My son is applying for medical school and will be travelling to (many, we hope) interviews this fall. He only has one good suit. Between working and the cost of hotels will probably need to carry on his suit to make sure that it gets there when he does. He can’t have his suit checked because it would be a disaster if it did not arrive on time. The last two times I’ve checked bags, they’ve been delayed. Perhaps this is because we live in Seattle which means lots of connecting flights as opposed to direct flights.
I don’t travel enough to answer the question so I thought I’d ask you. He needs to decide between putting his suit in a standard roll-aboard or a suit bag. Do the flight attendants still hang up suit bags? He could buy a suit bag or use the fabric one that he got when he bought his suit. If the flight attendants won’t hang up the bag, he could put it on top of the roll-aboards in the overhead bin. If he puts it in his roll-aboard it will be much more wrinkled. What he wants to avoid is being forced to check his bag. Any advice? Thanks and I appreciate your help.
This is a really good question. Plenty of people have to wear suits on their business trips, and nothing says “unprofessional” like a suit full of wrinkles! The customers I visit on my business trips are all business casual, so I turned to my attorney brother-in-law for help with your question. He has to pack a suit for most of his trips and is experienced at keeping them looking their best.
First of all, he said that he doesn’t use a hanging bag, but rather puts them in the zipper compartment on the inside of the lid of his regular suitcase. This accomplishes two things: (1) keeps the suit from moving around because it’s a tight space (thereby reducing wrinkles), and (2) protects it from any spillage that might occur in the main compartment. A hanging bag would be a great option, but there is no way to know ahead of time if the flight attendant will hang it for you. Another option: suitcases that have hanging or suit compartments inside of them (like one of my personal favorites from Victorinox).
Finally, he said that there isn’t a way to prevent wrinkles all together, but you can minimize them by the way you fold your jacket to strategically place the creases so they’re not as noticeable (as instructed here and here). He also unpacks it as soon as he arrives in the hotel and hangs it in the bathroom while running the shower to steam it for a bit.
For my part, I completely agree that your son needs to carry on his suitcase. The best way to make sure that is possible is to buy a rollaboard that fits within airline size guidelines–9″x14″x22″. The next best way is to board as early as possible while there is still room in the overhead bins. One option is to chose a seat in the back of the plane, which typically boards first. Another suggestion is to get a credit card that has early boarding as one of the perks.
Good luck to your son on his interviews!
Readers, any suggestions for Reader L and her son on keeping the suit as wrinkle-free as possible?
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