Destination weddings and other special events that take place far from home have become increasingly popular. While these can be a great opportunity to explore the world and get acquainted with a new place while still spending time with friends and family, they also present some unique challenges to the stylish individual. One of these is figuring out a way to pack evening dresses and other items that you might not normally need while traveling.
Getting these upscale items to fit in your carry on might seem like a challenge at first, but keep in mind that there was a time not so long ago when no sophisticated traveler left home without a full set of evening wear and all the accessories to match. Use these tips for keeping your formal clothes looking great even after a long flight or drive.
Use a Garment Bag
A garment bag is a great investment when you have to pack an evening dress or tux that you don’t want to get wrinkled. You can generally carry one of these bags right on the plane with you and place it carefully in one of the overhead bins to keep your clothing pressed and protected. The one catch is that a garment bag counts as your carry on item, so you may be limited in what else you can bring on the plane. That is, unless you pick up a garment bag that doubles as a regular duffel. These dual-purpose bags allow you to pack your formal attire as well as other essentials in a separate compartment.
Hang Your Clothes When Possible
Even if your clothes are in a garment bag, keep them on hangers whenever you can. If you’re driving to your destination, this may be as easy as hanging them up in the backseat. If you’re flying, you may be able to take advantage of the plane’s built-in closet. Simply ask the flight attendant if there’s space in the closet, but remember that it may already be full.
Choose Your Shoes Wisely
Shoes take up the most room in your luggage, so limit yourself to one formal pair. Even if you have multiple formal outfits for the event you are attending, a good pair of black pumps or strappy sandals should go with all of them. When packing formal shoes, wrap them up or given them their own pocket in your luggage to prevent scuffing.
If a garment bag or hanging your clothes aren’t practical, then you’re going to have to fold your formal attire in your suitcase. Do this very carefully, making sure to crease the item smartly and lay it flat to avoid wrinkling. You may also want to wrap the item in a packing folder or tissue paper to protect it. In addition, getting you clothing dry cleaned right before you pack it can help prevent wrinkles.
Get the Hotel to Spruce Up Your Clothes
Most higher-end hotels have dry cleaning on location, or a concierge who can send your clothing out to be pressed. If your formal attire is looking a little wilted from the trip, don’t hesitate to take advantage of this. Just make sure that your clothing will be back in time for the event.
Don’t use travel as an excuse to cut corners on your outfit. If you are attending a wedding that requests formal attire, don’t pack a cocktail dress or natty blazer just because it’s easier. Packing formal attire takes some planning, but an effort should be made out of respect for the person hosting the event.