Most of us are familiar with this scenario – you need to travel abroad for business or to attend an event, but at the same time, you have to look spotless in your suit. So, how do you actually do it? In this article, we will share with you our three tips for travelling with a suit (that we personally use) and show you how to arrive at your destination looking fresh and wrinkle-free.
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The best time to start thinking about how to travel with your suit is at the tailor shop when you are buying one. Each suit fabric comes with its unique properties, such as proneness to wrinkling or breathability, and it will determine how the suit will behave during your travels.
Out of the four basic suit fabrics – wool, microfibre, cotton and linen – only two are really considered travel-friendly. These are wool and microfibre.
Strictly speaking about proneness to wrinkling, microfibre suit (and shirts) are the easiest to travel with because of their crease resistance. However, they aren’t perfect. For one, they don’t look as good as their premium counterparts (wool for suits and cotton for shirts) and they also trap heat. If you are travelling to a hot country, you may have to choose other more breathable fabrics to stay comfortable for longer for the price of more creases. If you want to know more about dressing smart for hot weather, we recommend reading our previous post.
If you insist on wool as a material for your travel suit despite its slight inclination to crease, there’s a solution for you. Wool lycra is a special blend that merges the best properties of each fabric. Wool lycra makes your suit less restrictive and is optimal for men who travel or have to jump in and out of cars often.
If money is not an object when getting your travel suit, there is one special fabric manufacturer that can save your day – Zegna. Ermenegildo Zegna is an Italian mill that produces luxury, high performance, water-proof and wrinkle-free fabric (a blend of wool and silk) that is ideal for a travel suit and shirts. It’s also very light and breathable, meaning it will keep you cool in hot weather and comfortable in winter, too.
Their fabric collections cater to the needs of even the most demanding travellers and feature lines optimal for any season and weather conditions.
The colour of your suit will likewise play a big role in how visible the imperfections are. The darker colours are naturally more forgiving than the lighter tones, which makes them our preferred option when travelling.
Regardless of the fabric you choose, it’s important to hang up your suit and shirts as soon as possible after reaching your destination. They need time to breathe and settle to look good.
Now when you have your suit made from the right fabric for your occasion, you want to make sure it survives the journey without getting crumpled, or worse, damaged. We recommend carrying your suit in a suit/garment bag. Depending on your mode of transport and further circumstances, you ideally want to hang the bag where it’s free from other elements putting pressure on your suit, such as overhead lockers.
If that’s not feasible or practical, such as on an airplane, you may need to transport your suit in a suitcase. The best way of doing so is by halving the suit bag and placing it on top of everything else in your suitcase.
Alternatively, you can also store your travel suit in the suitcase without the suit bag. There’s a simple folding technique illustrated in the video below. However, we don’t recommend travelling with your suit in a duffel bag.
In the worst scenario you can also wear the suit on you.
If the unexpected happens despite your best efforts and you have collected a few wrinkles on your way to your destination, there is still hope for you. Here’s what you can do:
To summarise, special wool blends will be your best option for a wrinkle resistant travel suit that doesn’t feel restrictive. For budget-minded travellers, microfibre will serve just as well as long as you aren’t travelling to a hot country because it traps heat. Regardless of the fabric, darker colours or patterned fabrics will help hide any imperfections that may come up whilst on the road.
If you follow our tips, you are maximising your chances of arriving at your destination with a fresh looking suit that is ready to be worn. You will have less to worry about, be confident about your looks and be able to enjoy your stay more. Taking good care of your suit will also maximise its lifespan.
Have you found our tips helpful? If you know more or better ways of travelling with a suit, be sure to share your tips with us and other readers in the comments section below.