Traveling for short business trips involves the frustrating union of two contradictory factors. First, you need to pack lightly but secondly, you have to bring suits (which are among the heaviest of men’s clothing). Your primary goal is to be 100% certain that the suits reach your destination in top condition. This means that carry-on luggage is a must! Seasoned business travelers will know the value of suit packing tips and today, we’re here to share them with you.
Pick Your Bag Wisely
Now that we’ve established that carry-on luggage for suits is necessary, it’s time to pick the right bag. The most popular option for business travelers is the rolling suitcase. While they’re a common choice, they’re not the best route to preserving your jackets’ integrity through a flight. If you are going for a day or two, choose hanger bags. They’re flat, have built-in hanger loops and are soft-sided which decreases the chances of wrinkling. Don’t forget about the aesthetics of your bag either, especially if you go with athletic bags or duffels. Ensure that they’re practical and minimal stylistically – this will help your suit and luggage match perfectly.
Choose Your Suits Wisely
Since you’re traveling, expect that you’re going to have wear the same jacket a couple of times. Picking a jacket or coat for every occasion on your travel is just not practical when you pack. Take a weekend business trip – one jacket, two shirts, accessories and two pairs of trousers will do the trick. This will keep space to a minimum but still give you enough diversity. On the subject of diversity, you do, however, want to stick with tried and trusted business suits. This, most of the time, will be where your worsted wool jackets come in handy. They’re the most travel-friendly of all suit fabrics, so keep this in mind when you’re shopping for your business wardrobe. You should also consider the benefits of taking a traditional blue or midnight blue suit, since these will look great with khakis and jeans during the less formal parts of your trips.
Want to pack worry-free? Then go with wrinkle-free cotton shirts. If you don’t have these, you can also go for less-wrinkle or easy iron fabrics. Go ahead and pack your cotton dress shirts too. Simply request an iron and boards at your hotel to give your shirt that extra crispness. If you have limited luggage space, pack two shirts – one in white and one in light blue. If you’ve got room for a third, choose a dressier option to mix it up.
The Wardrobe Cheat Sheet
Like what you’re reading? Then keep this cheat sheet handy the next time you travel because it’s straightforward and very easy to follow.
Shoes: Only room for one pair? Black oxfords!
Pocket Squares: One in white and one in color (in the same color as your suit but a little lighter to create some contrast)
Socks: One pair for every day of the trip and one spare
Belts: One pair that matches your shoes (same color shade)
Ties: One for each day
The Packing Cheat Sheet
Now for some more hacks when it comes to the actual packing side of things.
- Shoes on the bottom. Fill them with ties, belts and socks if you’re really short of space.
- Fold jackets and shirts horizontally rather than vertically. Roll your shirts loosely – this prevents creases and gives you more packing room.
- To get a crisper finish to your shirts, get your own collar stays. Keep this in mind when you order shirts and request removable collar stays.
- Wear your blazer with jeans on the plane. Jeans will take up a lot of space in your luggage and they’re handy to have ready for the more casual occasions of your trip. Now you have an extra outfit without using up any luggage space at all. You’re also ready to go – taxi, hotel, meeting, dinner and boom you’re done!
- Keep your accessories in a toiletry bag so that things don’t spill over – you never know!
- If your luggage space permits, bring a lint roller and shoe polish equipment!
These are some common guidelines that will help make all of your business trips stress-free. Suiting up for travel will never be easier once you follow our suggestions: travel smart and look the part effortlessly.