Well here you have it, you can stop glancing at the clock now, in fact, this may hopefully be one of the last emails you look at before your long weekend officially begins. During your last few hours of work, we know that your mind is most likely a mirage of sunshine, road trips and beers, but we also know that there's a little nagging portion of your brain that is diverted to the empty suitcase that's currently sitting in your room—yes, the one that you have dutifully ignored for the past week and a half. No, we are not mind readers, we just understand the habits of our general male readership very well.
The age-old question of how to pack smart has been a well-argued debate between husbands and wives, friends and foes for as long as travel existed. We don’t want to get the blame when your significant other is yelling at you for having packed “too light”, but we’ve gone through your commonly asked questions and our Stylists have gotten together to provide some light on how to pack smart, but stay stylish.
How do you avoid wrinkles when packing?
We've all been there...you are heading to a long weekend wedding or event that requires you to look fresh, and the last thing you need to pull out of a suitcase after a long car ride is a wrinkled suit. Wrinkles and suitcases are an almost iconic duo that go hand in hand, but there are definitely ways to cancel out the crumpling. InStitchu Custom Suit Specialist Melanie Fernandez suggests packing your suit inside out, whilst folding one shoulder into the other, in order to keep the construction of the shoulder when your suit is placed into your suitcase. Of course, it’s always recommended to keep your suit in a suit bag, but if that is not an option, consider bringing a travel steamer, or as a quick fix, hang your suit in the bathroom when you’re having a hot shower—the steam will help remove wrinkles from your suit.
The next step to avoid wrinkles is strategically choosing the fabric you wish to bring on your trip. InStitchu Stylist Denise Karas recommends Australian Merino wool, one of the most wrinkle-resistant fabrics out there due to its natural high elasticity that enable wrinkles to quickly smooth back out. If you were to put the fabric under a microscope, you'll find that Merino fibres are like coiled springs, returning to their original state when stretched. Australian Merino wool trousers also make the perfect travel clothing, as they won’t crease like chinos or overheat like denim. Another fabric that quickly smooths back out is mohair which is one of the most lightweight and wrinkle free fabrics out there. We also recommend bringing a custom, tailored shirt with button cuffs instead of French cuffs to further avoid creasing.
How do I pack more, with less?
There is unfortunately only a designated amount of space in your suitcase, so you need to pack smart as well as stylish. Showroom Stylist Edward Treffrey recommends packing a classic—a navy jacket. You almost can’t go wrong—a navy jacket can be dressed down with denim or chino pants, matches almost any basic coloured shirt such as a pink or white, and can also be dressed up with a pocket square—versatility is key. Accessories are the key to jazzing up your looks without taking up too much luggage space—think quirky cufflinks, colourful pocket squares, or ties that you can roll up in your suitcase.
The weather is so unpredictable—how do I pack smart, but safe for all climates?
Global warming is really giving mother nature a kick in the butt these days, so your weekend away could potentially include both sunshine and snow storms—the key is to layer up. Although they look great, heavy garments generally take up more suitcase space and for those jumping on a plane, these garments can tip your baggage allowance over. Showroom Manager Georgia Anderson recommends including cashmere and cotton to your suitcase. Paired well together, but also great when worn separately, the cashmere and cotton combination is the key to successful layering. Pack in a variety of cotton shirts for the warmer days, and when the evening temperatures drop, you can throw in a cashmere jumper on top, or even drape it over the shoulders. These two fabrics are also foldable and take up minimal suitcase room—perfect for smart packing.
There are many ways to coordinate your clothing to create a smart suitcase, however we’re placing bets that you most likely don’t have much time left to pack, so we decided to keep our tips and tricks simple, short and sweet. Now that you have gotten through the most important email of the day, it’s almost time to switch off your computer, down a quick whisky, and get packing (the smart way).