Passports, documents, laptop computer, cell phone- these are some of the easier things to pack when you travel. Packing suits, shirts and other articles of clothing, and keeping them wrinkle-free, is the hard part. Many a male traveler has faced the quandary of keeping his clothes wrinkle-free while still fitting all of them into a convenient carry-on bag. Here are a few tips to get you started on clothes-friendly flying.
Pack Just What You Need
Most travelers want to bring everything with them on their trip. This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make if you want your suits to survive that red-eye. Nobody cares if that huge floral-print shirt is custom made for you; if you are getting all boardroom and no beach, it’s not worth packing.
A crowded carry-on bag is the worst place to keep your suits. Stuffing your suitcase places constant pressure on all your clothes for the whole duration of the flight. Conditions like those are almost certain to result in creased shirts and wrinkled suits.
Right Clothes in the Right Containers
One of the best ways to get your workwear wardrobe through that flight is to pack it in the right bags. For example, don’t just pile your shirts and trousers into any old duffel. Instead, pack them into garment bags before placing them into your main bag. Garment bags are also a necessity when you’re bringing more delicate items like suits and coats.
Ask around for the right supplies to contain your clothing. Ties, for example, are best kept when they are rolled up into rigid cylinders. Some bags even have special compartments for storing dress shoes. If you are planning on buying a new carry-on bag, look for such features. Storing your dress shoes separately from your clothing will help prevent stains and wrinkles.
Packing – And Unpacking – Wisely
To offer maximum protection to your delicate items, pack them into the topmost layer of your bag. It’s this area that receives the least shock and pressure and its also the first section that gets unpacked. This area of your luggage should contain items such as dress shirts, folded up suits and ties. Fill up the rest of the space with socks and undershirts, which aren’t as finicky.
When packing, don’t bother to have items like shirts and pants dry cleaned just yet, especially if you’re not going to use them immediately upon arrival. If your hotel offers laundry and dry cleaning services, have the not-so-urgent items taken care of there instead.
Once you get to your hotel, start unpacking your stuff as soon as you reach your room; the less time your clothes spend in a bag, the better. Hang up shirts, trousers and suits to minimize wrinkles immediately. Do you want to wear that shirt to your next business meeting? Hang it in the bathroom and then take a hot shower; this has the same effect as steaming the item.
Traveling with clothes is like traveling with children. You have to make lots of preparations beforehand if you don’t want to end up with a migraine upon arrival. It’s the preparations that matter the most when you’re bringing your wardrobe along for the trip. And remember, there’s no better style statement than coming in looking clean, pristine and put together.
Pohl regularly writes articles on mens fashion. When not writing articles he manages his own online necktie retailer: Ties-Necktie.com. Besides a large selection of silk ties, bow ties, and cuff links his site offers valuable fashion advice on how to match your neckties to your outfit and your complexion, as well as tips on how to travel with suit and tie, how to iron dress shirts, how to sew on a button, and much more.