Jump to content
JLMoran

Need advice about packing a suit and having it pressed onboard

Recommended Posts

I was talking about this directly with @LetsTryThisTech in the context of his recent cruise on Freedom, but thought I'd open it up to a bigger audience. For those of you who do like to dress in full suit or tux for formal nights, how do you pack it?

As best I can tell from reviewing United's baggage FAQs and Carry-On pages, garment bags just aren't allowed any more. You have to bring a regulation size carry-on, and your "plus one item" has to be something the size of a small backpack that can be stowed under the seat in front of you, not in the overhead bin with your carry-on.

So do you pack your suit in your checked luggage? Do you just bring a garment bag anyway, and have that checked as well?

And a related question -- How is the pressing service? Would be good to get some direct experience from folks who've used it, just so I can feel reasonably safe that my newly-purchased suit won't be fried in the presser or otherwise damaged. I'm assuming it won't be as rough as the regular laundry service, but is it basically the same as going to the local dry cleaners or a bit harsher? Also, how much do they charge for pressing on night 1 so you're ready for formal night the next evening? Need to get these final budget details worked out.

I wouldn't be as concerned about this if the suit was "regular" wool used in everyday-use suits, but it turns out that the one I bought is made with 150s wool (never heard of this before I bought it, always thought that wool is just wool), and everything I've read about it says that it's (a) delicate and only meant to be worn for special occasions (which is fine in my case), and (b) it easily wrinkles and needs regular pressing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and ladies -- if you have similar advice about packing dresses, I'm sure my wife and daughters would appreciate whatever I could relay. Even if it does mean starting off with, "Guess what I learned on the cruise boards today..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

As best I can tell from reviewing United's baggage FAQs and Carry-On pages, garment bags just aren't allowed any more. You have to bring a regulation size carry-on, and your "plus one item" has to be something the size of a small backpack that can be stowed under the seat in front of you, not in the overhead bin with your carry-on.

 

Hi Joe!  We have always taken Rob's suit in a garment bag to cruise since we don't have to fly.  With my first "cruise" flight next March, I want to ask you if you know why garment bags are not allowed on flights any more.  Do you know why?  One suggestion that I can make on the packing is to put the suit in a dry cleaner bag.  Rob swears it helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We spent a couple of years gifting each other with various pieces of Briggs and Riley luggage.  The larger pieces came with removable mini garment bags that fit into the lids of the suitcases.  That was over 10 years ago.  Now they build the garment bag into the suitcase.  Not cheap but it comes with a lifetime guarantee against ANY damage, just pay the shipping to return it to the manufacturer.  I used that guarantee before our cruise earlier this month when a corner of the suitcase blew out on a previous trip .  I discovered it a couple of months before the cruise date.  They turned it around to us in under 3 weeks! 

My tux was immaculate when I unpacked it aboard the Jewel.

 

bline_built_in_suiter_7.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Oh, and ladies -- if you have similar advice about packing dresses, I'm sure my wife and daughters would appreciate whatever I could relay. Even if it does mean starting off with, "Guess what I learned on the cruise boards today..."

For your wife and daughters...everything goes in a dress bag (they will know what that is).  It's the last thing to get packed and the first thing to get unpacked.  Then, let the steam take care of the rest!  I have done this every time.  I have never had a need to get anything pressed on board.  Not sure how that works for a suit though....lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only times I've flown with a suit have been on Delta and the flight attendants always took my garment bag and hung it up in the little closet they had up front.  I had a backpack carry-on with me as well that I kept with me for the flight.

We used the pressing service on the last cruise.  Just laid the garments on the bed with the form filled out on top and gave our attendant a heads up as we left for dinner.  They came back pressed the following evening.  Make sure you leave the "make up room" card in your door in the late afternoon so they can deliver it before you want to start getting ready.  Here's the price list:

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/en_US/pdf/LaundryPriceList.pdf

We had to ask our attendant for a form, but they sometimes leave a few in the closet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Digmenow said:

We spent a couple of years gifting each other with various pieces of Briggs and Riley luggage.  The larger pieces came with removable mini garment bags that fit into the lids of the suitcases.  That was over 10 years ago.  Now they build the garment bag into the suitcase.  Not cheap but it comes with a lifetime guarantee against ANY damage, just pay the shipping to return it to the manufacturer.  I used that guarantee before our cruise earlier this month when a corner of the suitcase blew out on a previous trip .  I discovered it a couple of months before the cruise date.  They turned it around to us in under 3 weeks! 

My tux was immaculate when I unpacked it aboard the Jewel.

