• Hi, I am the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • This site contains affiliate links for which Styleforum may be compensated.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

    Styleforum is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Travel, Luggage, and Packing help

frankfrank69

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I'm leaving for a wedding tomorrow. It's in Mexico City, about a 5 hour flight from NYC where I live. The wedding is black-tie, and the rehearsal the night before will also require "cocktail" dress. That means I need at least 1 set of clothes additional to the tux I'm bringing. As I was packing today I realized I don't really know how to do this very well, despite ~100 work-related flights over the last 2 years, all of which meant packing some amount of business-casual clothing.

Normally my packing looks like:
  • 1 set of gym clothes, including running shoes
  • toiletries
  • 1 pair of pants
  • 3-5 shirts
  • socks, underwear
I put all of this into a carry-on sized hardshell. This makes it very hard to pack a suit, or even a sport coat. I could cram a jacket in my luggage, and iron it in my hotel, but thats not ideal. Sometimes I'll wear one to the airport, and have it hung by the flight attendant, but that only works if its not so cold that I need a winter jacket.

Ideally I could bring on a garment bag in addition to my laptop-carrying-work-bag and my luggage. A garment bag won't fit in my luggage, meaning I have to carry one separately. I've gotten away with this when flying biz/first, but doing this in economy in the past has meant unexpectedly gate-checking my luggage. I've looked into those convertible duffle/garment bags, but haven't seen one that seemed high quality.

I know checking a bag is typically the go-to advice here, but flying for work means I don't have time to wait for checked luggage, plus the risk of lost luggage is way worse than packing lighter or having wrinkled clothes when I land.

So the question is: How do you all pack?
 

breakaway01

Distinguished Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
4,380
Reaction score
4,619
Don't really understand the situation here -- need some more information.

1. how long will your trip be?
2. "flying for work means I don't have time to wait for checked luggage" -- what does this mean? Do you have to leave the airport for work immediately after landing?
3. Why is it hard to pack a suit or even a sportcoat into a carry-on sized bag? I do this all the time. How large is your bag?

Personally if this were a weekend trip and I didn't want to check any luggage, I'd wear a suit (for the rehearsal) on the plane and pack the tux in my bag. If if were just a weekend, I'd probably skip the workout shoes and clothes if I needed the space.
 

Thin White Duke

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
5,345
Reaction score
7,816
I fly for work frequently and can get two suits in a carry on sized hard shell rollaboard.

Fold the strides over twice. They take up very little room.

The jackets I fold in half down the centre seam, then in half again top to bottom. Some people like to turn them inside out first.

Use the shoe bags that come with most decent quality shoes just to be sure you don’t get polish scuffs on your clothes.

Use the plastic you get from the dry cleaners on your suit jacket before folding. This will not only protect it from stains it will allow the surfaces to slide over each other with less chance of wrinkling.

I had to go to England for one week which included a funeral. I used a slightly larger than carry on size rolling hardshell for most of my gear and took my funeral suit - in cleaners’ plastic - as carry on in one of those suit packs that come with decent suits, eg suitsupply always provides one. That’s an option if you have one to hand which will free up some space in your rollaboard.

Good luck and enjoy the wedding. Post pics of your black tie rig.
 

frankfrank69

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Don't really understand the situation here -- need some more information.

1. how long will your trip be?
2. "flying for work means I don't have time to wait for checked luggage" -- what does this mean? Do you have to leave the airport for work immediately after landing?
3. Why is it hard to pack a suit or even a sportcoat into a carry-on sized bag? I do this all the time. How large is your bag?

Personally if this were a weekend trip and I didn't want to check any luggage, I'd wear a suit (for the rehearsal) on the plane and pack the tux in my bag. If if were just a weekend, I'd probably skip the workout shoes and clothes if I needed the space.
1. Work trips tend to be 3-5 days
2. Yes, direct to the office from the airport. Waiting for checked luggage can easily add an hour, erasing the benefit of taking early flights
3. Standard cabin sized, hard shell so no flex. I mean I can fit one, but it'll be very wrinkled

But yeah I agree with you, and for this trip I opted to wear my running shoes and packed the 2 pairs of shoes I needed for rehearsal + wedding.
 

frankfrank69

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I fly for work frequently and can get two suits in a carry on sized hard shell rollaboard.

Fold the strides over twice. They take up very little room.

The jackets I fold in half down the centre seam, then in half again top to bottom. Some people like to turn them inside out first.

Use the shoe bags that come with most decent quality shoes just to be sure you don’t get polish scuffs on your clothes.

Use the plastic you get from the dry cleaners on your suit jacket before folding. This will not only protect it from stains it will allow the surfaces to slide over each other with less chance of wrinkling.

I had to go to England for one week which included a funeral. I used a slightly larger than carry on size rolling hardshell for most of my gear and took my funeral suit - in cleaners’ plastic - as carry on in one of those suit packs that come with decent suits, eg suitsupply always provides one. That’s an option if you have one to hand which will free up some space in your rollaboard.

Good luck and enjoy the wedding. Post pics of your black tie rig.
Good to know, the dry-cleaner bag sounds like a neat trick. I'll do my best on the photos front, I tend to take more than I appear in
 

breakaway01

Distinguished Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
4,380
Reaction score
4,619
1. Work trips tend to be 3-5 days
2. Yes, direct to the office from the airport. Waiting for checked luggage can easily add an hour, erasing the benefit of taking early flights
3. Standard cabin sized, hard shell so no flex. I mean I can fit one, but it'll be very wrinkled

But yeah I agree with you, and for this trip I opted to wear my running shoes and packed the 2 pairs of shoes I needed for rehearsal + wedding.
so you're flying to Mexico City and going direct to the office on Saturday? IME it really doesn't take an hour for checked luggage especially if you factor in the time it takes to get through immigration. But there is always a small risk of lost luggage as you point out.

Your tux really won't be all that wrinkled in a standard carryon if you pack it properly. @Thin White Duke 's suggestions are good. I also like to roll my suits around a core of clothes as well so they aren't folded. After an overnight hang my suits are good to go.
 

frankfrank69

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I travel a fair bit myself and faced similar issues, so I finally invested in this quality leather garment bag. This bag has been a reliable solution for me. It's compact enough that I can carry it on, but it also has enough room to fit my formal wear without getting it all too wrinkled. Plus, the leather not only looks sharp but has proved to be really durable over time.
This is very good! Almost exactly what I had in mind.
 

frankfrank69

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
so you're flying to Mexico City and going direct to the office on Saturday? IME it really doesn't take an hour for checked luggage especially if you factor in the time it takes to get through immigration. But there is always a small risk of lost luggage as you point out.

Your tux really won't be all that wrinkled in a standard carryon if you pack it properly. @Thin White Duke 's suggestions are good. I also like to roll my suits around a core of clothes as well so they aren't folded. After an overnight hang my suits are good to go.
Not that it really matters, but no I said this in a confusing way. This trip was purely personal, no work, but I travel a lot and I need a better framework for packing. Part of that means being ready to go straight from the airport to an office. I'll try the rolling technique.
 

Featured Sponsor

How important is full vs half canvas to you for heavier sport jackets?

  • Definitely full canvas only

    Votes: 85 37.6%
  • Half canvas is fine

    Votes: 86 38.1%
  • Really don't care

    Votes: 24 10.6%
  • Depends on fabric

    Votes: 35 15.5%
  • Depends on price

    Votes: 36 15.9%

Forum statistics

Threads
506,433
Messages
10,589,266
Members
224,230
Latest member
pcassid23
Top