Whether you're packing a suitcase for a business trip or needing to safely transport your jacket on the way to an event, knowing how to pack it correctly can help reduce wrinkles and keep you stress free. A suit jacket can be folded, or it can be hung in a garment bag, depending on your needs. With a little practice, you can learn how to pack your jacket to preserve its pristine, crisp lines.
Method 1 of 3:Folding Your Jacket for a Suitcase
1Lay your suit jacket on a flat surface so that the back is facing upwards. Use a clean, even workspace, like a table or a counter. After you lay the jacket down, take a minute to straighten out the arms and body of the jacket so that there are no visible wrinkles.
For this process, leave the suit jacket unbuttoned.
2Flip the right shoulder inside out. Gently turn the right side of the suit inside out by pulling the arm back through the body of the jacket. The interior of the jacket on the righthand side will be visible.
Arrange the right arm so that it is laying as flat as possible to prevent wrinkles.
3Fold the left shoulder back and tuck it into the right shoulder pocket. Take the left side and fold it so it comes past the middle of the back of the jacket. Place the left shoulder material inside of the pocket that was created when you turned the right shoulder inside out.
Continue smoothing out the folds of the jacket with your hands.
4Roll or fold the jacket and pack it with the rest of your wardrobe. Depending on your suitcase, you can either fold the suit jacket in half and place it on top of the rest of your packed clothes, which prevents it from getting weighed down and wrinkled. Or, you could roll the suit jacket from the bottom to the top to save space in your suitcase or bag.
Rolling may cause more wrinkles than simply folding the jacket would, but if your hotel has an iron, you should be able to easily work out those wrinkles once you've arrived at your destination.
Method 2 of 3:Using a Garment Bag
1Hang the jacket on a sturdy hanger that won't bend under its weight. Wooden hangers are most often used for suit jackets, as they are sturdier and have more support along the shoulders, which prevents your jacket from getting misshaped. Place the hanger into your jacket and button it up to help it stay in place.
Avoid using hangers that don't extend to the end of the jacket's shoulders, as this could cause them to lose their shape and have areas that are stretched out.
2Use the internal hanger clasp if you're using a travel garment bag. Most travel garment bags come with a built-in hook for you to place your hanger on. Simply hook the end of the hanger through the clasp to secure it in place.
If the garment bag has a hole at the top, that means there isn't a built-in hook.
3Slip the hanger through the top hole if you're using a light garment bag. For day-travel, lighter garment bags are often used. These generally just have a hole at the top through which you put the handle of the hanger(s) for your clothing.
You can buy both heavy-duty and light garment bags online and from most department stores. Many have compartments for shoes, belts, and accessories, though you can also purchase really simple ones that make it easy to travel light, even with a suit jacket.
4Pack the rest of your bag and zip it up when you're finished. If you're packing shoes, place them in dust wrappers in the bottom of the garment bag so they don't press against your jacket. Carefully zip up the bag once it is packed, taking care to not catch any fabric in the zipper.
When you're zipping up the bag, it's helpful to have it hanging so that gravity pulls everything as straight as possible.
5Carry the bag folded over your arm so it doesn't swish around. If you're driving somewhere, hang the garment bag from the above-door hooks in the backseat. When you are walking to and from locations, carry the bag over your arm rather than by the hanger, as this will decrease how much the material moves back and forth.
If you're flying, fold the garment bag in half and store it in the above-head bins on top of any other luggage you might be transporting.
Method 3 of 3:Putting Suit Jackets in Storage
1Lay your buttoned suit jacket facedown on a flat surface. Use a clean surface, like a table, counter, or even your bed or floor. Make sure at least the top bottom of the jacket is fastened, and then lay it out so that the back is facing up. Smooth out any visible wrinkles.
If your suit jacket is wrinkled, take some time to iron it before you begin the folding and packing process.
2Fold the right side of the jacket toward the middle of the back. Try to keep the folded line as straight as possible. Erase any wrinkles by smoothing your hands over the fabric. Align the edge of the right side to the middle of the collar.
3Take the left side of the jacket and fold it to the middle of the back. Bring the left side of the jacket to the middle of the collar, and line it up with the right side that you previously folded over. Continue to smooth out wrinkles, and make sure the folds are as neat and as straight as possible.
Smoothing the jacket as you go helps prevent wrinkles, and it also prevents you from having to start to folding process over again.
4Fold the jacket in half so the front of the jacket is facing up. Bring the bottom half of the jacket up to meet the collar, and then flip the material over so that the front lapels of the jacket are visible. The jacket should be in a nice, neat square.
If you need to, carefully tuck or fold in excess side material that is poking out. If there is too much excess material, you may need to start the folding process over again, paying more attention to your folds the next time around.
5Roll the jacket instead of folding it if you need to conserve space. Skip the last folding step, and instead start rolling the jacket from the bottom to the top. Don't roll the material super tight—rather, do it gently so that the material still has room to breath. This will help prevent wrinkles.
You want the jacket to be able to stay in a roll and not fall open, but not so tight that the fabric gets stretched
6Slip the jacket into a dry cleaning bag to keep it clean and unwrinkled. When you pick up your dry cleaning, save some of those plastic bags to use on your suit jackets. Protect your jacket from rubbing against other materials (and thus getting wrinkled) by storing each jacket it its own plastic bag.
This trick also works well for storing dress pants and shirts.
7Store the jacket in a dresser drawer, on a closet shelf, or in a tote. Try to keep your jackets with other jackets and dress items, like slacks and dress shirts. Avoid stuffing too many items into one storage space, as the compacting can ruin and wrinkle the fabric.
Try to air out your jackets every 6 months to keep them fresh.