Storing a sport jacket
May 1, 2006 8:32 PM   Subscribe

How do you properly fold a sport jacket to store in a suitcase for 3 months?

So I'm leaving my first year of college on Wednesday and are starting to pack up all the junk I've accumulated over the year.

I have a sport jacket hanging in my closet right now that may not make it back home, therefore it will be placed with a lot of my other belongings in storage.

How do I properly fold and store a sport jacket in a suitcase so that it doesn't wrinkle and looks nice and neat when I pull it out of my suitcase if I need to present myself in front of an employer or high-status PhD in August?
posted by beammeup4 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
I think the answer is that you don't. You store it as well you can, and then you take it to the dry cleaners once you pull it out of storage.
posted by zachlipton at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2006

3 months? Nothing's going to avoid a crease for that long. My suggestion is to spend $5 bucks and leave it at the dry cleaners for the 3 months.
posted by furtive at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2006

A couple of options come to mind.

1) Can you place it in a simple garment back then just place it under a mattress? It sounds weird but it should keep the sport coat nice and pressed until you need it. And putting it under a mattress is technically putting it away.

2) Good quality luggage comes with a special storage system (for lack of a better term). It looks a lot like a garment bag but the material is much more durable and it has one (or two) rod(s) placed horizontally were you fold the suit when putting it away. (So that the rod sits in the crease of the fold, in the same way the you could place a pencil on the inside of your elbow and fold your arm around it.) This works great for intercontinental flights. It will keep the suit unwrinkled, but you might have odd horizontal fold marks. (The fabric is likely to retain the shape of the fold when you first unpack it)

3) Don't worry too much about how to pack it away. Just be reasonably careful when doing so. Then make sure you unpack the jacket with enough time to have it dry cleaned before the interview. Some cleaners will even give you same day service (for an upcharge of course).

4) If you absolutely have to store it away and dry cleaning is completely out of the question, try finding a way to leave it hanging (even from a nail in the wall would be all right). Better yet find a friend you trust (someone who takes care of their own clothes, you don't want weird stains on your jacket because some slob put a dirty shirt next to it) and leave the jacket (in a garment bag) in their closet while you are away.
posted by oddman at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2006

Why not roll the suit up around something large and circular? If you search for 'roll garment bag' on google, you'll get the idea...
posted by provolot at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2006

When packing for a trip, they suggested turning it inside out, then folding it as little as possible. I'm not sure that will do much to help for a period as long as three months, but its worth a try.
posted by gilsonal at 10:28 PM on May 1, 2006

Creases are caused by applying pressure to sharp folds. If you roll it up as provolot suggests you'll be able to pack it tightly to prevent it shifting, and you'll prevent the creases that come from folding it "normally." There is a ton of information about this at onebag.

If you're folding it away loosely (and not hanging), i.e. carrying it on a bus or plane, I've always done what gilsonal suggests: fold up the colar and fold the jacket in half lengthwise by bringing the lapels together inside-out (outside faces of the jacket touching). Then push one of the shoulders through into the other one, so that the folded jacket is now rectangular and flat (the two shoulders will make one corner of the rectangle, the middle of the collar the other. Then fold the whole business loosely in half and maybe half again. This will keep the large surfaces of the jacket flat and crease-free.
posted by hugo at 3:10 AM on May 2, 2006

I don't know about the actual folding, but if you place tissue paper inside the garment, it reduces wrinkling. I have no idea how this works - my mother-in-law taught me the trick.
posted by sixpack at 10:37 AM on May 2, 2006

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