Travelling for business can be exciting, experiencing new places, meeting different people and you get to do that all as part of your day job. However, when travelling for business you still need to look on point for every meeting and corporate interaction.
Any regular business traveller whose life revolves around airport terminals will identify with the specific challenges of living and working out of a suitcase. How do you keep your suit wrinkle-free? How do you stop your shirts from creasing? And how do you achieve all this while remaining comfortable at the same time?
Luckily, if you follow our men’s formal suits and styling tips you can look smart and sophisticated from the very second you hit the tarmac.
Get a quality suit
High-quality suits made from non-wrinkle fabrics such as tweed suits or woollen blends are more travel-friendly than classic cotton or light linen suits. These hard-wearing materials can withstand regular packing and unpacking, are less likely to wrinkle, and provide superior durability and performance for the business traveller.
Buy a suit bag
Suit bags are designed to protect garments from damage and dust and help minimise wrinkles. While you’re likely to fill a standard suitcase with folded or rolled items, a suit bag allows you to pack your clothes lying flat, making them a perfect accessory for carrying suits, blazers, and other formal wear. For best results, slot some tissue paper between each layer to prevent friction and creases.
Pack carefully & smart
There’s a fine art to packing a suitcase, especially where suits are concerned. For best results, fold along the suit’s natural creases to avoid unsightly wrinkles. Alternatively, roll your suit instead of folding it to prevent creases from developing. Most of all, make sure you don’t overpack your suitcase so that your suits don’t become crushed while you’re travelling.
Take care of your shoes
Your suit is taken care of, so the last thing you’ll want on a business trip is to be let down by your shoes. Keep your shoes in tip-top condition by using a shoe brush to remove dirt and polishing and shining them regularly. Storing your shoes in a shoe bag will also protect them from dust and damage and prevent polish from staining your clothes.
Hang your suits immediately
It may be tempting to plonk your tired self at the hotel bar after a long flight, but it won’t do your suits any good. Instead, unpack your suits as soon as you arrive at your destination and hang them in a well-ventilated area to allow creases and wrinkles to flatten out naturally. Also, use proper wooden or padded hangers to keep your suits in tip-top shape for the duration of your stay.
Use an iron or steamer
If your travel suit develops wrinkles and creases in transit, they can be flattened out using an iron on a low heat setting or a specialised garment steamer. When ironing a suit, be sure to place a cloth between the iron and the fabric to avoid the possibility of damage from the direct heat.
Dry clean as a last resort
Only dry clean your suits when necessary as the intensive cleaning process can cause the fabric to deteriorate over time. Instead, address stains, dirt, and spills by spot cleaning with a mild detergent or suit stain remover, taking caution not to spread the stain while you wipe clean. Additionally, airing your suit after cleaning will also help to keep it fresh and ready for its next wear.
Take spare shirts
No matter how careful you are with your clothes, they may still become wrinkled or stained during a long journey. In that case, it’s a good idea to take a spare shirt and tie in case others get damaged. That way, you’ll always be able to maintain a sharp and professional look when attending corporate meetings and events.
Rotate your suits
Any frequent business traveller is likely to own several suits for a variety of corporate visits and events. Therefore, avoid overusing one suit by rotating your suits on a regular basis. Not only will this extend the life of your suit collection, but it will also prevent excessive wear and tear on a specific suit.
Consider the climate
You should always consider the climate and culture of your destination when embarking on a business trip. If you’re travelling to a hot country, a lightweight, summer suit made from breathable fabric such as linen will be more beneficial than a suit made from heavy material. However, linen is prone to creasing so make sure you pack any linen suit carefully and can easily iron or use a steamer to remove any wrinkles. Similarly, if your destination is a conservative country or province, it could be more appropriate to wear a formal suit in a dark colour in keeping with the local culture.
Pack an umbrella
There’s no guarantee of sunshine on a business trip, especially when travelling to a rainy climate. And you’ll certainly want to avoid turning up at a corporate meeting in a rain-soaked suit. Therefore, always pack an umbrella in your suitcase or travel bag if the weather forecast is for rain so that your suit always remains dry.