At Senszio, we have a fine international reputation as travelling tailors. We book hotels in the world’s major cities and invite the local business community to be measured for fine handmade suits. This makes us well-placed to comment on how to travel with a suit.
So what makes a suit good for regular travel? How should you look after a suit when flying or out on the road? What’s the best way of folding a suit for travel without it wrinkling? And how should you pack a suit in a suitcase?
Here’s our advice on how to travel with a suit.
How to pack a suit in a suitcase
Let’s first consider packing a suit in a suitcase, ensuring it is as protected as possible to avoid creases or marks. Here are the simple steps to travelling with a suit:
1 Pick a hard-sided suitcase, which will better protect against weight placed on your luggage.
2 Lie the suit down on a flat surface. A bed will be fine.
3 Fold back the left shoulder.
4 Turn the right shoulder inside out and tuck the left shoulder into the right.
5 Fold the suit jacket in half lengthwise, then horizontally.
6 Put the jacket in the middle of the trousers (laid lengthways).
7 Fold the trousers over the jacket.
You should also not succumb to the temptation of a suit carrier or bag if you’re travelling internationally. They don’t work well with aeroplane travel, nor would your fellow passengers thank you for blocking their window view!
Of course, if your meeting is on the day of travel, the easiest option would be to simply wear the suit as you travel. In this case, you should also consider practical details – such as a pocket large enough to hold your passport.
Which fabric makes the best suit for a frequent traveller?
Which materials make for the best traveller’s suit? Certain fabrics are more likely to wrinkle than others.
Linen can crease at the best of times, so it’s not the perfect option when packing. Silk, too, can be prone to wrinkling – especially if it gets damp. Studier materials, like cashmere or wool tend to be more crease-resistant. If you want to appear wrinkle-free, select solid, dark fabrics that mask any marks.
As soon as you reach your hotel, hang your suit up so that any creases have a chance to fall out and the fabric can start to breathe again. If wrinkles are a major issue, you could consider hanging up your suit in the bathroom when you take a hot shower. The steam helps any creases to ‘drop out’ of your clothes. For best results, switch off the extractor fan.
Are travel irons worth the money?
If you’re considering buying a travel iron, first ask what kind of fabric you’ll be ironing. A linen suit can withstand high temperatures and a hot iron, but a wool suit needs far more care. If you’re going to attempt this at all, you must turn the suit inside out.
A far better option for a wool suit is the travel steamer. Hang the suit on a wide-shouldered hanger. Then, using distilled water (tap water can cause sediment build-up), steam the fabric in sections, pulling the fabric taut.
Press the steamer head to the fabric and move it up and down slowly. If the wrinkles prove hard to remove, go more slowly. The main areas that will need attention are the elbows, the back and the front. Be careful not to use too much steam around the seams, as they can be prone to losing their shape.
A lint brush offers an excellent finishing touch. Your suit will tend to gather lint in your suitcase. Roll your brush over your suit and you’ll breathe new life into it.
When you return home
What about when you return home? Should you rush your suit to the dry-cleaners? Perhaps not.
Many people dry-clean too often. The fact is that the liquid solvents in dry-cleaning can remove the natural oils from the wool fibres. This can cause your suit to look older than its years.
For best results, dry-clean once every three months or so. As regular maintenance, you can spot-clean your suit with a damp cloth. It’s also worth considering asking for a ‘press only’ at the dry-cleaner’s. This will restore the fabric instead of matting down the nap.
Why not book a fitting at a Senszio Trunk Show near you? Let our expert travelling tailors find the best suit for your lifestyle and also offer after-sales guidance.