Tweed Tips: How to Pack Your Suit
Who’d have thought that a summer packed with social occasions would feel like such a luxury?
We don’t know about you, but as the sunniest of seasons gets into full swing, our diaries are filling up with parties, birthdays and weddings – occasions when we want to be looking our best.
So, what’s a gentleman to do when he needs to transport his snappy tweed suit to an event far from home?
A suit bag is obviously the optimal choice. But what if you don't have space for a suit bag and you’re forced to pack your suit in with the rest of your luggage?
Whether you have a whole suitcase to fill or will be making do with a compact weekend bag, there are ways and means to ensure your suit arrives at your destination in tip top shape.
Without further ado (and hopefully without sounding too much like your mother), here are a few need-to-know tips for packing your tweed suit, dress shirt and shoes.
How to pack your tweed suit, shirt and shoes for travel
Protect your dress shoes
Dress shoes deserve a little more care and attention than everyday footwear. Pack them correctly and you’ll avoid scuffs and scratches whilst ensuring your shoes keep their shape.
Use shoe trees
Wooden shoes trees are essential kit for the modern gent. Insert them into your shoes before you pack. This will ensure that dress shoes aren’t crushed by other luggage in your case or by an overenthusiastic baggage handler. You can also use them throughout your stay to minimise creasing.
Use a shoe bag
Place your shoes in a shoe bag. This will help to prevent anything else in your luggage from rubbing, scuffing or scratching your shoes. If you want to be extra careful, use two bags for double the protection.
Arrange your case wisely
Consider where in your case you’ll place your shoes. Pack soft items like t-shirts and other clothing around your shoes, keeping heavier and harder items like toiletries well away.
(And whilst we’re on the topic of toiletries, it goes without saying that they should be kept in a sealed, waterproof bag.)
Remember to take polish and brushes
Attending a multi-day event? The shine is almost certainly going to wear from your dress shoes. Pack polish and brushes (again, in a well-sealed bag) so you can keep fancy footwear looking its best.
Fold your shirt – the right way
A creased shirt does not a debonair gentleman make. Folding your dress shirt correctly before packing it in your suitcase will help to retain that newly pressed look.
How do you go about the task? Let’s take it step by step.
- Choose a hard surface, like your dining table or an impeccably clean hardwood floor. Button your shirt. Then lay it out, button-side down, and smooth out any wrinkles.
- Keeping the sleeve nice and straight, fold it towards the other sleeve along the shoulder seam. Then fold the cuff up so it meets the base of the collar. Repeat for the other sleeve.
- Fold the sides of your shirt inwards, so edges meet in the middle. Straighten and smooth out creases as you go.
- Next, taking the bottom edge, fold the shirt into thirds and voilà! You have an expertly folded, crease-free dress shirt ready to place in your case.
Fold your tweed suit jacket…
As referenced earlier, when transporting a tweed suit, your first port of call should be a suit bag. However, needs must. When packing your tweed suit in with your luggage, master the following techniques.
Taking a large suitcase? Place your suit jacket on a hanger in a plastic dry-cleaning bag. Fold it in half and place it in your suitcase. Job done.
If, however, you’re packing your suit into a hold-all or a weekend duffel bag, folding requires a little more finesse:
- Hold your jacket and fold the shoulders inside out. You should end up with the sleeve holes and jacket lining facing outwards.
- Fold your jacket in half lengthways along the back so the lapels are touching and facing outwards.
- Fold your jacket in thirds just as you did for your shirt. At this point, you should have a neat square, ready for packing.
…and tweed trousers
On a hard surface, fold your trousers along the crease line. You may need to unbutton your trousers to get the zip to fold inwards and get a nice, neat fold.
Then fold your trousers in half or into thirds, depending on your luggage space.
Another packing pointer: Heard on the grapevine that rolling your clothes is a good way to minimise wrinkles? This method is ideal for saving space. But roll at your own peril. Rolled dress shirts and suits will arrive at your destination in need of a complete re-iron.
How to care for your tweed suit when you arrive at your destination
You’ve done some top-drawer suit origami at home. Don’t let that good work go to waste when you get to where you’re going!
Welcome drinks are oh-so tempting. But no one said looking good was easy. Head to your lodgings and unpack as soon as possible.
Getting your shirt and tweed suit out of your bag and onto a hanger should be top priority if you want to look stylish and spruced for the upcoming event.
If you find your folding didn’t go quite to plan, all is not lost.
Hanging your suit in the bathroom while you take a steamy shower should loosen up any creases. And – worst case scenario – chances are you can lay your hands on an iron if absolutely necessary.
Whatever it takes to look immaculately tailored and effortlessly stylish, right chaps?
Calling all modern gents! Find an affordable, well-tailored tweed suit for your next occasion at Tweedmaker. From three pieces to custom shirts to those all-important accessories, we have everything you need to look and feel like the man of the hour.