@Digmenow, appreciate the reference to the luggage line. Unfortunately, new luggage is not in our budget (or timeline at this point, as we fly in 6 days). Have to work with what I have, which doesn't include any integrated garment bag element. Only thought of this now, as it's literally the first time I'm flying anywhere with a suit in tow.

10 minutes ago, Dawn T. said:

With my first "cruise" flight next March, I want to ask you if you know why garment bags are not allowed on flights any more.  Do you know why?

4 minutes ago, Orange Crush said:

The only times I've flown with a suit have been on Delta and the flight attendants always took my garment bag and hung it up in the little closet they had up front.

All I can say is that I'm not finding any reference to garment bags on United's web site, either pro or con. I'm taking the utter absence of information on them, combined with the description they provide of the allowed "plus one" item (which basically describes a backpack or any other item that can be stowed under the seat), to mean that they are not allowed by them any longer. I may call them directly and see if I can get any confirmation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, RRoberts said:

I believe if you are booked in a Suite, that you will get free pressing for the first formal night. The wife and I were on Oasis the last week of Feburary in a ATS and we got the free pressing.

Not staying in a suite, unfortunately, just a regular balcony room. But good information to know. Hopefully they apply that to JS rooms and not just GS and above -- would be able to take advantage on my Anthem cruise in October.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

I was talking about this directly with @LetsTryThisTech in the context of his recent cruise on Freedom, but thought I'd open it up to a bigger audience. For those of you who do like to dress in full suit or tux for formal nights, how do you pack it?

As best I can tell from reviewing United's baggage FAQs and Carry-On pages, garment bags just aren't allowed any more. You have to bring a regulation size carry-on, and your "plus one item" has to be something the size of a small backpack that can be stowed under the seat in front of you, not in the overhead bin with your carry-on.

So do you pack your suit in your checked luggage? Do you just bring a garment bag anyway, and have that checked as well?

And a related question -- How is the pressing service? Would be good to get some direct experience from folks who've used it, just so I can feel reasonably safe that my newly-purchased suit won't be fried in the presser or otherwise damaged. I'm assuming it won't be as rough as the regular laundry service, but is it basically the same as going to the local dry cleaners or a bit harsher? Also, how much do they charge for pressing on night 1 so you're ready for formal night the next evening? Need to get these final budget details worked out.

I wouldn't be as concerned about this if the suit was "regular" wool used in everyday-use suits, but it turns out that the one I bought is made with 150s wool (never heard of this before I bought it, always thought that wool is just wool), and everything I've read about it says that it's (a) delicate and only meant to be worn for special occasions (which is fine in my case), and (b) it easily wrinkles and needs regular pressing.

https://www.amazon.com/Travelers-Choice-Amsterdam-Upright-Rolling/dp/B004E0Z3P4

This is the one we used and we checked it.  Did not have to have anything pressed.

image.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Not staying in a suite, unfortunately, just a regular balcony room. But good information to know. Hopefully they apply that to JS rooms and not just GS and above -- would be able to take advantage on my Anthem cruise in October.

GS and above 😐

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Orange Crush said:

I'm curious after looking at that list, when would you choose "steam only" instead of "press only" for a suit? Is that to just try and steam out the wrinkles instead of using the press?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

I'm curious after looking at that list, when would you choose "steam only" instead of "press only" for a suit? Is that to just try and steam out the wrinkles instead of using the press?

I didn't understand what that meant either.  I figured it was just waving a steam wand at the thing and hoping for the best without putting it through the press.  I guess it's better than hanging it up in the bathroom while taking a shower but still gentle for items too delicate to press?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the packing hacks I've always used is to pack your suit in a bag it might come from the cleaners in, I have even gone to my local cleaners and asked for extra bags, I put the coat in one bag and the pants in another bag and then just folded them and pressed them out on the very top layer of the suite case.

Somehow or another the plastic bag helps keep most of the wrinkles out.

I know this might not help in your case, but I'm like @Digmenow my suite case has a built in garment hanger in the cover, so I put my hanging stuff in the lid (With the plastic sack).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Orange Crush said:

I didn't understand what that meant either.  I figured it was just waving a steam wand at the thing and hoping for the best without putting it through the press.  I guess it's better than hanging it up in the bathroom while taking a shower but still gentle for items too delicate to press?

Steaming is simply blowing hot steam through a garment as illustrated in this photo.  Note t-shirt being steamed.  Clothing is placed onto blue apparatus and hot steam then blows from inside the blue thing and through the garment.  It takes about 15 seconds.

In the far right you can see a crew member's head as he operates a pressing machine.  Clothes are laid on it, press is closed to complete the job.  For pants and shirts a crease is created that you won't get when steaming.

