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.
Starting off here with le Monsieur’s favorite navy blazer. This one is a linen/wool blend.
Lay it out flat, unbutton, and turn one of the sleeves and shoulders inside out
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.)
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.
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…
Then fold the top third over. You should now have a nice neat package, with nothing flapping loose.
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.
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.
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