Traveling with a suit is often essential. But it’s easier said than done.

Whether you’re heading to a business meeting, a wedding, or any other occasion that calls for a suit, it’s important to stay at the top of your game.

From basic packing tips to choosing a garment bag and leather briefcase, here are a few key guidelines to help keep you and your wardrobe en pointe, wherever you’re off to.

Take your garment bag game to the next level

Most men have had at least one experience of traveling with a garment bag and trying to figure out how to pack a suit. But it’s not always a positive one.

Traditional garment bags are often thin, flimsy, and susceptible to creasing or folding. That’s especially true when they’re stowed with other items.

This is a major risk when traveling on commercial airlines. Suits and other hanging items tend to get crushed in communal compartments. Because a flight attendant will never care about your suit as much as you do.

You should opt for a suit garment bag that takes the size, shape, and configuration of a simple briefcase. A well-made garment bag of this style keeps suits, slacks, and shirts smoothly positioned and terrifically compact.

How to Pack a Suit for Your Next Trip

An added bonus is being able to stow your suit on your own terms. These types of bags fit handily into overhead storage compartments.

Your best bet is a sturdy, durable material like Italian leather. Be sure the bag is well made and from a trusted brand.

TIP: Make sure that your garment bag is lined with a high quality, neutral fabric like 100% cotton or denim. This will keep your clothes smelling fresh and protect them from outside scents during travel.

Don’t forget the accessories

When traveling with a suit, you need to know more than just how to pack a suit itself. You need to bring along and cleverly pack a few accessories as well.

Whatever luggage you choose to transport your suit, opt for a piece that has secure, easy to use compartments. That way you can store cufflinks, a carefully rolled tie, a pocket square, a pressed shirt or two to be hung with the suit itself, and a pair of dress shoes – all in the same bag.

TIP: Save space by rolling socks and storing them in your shoes.

Plan ahead

Most trips involve multiple modes of transportation (car, plane, taxi, etc.). Your cargo needs to survive them all.

Map out your journey from start to finish, and think about how to pack a suit based on how and where it will be stored along the way. Opt for luggage options that not only protect your suit, but are also easy to carry.

How to Pack a Suit for Your Next Trip

For day-of events, you may even choose to wear your suit on the plane. Of course, you’ll need a comfortable suit designed for travel to pull that off. Otherwise, a consolidated, briefcase-style garment bag with a comfortable shoulder strap is the best way to pack a suit.

TIP: Take the guesswork out of the various legs of your journey by contacting your airline in advance, opting for a car service rather than a cab, and making sure that your bag fits the carry-on dimensions.

Arrive in Style with a Sharp Suit

There are a few things in life where skimping is not an option. A terrific suit is one of them. And how to pack a suit – including the luggage you use to keep it in top form – is another.

Treat your suit right, and you’ll arrive at your destination ready to look – and feel – at the absolute top of your game.

Learn a few shortcuts to dressing well

Enter your first name and email, and I'll send you a free eGuide with quick and easy tips you can use today.

PUBLISHED June 15, 2017


Alex G Forrester is a freelance writer, executive lifestyle coach, and self-proclaimed travel junkie. His favorite type of suit is a classic designer three-piece in indigo blue paired with his Medici Italian Leather Briefcase.