Harmony-125.jpg.21438cd3ab962d9076e4c373702df93c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, tiny260 said:

One of the packing hacks I've always used is to pack your suit in a bag it might come from the cleaners in, I have even gone to my local cleaners and asked for extra bags, I put the coat in one bag and the pants in another bag and then just folded them and pressed them out on the very top layer of the suite case.

This is definitely going to have to be the hack I use, or else keep it out of the bag provided by Jos. A. Bank and use this folding technique I found on JoeButton.com. For... interesting reasons.

I called United and, after doing the usual Byzantine voice activated navigation dance, finally got through to a rep. Took a minute to get the rep to understand my question, but once she did she had an answer that was at once totally sensible and at the same time mystifying: Garment bags are absolutely allowed... as long as the plane for your specific flight has a closet.

Wait, what?

It seems that not all of United's planes have closets built into the cabin area, so they have to check flight by flight. Which will only happen should you happen to call and ask them about it. And it turns out that the plane for my flight from EWR to FLL does not have a closet, but the plane for my return flight does. So I will definitely have to pack my suit in my suitcase and get it pressed after boarding. And then repeat for the return trip.

Add this to the list of items under "HOW did they do THAT?!?" :33_unamused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, twangster said:

One last suggestion our laundry tour guide offered - do not cut off tags on your clothes!

They actually read those tags so they know how to launder, press or stream them.

I've never cut off the tags on anything I've owned, unless it was a cheap t-shirt where the tag was scratching my neck something fierce. But that's actually very reassuring to know that they read all the tags and follow their directions. So if my suit should only be steamed for some reason and not pressed, they'll know (and hopefully ignore whatever I put on the form in favor of the correct treatment).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also one thing that I did with Sandra's dress (I did all the packing) was fold it nicely (follow seams for folds ext.) and put it in a vacuum seal bag. make sure it is packed so nothing else creases it or it may get wrinkles but worked well for us and nothing we had was wrinkled. Also for my suite, I again following seams and natural angles folded it and put it at the bottom of my suitcase (often times they flip them on their belly's) and strapped it down so it wouldn't move. All came out perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, LetsTryThisTech said:

Also for my suite, I again following seams and natural angles folded it and put it at the bottom of my suitcase (often times they flip them on their belly's) and strapped it down so it wouldn't move.

This is roughly in line with the article that I had linked to earlier, so that's also good to see that this technique works. It's probably what I'm going to end up doing, especially since all of my other clothing will hold it in place whether I use the straps to hold everything together, or strap only the suit and then pile the other clothes on top. My usual layering of pants on bottom, followed by dress shirts on one side and casual shirts on the other, then a final layer with the smaller stuff on top, should help with this as well. Hopefully the wrinkling will be a minimum, but I'm guessing a pressing will be required no matter what.

Thanks, all, for the suggestions and advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be careful with steaming a wool suit. Inexperience may result in the permanent loss of proper pant leg creasing as well as severe pucker damage to the coat if the canvassing is fused (very common) instead of stitched (more expensive garments).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the dry cleaning bags.  Have always packed everything in them including dressy clothes for a wedding across the country.  I also unpack as soon as I arrive.  Any small wrinkles easily fall out when hung on the bathroom door during a steamy shower.  And keeps TSA hands off my clothes when they inevitably open my checked bag.  Maybe because I’m always transporting 20-30 large bottles of toiletries to my daughter?!?!?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Garment bag is helpful but you could always just pack in a regular suitcase.  And if you don't want to send out for pressing, Downy Wrinkle Release works AWESOME!!!  Just hang your suit up as soon as you get your luggage, spray this on it and smooth the wrinkles but gently running your hand over the suit and pulling lightly on the fabric.  You can also spray the stuff on and then use a hair dryer.  Works like a charm on ALL clothes and does NOT make your clothes stiff.  It actually has a nice smell to it (fabric softner smell).  I bring it with me on ALL our cruises!!!!  Hope this is helpful!

dbf6d9f1-c7c4-43da-be63-c0cf0ead69cd_1.ab9c650c314c7fa26c30d404a0998427.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, RRoberts said:

I believe if you are booked in a Suite, that you will get free pressing for the first formal night. The wife and I were on Oasis the last week of Feburary in a ATS and we got the free pressing.

Yes, this is included for free for suite guests. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, twangster said:

Steaming is simply blowing hot steam through a garment as illustrated in this photo.  Note t-shirt being steamed.  Clothing is placed onto blue apparatus and hot steam then blows from inside the blue thing and through the garment.  It takes about 15 seconds.

In the far right you can see a crew member's head as he operates a pressing machine.  Clothes are laid on it, press is closed to complete the job.  For pants and shirts a crease is created that you won't get when steaming.

Harmony-125.jpg.21438cd3ab962d9076e4c373702df93c.jpg

That's cool!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...