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How to Pack Formal Wear for Travel

Calling all jet-setters – are you guilty of packing last minute, rushing to get everything you need packed away in your suitcase? That’s no way to treat your expensive formal wear!

We’re here to help. Below you’ll find a brief description of the proper ways to fold, roll, and pack each piece of your formal wear for a business meeting, destination wedding, or your vacation!

Dress Shirts

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent your dress shirt from wrinkling. We even advise to avoid folding if necessary because it can cause your dress shirts to have too many edges that become compressed and creased into the material. Therefore, we recommend the rolling method.

To begin the rolling method, start by buttoning the top, middle, and bottom buttons and then laying the shirt face down. Next, fold the shirt in half (you’ll want to fold so one sleeve is folded over the other.) Then, fold both sleeves inwards. From the bottom, begin rolling your shirt up to the collar with the sleeves towards the inside of the roll.

Pro Tip: We also recommend investing in a travel steamer (especially if you’re a frequent traveler) because you can steam press any wrinkles once you arrive at your destination.

Suit Jacket

If you’re only bringing one jacket with you (if the weather permits) your best option to avoid wrinkles or creases is to wear it on the plane and fold it neatly in the overhead bin. If this is not an option or you’re bringing multiple suit jackets, we suggest turning your jacket inside out and folding it. Once your jacket is turned inside out, fold it in half with the sleeves aligned (buttons towards the inside). Next, fold the sleeves down to the side of the jacket with one sleeve folded over the other. Finally, fold the jacket from the collar to the bottom with the sleeves folded to the inside of the jacket. Once you’re at your destination, unfold the jacket and hang it so the wrinkles can fall out naturally.


There are three simple steps to properly folding your dress pants, and we believe that these steps work the best on freshly ironed or dry cleaned pants. Grab your pants from the waistline and fold inwards so one pant leg is on top of the other. Next, find the middle of your pants and fold the waistline down to the bottom of the pants. Fold the pants in half one more time, and insert into a plastic dry cleaning bag to protect them. Now they’re suitcase ready!


Roll your socks by laying one sock on top of the other then start rolling from either end. Folding your socks in a ball at the cuff stretches out the material that keeps the sock snug against your shin.


Protect your dress shoes from scuffing or getting dirty during travel by investing in flannel shoe bags. Shoe bags will not only prevent your shoes from scuffing each other, but they will prevent any dirt or moisture that could be on your shoes from getting on your formal wear while packed in your suitcase.

Remember these tips from Henry A. Davidsen, a provider of top quality, made-to-measure custom suits for men in Philadelphia, the next time you’re packing for your next trip! Men who are seeking a custom suit in Philadelphia or more tips are also encouraged to reach out to us at 215-310-0219 to schedule a custom consultation!


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