Travel Tip: How to Pack Jackets and Blazers

How To Fold And Pack A Jacket

Though our travel wardrobes are now more casual than ever, le Monsieur and I both like to pack a jacket that can dress up our separates enough to go for a nice restaurant for dinner or to the theater. Jackets are one of the bulkier travel wardrobe items and can be prone to wrinkling, but I’ve found this folding method to be very effective at preventing wrinkles. I’ve demonstrated below with a men’s blazer, but this works equally well for women’s jackets.

navy blazer

Starting off here with le Monsieur’s favorite navy blazer. This one is a linen/wool blend.

packing blazer

Lay it out flat, unbutton, and turn one of the sleeves and shoulders inside out

how to pack jacket

Flip over, and tuck the right-side-out shoulder into the inverted one. Just make sure the right-side-out sleeve is laying flat but don’t stuff it inside the other sleeve. You’re essentially folding the jacket in half lengthwise, the outside to the inside. (I find this step is often easiest to do while holding the jacket up by the collar with one hand and using the other hand to tuck one shoulder into the other.)

fold jacket for travel

This is what it will look like once folded in half correctly. Be sure any pocket flaps, collars or lapels are laying smooth and flat inside.

folding jacket for travel

If your luggage is smaller, you’ll want to fold again in thirds. Bigger bag…you may be able to fold in half. Start with bottom third…

fold jacket for packing

Then fold the top third over. You should now have a nice neat package, with nothing flapping loose.

how to pack jackets

If your suitcase has one of these zippered compartments in the lid, that’s an ideal place for the jacket to go. If not, lay the jacket as folded above on top of your other clothing packed in the bag. IF your luggage has a compression panel like the bag shown above, you can place the jacket in underneath the panel. But if you are using just compression straps, lay the jacket on top of the straps once you’ve fastened and compressed the rest. I always unpack and hang jackets as soon as we are at our destination and have checked into the hotel. The longer something is folded and compressed, the greater the chance it will become creased.

Regarding luggage with “suiter” options (hanging compartment that folds up, usually into the lid), frankly unless you’re traveling for business and need to bring multiple jackets or suits, I find these to be wasted space. Some people love them, though. Another tip you’ll see mentioned to prevent wrinkles is to pack clothing in dry cleaning bags. This probably works better with larger luggage, but if you utilize this method with carry-on luggage, please let us know in comments how it works for you.

I’ve included some packing cubes and envelopes, and other gear in my gift guide for travelers on my SHOP page.

When selecting jackets for travel, think about fabrics as well as styles and colors. I prefer materials like lightweight wool, silk or wool crepe, or knits, both for comfort and practicality, but some viscose, polyester and triacetate pieces may also pack and wear well. Mid-weight ponte knit fabric is also a champ. Do the scrunch test: with warm hands scrunch up a bit of fabric in your fist (sleeves tend to be a good place to test this) and hold for one minute. Fabrics that emerge wrinkle free or bounce back quickly are the ones you want. As with any other travel wardrobe items, choose a lightweight and non-bulky piece that can easily layer over and under other items.

Do you have a tried-and-true method for packing to prevent wrinkles? If so, please share in comments.

TRAVEL-FRIENDLY JACKETS:

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15 Comments

  1. dottoressa
    December 14, 2015 / 4:23 am

    Your travel packing posts are great,I adore them.
    I pack my son’s suit jacket like this,folded in a half (big suitcase). I usually take my jacket as travel wardrobe or travel without it ,only cardigans or v-neck
    Dottoressa

  2. December 14, 2015 / 7:03 am

    Sadly, Mr FS and I are scruffy in real life and on the road. Your monsieur is obviously quite dapper (I remember we were treated to one pic of him a while back). Love your travel recommendations. The Lands Ends coats are half off TODAY only–can’t help wanting to spread the frugal cheer.

