3 Ways to Fold a Suit Jacket — Plus, Tips on Packing It in a Suitcase

published Jan 19, 2024
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Overhead shot of a folded suit jacket.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

Whether you’re prepping for a destination wedding, work trip, or formal night on a cruise, you’re probably wondering how to pack a suit jacket without it becoming a wrinkled mess. A garment bag is one option, but with carry-on limits and costly bag fees, it’s understandable that you’d want to travel a bit lighter.

Quick Overview

3 Ways to Fold a Suit Jacket

  1. Fold it like a shirt by laying it flat face down, turning one side of the jacket at the shoulder, forming one side of a rectangle, and repeating on the other. Then fold it into thirds.
  2. Fold it in a dry cleaning bag by simply folding it in half and sticking it inside the suitcase.
  3. Fold it by turning it inside out. Fold it the long way so that the lapels are touching, then fold that rectangle into thirds.

Below, find three different ways to fold a suit jacket that will prevent it from wrinkling and taking up too much space in your suitcase.

Credit: Alex Lepe

A suit jacket has sleeves and a collar just like a shirt, so it makes sense to fold it using a similar method.

  1. Lay the jacket face down on a flat surface.
  2. Turn back one side of the jacket at the shoulder, forming one side of a rectangle. Repeat on the other side.
  3. Fold in half or thirds.
Credit: Alex Lepe

How to Fold a Suit Jacket in the Dry Cleaning Bag

This might seem like the laziest method, but it does the trick without doing a number on your suit jacket.

  1. Fold the suit in half from top to bottom.
  2. Add it to your suitcase last before zipping it up so it’s the first item you’ll remove and hang up when you arrive at your destination.

Alternatively, you can lay the suit across the open suitcase, so that the bottom half is in the suitcase and the top half is lying across the lid. Pack all your other items, covering the bottom of your suit, then take the top and fold it over everything. This might seem counterintuitive to pack things on top of your suit jacket, but this looser folding method will prevent it from unsightly creasing. If you choose this method, consider packing cubes for the rest of your items, as the cubes will help keep your suitcase smooth and flat.

Credit: Alex Lepe

How to Fold a Suit Jacket by Turning It Inside Out

No, you won’t damage the suit — you’re actually preventing wrinkles and stains.

  1. Hold the suit jacket by its collar and turn both shoulders inside out, exposing the lining.
  2. Fold it in half longways so that the lapels are touching. Your jacket should form a long rectangle with the lining facing out.
  3. Fold the rectangle in thirds.

You can also try rolling your suit jacket instead, which follows the first two above steps, but instead of folding it into thirds, you’ll roll it like a jelly roll. Then, pack it with your other rolled garments or slip it into a packing cube.

Whichever method you choose, place your suit jacket in an easy-to-reach spot in your suitcase. This way, you can easily remove it and hang it up right away when you arrive at your destination.