Traveling with a suit is often essential, and is even more often easier said than done. Whether you’re traveling for an important meeting, a wedding, or any other occasion that requires you to look your best, it’s important to stay at the top of your game. From basic packing tips to choosing the best travel bags and leather briefcases for men, here are a few key guidelines to help keep you and your wardrobe men pointer and ponder while traveling, wherever you’re off to.
1. Take your garment bag game to the next level
Most men have had at least one experience of traveling with a garment bag, and this experience is not always positive. Traditional garment bags are often thin, flimsy, and too often susceptible to creasing or folding, especially when stowed with other items. This is a major risk when traveling on commercial airlines, where suits and other hanging items can often get crushed in communal compartments. (Bottom line: a flight attendant will never care about your suit as much as you do.)
The contemporary traveler will do well to opt for a suite 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. An added bonus is being able to stow your suit on your own terms, and these types of bags tend to fit handily into overhead storage compartments. Your best bet is a variation in a sturdy, durable material like Italian leather, but be sure to confirm that the piece 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 clothes smelling fresh and protected from outside scents during travel.)
2. Don’t forget the accessories
When traveling with a suit, it’s typical to 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 for cufflinks, a carefully rolled tie or a pocket square, a pressed shirt or two to be hung with the suit itself, and ideally enough space for a pair of dress shoes. (TIP: Save space by rolling socks into one of your shoes.)
3. Plan your course of action
Most journeys involve multiple modes of transportation (car, plane, taxi, etc.), and your cargo should be able to effortlessly survive them all. Map out your journey from start to finish, and have a plan for how and where your suit will be stored along the way. Opt for luggage options that not only protect your suit but are also easy to carry. For day-of events, you may even choose to wear your suit on the plane, though this can be uncomfortable, and a consolidated, briefcase-style garment bag with a comfortable shoulder strap is still likely to be your best bet. (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 dimensions of a carry-on.)
Ultimately, there are a few things in life for which skimping are simply not an option. A terrific suit is one of those things, and the luggage you use to keep your suit 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.