When travelling with suits – garment bag, or suitcase?

When travelling with suits – garment bag, or suitcase?

comments A:

I am contemplating a trip abroad in November (London is a distinct possibility), and would like to take with me at least one suit (possibly two).

Previously, I have always transported suits in a soft-sided garment bag, in their original plastic coverings from the dry cleaners, which has worked well, but the garment bag does get to be quite heavy (it normally contains at least two suits, two pairs of shoes, and other bulky items not able to be transported in my carry-on luggage).

I recently bought a 26″ suitcase (a Samsonite Cordoba, with rollers and extensible handle), complete with a zippered compartment for hanging items (or item – only one hanger). The suit, were it transported this way, would be folded in three. Has any of you out there used something similar, and to what avail (wrinkle-free, or wrinkled mess)? My shoulders would thank me for not straining therm with the garment bag, but with I look a fright once I get to my destination, in your experience?

comments B:

As I travel near constantly for work, I have some idea of your predicament. For domestic/shorter duration flights, i generally travel in a suit, removing the jacket and keeping it in my lap or if space allows on the seat next to me. Any additional suit(s) I keep in the folding area of my carry on size luggage. I normally separate the jackets from the pants so the folding area doesn’t become over-burdened, possibly leading to increased wrinkling.

Once I have arrived at my destination the first order of business is to remove my suit jackets and pants and hang them overnight. There are usually a few wrinkles in the jacket sleeves, but little to none in the body. In the morning should any wrinkles remain I remove them with some type of steam (shower/bursts from iron/travel steamer) and am ready to go.

It’s certainly not a perfect system, but i wouldn’t hesitate to use your new luggage and save your shoulders the trouble of a garment bag.

Best of luck and enjoy your trip.

comments C:

I travel to NY once a month for business. I’m there for a week which means 4 suits minimum. I use a wheeled bag designed for hanging garments such as suits, you hang the garment then the case folds in half zipping together. I get some wrinkles but they are gone by the first business day after hanging over night.

The only time I travel in a suit is if I am off the plane, directly into meetings then back on a plane that evening.

comments D:

I travel all over the country for Church Meetings and usually end up taking several suits. Last year I bought a rolling garment bag that I started using. I can put up to 5 suits in it, at least that many dress shirts, and a couple pair of slacks as well. This suitcase also carries all of my toiletries and at least 2 pair of shoes.

I usually wear a suit on the plane and in my carry on bag I have another dress shirt and enough stuff to last me at least a day if my bags are lost. This system works great for me.

comments E:

A similar suitcase has worked for me in the past, but I think it can depend on many variables. If you have the time and inclination, why don’t you try packing the thing as you would for the trip and let it sit overnight or put it in the trunk of your car to simulate flight. Then see if you are happy with the results. This experiment may of course have a cost of newly pressing the suit.

comments F:

I travel almost every week for work and have not figured out an even close to ideal solution yet. And i am curious for those that use a rolling garment bag (which in my experience is the best way to transport suits). I am assuming you are forced to check this bag? The only carry-on rolling garment bags I have seen are pretty much limited to one suit (and even that needs to be folded at the bottom, as well as in half, to fit in the case)

I typically check my rolling garment bag but obviously this risks lost luggage as well as inordinate amounts of time waiting in baggage claim. The carry-on bag would be so much more convenient but my suit jackets DO come out significantly more wrinkled when using the case on a cross country flight. In addition to the wrinkles, I just am not sure that folding a jacket like that into a case suiter is particularly good for the lifespan of the suit?

Also, I use a ‘shaped’ shoulder hang to try and preserve the jacket shoulders when using my garment bag but once everything gets in the bag and it is folded over, the shoulders sometimes ‘jut’ into the zip lining. I wonder if this is too rough on the shoulders of the jacket for an 8 hour trip?

any comments on perceived risks to jacket durability (i.e. compromising construction, shape, fabric, shoulders, etc.) in comparing a case where the jacket is more folded up to a bi-fold garment bag that seems to place some stress on the shoulder jackets when using the proper hangers?

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