this helped Danielle!

  15. Brilliant. I was in Melbourne airport and with the summer found that wearing a jacket through the flight would be top uncomfortable. Did a quick online search search and found your site. Folded the jacket as you suggested and put it in my carry on.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Glad we were able to help you out Shai!

  16. I needed this last week. My jacket is totally wrinkled now. THanks for this post!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad it was helpful Riley!

  17. I use this method but actually feed one sleeve through the other sleeve. Then, when its folded, its less likely to create wrinkles. I’ll also use the roll method using socks or shirts.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Amit – Not a bad idea with the sleeves! We’ll have to give that a try!

  18. Jim Ternary says:

    Please pack a shirt too!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey Jim, we plan on it! For now, check out this excellent video on folding and packing a dress shirt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDGWW7_O2sI#t=1m43s

      Hope that helps!

  19. Barney Stinson would be proud. Suit up !!

  20. It works extremely well – I have seen this tip eons ago in a book written by a butler (Stanley Auger?), and used it since. Thanks so much for bringing it to the surface again!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      No problem Modernist! Just passing along the good wisdom!

      Let us know if you ever find the title of that book. We’d love to check it out!

  21. simon kenyon says:

    My mother taught me that technique over thirty years ago. Over the years I’ve passed it on to lots of people.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Simon, a mother knows best!

  22. That’s the way I have been folding jackets for the past 40 years. Sales at J.Press Inc.

  23. Brilliant.
    What’s the longest that we could store our jackets as so without fear of wrinkling it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks Adrian! This method is probably better suited for packing your suit jacket during shorter trips. If you want to store your jacket for longer periods without it wrinkling, we recommend hanging your suit on a proper suit hanger in a cloth garment bag (with the zipper open to allow air). Hope that helps!

      1. What’s the reason to allow air inside the garment bag?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Hey Michael, keeping the garment bag open will allow the suit to air out and remove any moisture that may be damaging over time.

  24. I’d probably slide my folded slacks or a couple of t-shirts inside the last fold of the jacket, just to add a bit of crease protection.

  25. I tried it today and it worked flawlessly. Amazing… thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad it worked for you Sebastian! Thank YOU for reading!

  26. A smart tip is to put a shirt or two in between the two folds when folding the jacket over. That way you avoid a sharp crease in the middle of your jacket when packing it in a full bag or briefcase.

  27. Sangey Norbu says:

    Wonderful idea. How about the sleeves though? Do they stay unwrinkled too?

  28. Great. But what do you do about the dress shirt!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey Dan, here’s a great method for folding and packing a dress shirt:

  29. I travel all the time and I see how wrong I have been in the past.

    This is going to make my life so much easier.

    Thanks Black Lapel!

  30. Great tip… must share with my other road warrior coworkers.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Charles!

  31. Exactly how my suit jacket was folded when I opened up the box last week. So, so pleased with the fit (like a glove) and the overall service; I’ll definitely be taking these tips into account the next time I travel with my suit!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks BO! This comment really made our day! We’re so glad you’re pleased with the suit and experience!

  32. that’s genius!!!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks Sarah! We thought so too!

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