  3. December 14, 2015 / 7:16 am

    I’m leaving tomorrow and I’m going to try this! Thanks for the tip!

    bisous
    Suzanne

  4. Hiluhilu
    December 14, 2015 / 9:27 am

    Great tip; I will try this the next time we travel with a structured jacket. When I pack, I try to avoid sharp creases in woven garments. Pants go in first, place lengthwise on the bottom with the waist band touching the side of the case and the legs hanging over the side. Then shoes (covered) in the corners and sweaters etc rolled or folded in the middle. At the end, the pant legs get folded back over the rest of the contents (I am gesturing helpfully to illustrate my wrapping technique as I write this…). If I take a blazer, I usually lay it face down on top of the first layer (pants), with the bottom of the jacket hanging out. Then I add the other items and the jacket bottom gets folded over at the end, along with the pants.

  5. December 14, 2015 / 11:02 am

    I too love your packing tips – I dread packing and never no how or what to pack. Thanks for such a great tip for packing a jacket.

    Cherie
    http://www.stylenudge.com

  6. December 14, 2015 / 1:20 pm

    I just returned from a trip to Paris and Strasbourg. I used some of your packing tips, both how to pack and what to pack. I don’t have any tips for avoiding wrinkles. However, this time I took one of those compression bags (Ziplock brand, does not require a vacuum). I used it for my dirty clothes and compressed them on the return trip (almost everything was dirty by the time I returned), leaving out my underwire and molded up bras. It freed up enough space in my suitcase to fit all my new purchases. I’ll be using it again on future trips.

  7. December 14, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    as 2015 comes to an end I have been reflecting on the positive energy I have found aftert the some difficult times and I would like to say that your blog and the way you have being in developing over the years has been very inspiring. your latest haircut n particular shows you’re never too old to be fantastic. in your recent blogs you shared some insights about your own life and your own challenges and to see you thrve is a really positive a way of thinking I can do that too so thank you

  8. December 14, 2015 / 4:45 pm

    Many trips ago I started using bubble wrap to help avoid wrinkles… Place one layer, or two, in between your folded layers of a jacket, dress, shirt etc. It really does help; plus, then I have ready made packing material and insulation for the inevitable ceramics I buy en route!

  9. SewingLibrarian
    December 14, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    I’ve used dry cleaners bags to pack, and I’ve found they do help prevent wrinkles. I keep a few on hand to use when packing.

  10. 2dreamit
    December 15, 2015 / 12:28 am

    Ditto on the dry cleaners bags for me. I assemble pieces to complete 8 outfits on two hangers, pull one cleaners bag over both hangers and fold the completed package into thirds to fit into my carry-on. I then tuck an extra pair of shoes, grooming tools and my makeup bag around the clothes package with room to spare. Underwear, stockings and nightgown go in the zippered compartment in the lid. Everything arrives wrinkle-free. I fit a small purse, my laptop, an umbrella, a shawl, allowed liquids, medicines and my Kindle in my other carry-on — my Tumi luggage never lets me down. I travel often and haven’t checked a bag in 10 years.

    Love your blog!

  11. Jojo
    December 15, 2015 / 8:44 am

    Eager to use this tip next time I travel. Thanks for another keeper!

  12. December 15, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Great tip for folding jackets. I too will bookmark! I also loved reading the comments for more ideas.

  13. Sandra
    March 14, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    I love your travel tips, thank for for sharing! I am looking for a jacket to wear on the plane. What I’m looking for is something stylish and comfortable with lots of pockets! Do any of the jackets that you recommend for travel fit that niche? I never have enough places to stash my passport, my boarding pass, my phone / ipod, a pen, and maybe even a small notepad or book. My purse / carry-on is fine in the airport terminal, but not easy to access once I’m on the plane. I find I have no place to set down or stash these things when I’m stuffed into a cramped airline seat, let when alone I have to stand up to make room for someone else in the row get in or out. My husband wears a travel vest, and I end up borrowing my husband’s pockets because I don’t have any!

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