Grappling with the logistics of air travel is surely never more difficult than when trying to figure out how to transport a suit safely from one destination to the other without it getting overly wrinkled. Especially on a business trip or when headed to an important function shortly after landing. Instead of tossing the suit into a suitcase, fingers crossed, hoping for the best, take proper care of it to ensure it's wearable upon arrival at your destination.
If only there were some sort of storage item made for carrying suits and keeping them wrinkle-free... Wait; hanging bags or better known as garment bags, are designed to do just that.
Check with your airline about its carry-on luggage restrictions to find out whether you can bring a suit in a hanging bag onto the flight.
If so, hang the suit on a hanger and its accessories, such as a dress shirt and dress shoes, in the bag. Most hanging bags fold in half, making them easier to stow in the plane's overhead compartment or overhead bin. Otherwise, ask if a flight attendant can hang the bag for you. This is almost always available in first class or business class.
It's possible to carefully fold a suit so it won't have too many creases or be wrinkled by touchdown. Turn the tuxedo or suit jacket inside out and fold it into quarters on a flat surface; having the inner lining turned to the outside helps prevent the jacket from becoming visibly creased. Place the right shoulder of the jacket and left shoulder together and fold it in half. This helps protect your jacket's exterior. Place your folded jacket and pants in separate plastic bags, preferably of the dry-cleaning type. The plastic provides yet another layer of protection from dust and wrinkles. Keep each bag as flat as possible as you pack the rest of your suitcase. Fold the pants in half or thirds, with an item such as a T-shirt placed at each fold to soften it. Place the folded suit in a full suitcase; the other items press against it and prevent it from sliding around and unfolding as the suitcase gets flipped and jostled around.
Rolling items up to pack in a suitcase saves space and also prevents wrinkles and disheveling. Lay the suit jacket and pants on a hard surface, smooth them out, and roll up each item tightly from one end to the other. Once rolled, place each component of the suit in a suitcase or carry-on bag, space permitting.
Another option is simply to wear the suit on your trip. This gets around having to pack it altogether, and can minimize wrinkling. Of course, suits do get a little wrinkled as they're worn and sat in; take the jacket off for the flight and either ask a flight attendant to hang the garment for you or lay it carefully across your lap. Much of the wrinkling that occurs will be around your butt, so it will be hidden once the jacket's back on. A suit can be uncomfortable to wear during long flights, so this method is preferable for shorter flights. Be careful when eating or drinking on the flight, and maybe skip carrying on those 3.4 ounces of cranberry sauce.
Choose the right garment bag. Men's Wearhouse notes that bags are made specifically for the purpose of transporting suits; they're wider and sturdier than the kind of suit bag used in a closet to. Many garment bags have enough room for everything you need. Your suit jacket or blazer, one or two dress shirts, your suit pants will all hang on hangers to prevent creases while a separate compartment at the bottom will hold your dress shoes.
Leave your tuxedo on its hanger and in its plastic dry-cleaning bag if possible. The hanger will help your outfit keep its shape while in transport, and the plastic bags will add an extra layer of protection.
Carry on your tuxedo if possible. Ask the flight attendants to store your garment bag hanging upright in a first-class closet on the plane if permitted; fold it in half and store it in an overhead bin if not.
Sometimes a suit bag can be considered a personal item. This can be very useful in business travel. These days, tuxedos are reserved for extra-special events -- weddings, awards ceremonies, luxury cruises and the like. You want to look your very best, even after your tuxedo has been packed in your carry-on bag for a cross-country flight. Your goal is to arrive with a suit that is wrinkle-free and wearable upon arrival, without ironing or cleaning. Here are a couple air travel packing tips you need to know so your best suits will stay stylish and fresh throughout your trip.