The haberdashers at Ken’s get weekly questions about travel-friendly clothing, especially clothes for work travel. We all jump on a flight, and most of us just take carry-on luggage to bypass the hassle of airport baggage claims. The questions we get range anywhere from how to fold a garment for travel, to how to create more packing space, to what clothing pieces are best to take along on business trips. Ken’s has created areas within the shop that are dedicated to travel-friendly, wrinkle-resistant, washable wool clothing that is perfect for these situations.
The first rule of thumb is not to wear your suit coat, or any jacket at all, while sitting on a plane. Doing so will not only crease the back side of the jacket, but there’s also a risk of damaging the seams that hold the lining in place at the bottom of the jacket. We suggest waiting until all the carry-on luggage is in the overhead compartments, and then folding your jacket in half or shoulder-to-shoulder and placing it on top of the luggage. If you’re worried about the jacket getting dirty, then fold it shoulder-to-shoulder inside out.
Our bestselling travel trousers are Meyer, and the Traveler from Riviera. Both of these slacks are wrinkle-resistant and have a bit of stretch in the fabric, so when you get up from several hours of sitting on a plane, your pants still look as fresh as when you put them on. They also come in a minimum of seven colors each season, with season-specific fashion colors. The Meyer slacks come in a European slim style, while the Riviera are a more contemporary to classic fit. When packed in the luggage, these slacks can be folded in half or quarters. They can also be rolled from the waist to the bottom of the leg, following the creases. They say these slacks are capable of being washed (even though they are made of wool), as long as you wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle. Once they are rinsed they need to be hung on clips. We recommend they be hung from the bottom of the leg so the weight of the waistband stretches out any folds.
Good travel shirts come from a multitude of vendors. Eton has the most well-known and established wrinkle-resistant shirt. Not all shirts in the Eton collection follow this guideline, so be careful to select fabrics accordingly. Ken’s also offers shirts from Serica, which come in two fits, classic and contemporary. They also have dress shirts and casual alternatives. Strive shirts are great for those who want travel-friendliness on a budget. Imagine Mizzen & Main blended with an Untuck-It shirt – the perfect combination of untucked and performance. Just like with the pants, these shirts can be folded or rolled into the luggage.
Once you’re at the hotel, we do recommend hanging your garments as soon as possible to help them look fresh again. On some occasions I like to place all my folded items on hangers in the bathroom with the door shut, and then turn the shower on hot for five minutes to steam out any folds in the clothing. I mainly do this with items that are not as travel-friendly and more prone to wrinkling.
Ken’s introduced a stretch suit last season in a slim fit. This fall we will also have it in a classic fit. These suits are not only travel-friendly, but water-resistant as well. This really comes in handy if you get stuck in a rainstorm, or have to deal with a coffee, wine, or food spill. These bulletproof suits not only look great, but they feel wonderful to wear, as well. I have actually rolled my suit coat and folded my pant, and traveled with them in a backpack. Seeing how great the suit looked straight out of the backpack made me a believer!
When traveling this summer, fall, or anytime during the year, why worry about how your clothes will perform? Your clothes should be the last thing you have to worry about. Let us take the stress of travel away to make your business and life more successful.
Safe and stylish travels.
Ken’s Man’s Shop