If you've ever traveled for work — i.e., packed judiciously, patiently suffered delays, and used an outlet behind a trash can — you know it's stressful enough without adding the chore of steaming wrinkled clothes in your hotel shower.
That's why M.M.LaFleur designed suitwear specifically for traveling. It's machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and folds up into a small bag. So far, it includes four styles (two jackets, one pair of pants, and one skirt) and ranges from $325 for the Yan Jacket to $165 for the Cobble Hill Skirt.
The workwear startup earned its reputation for combining former Zac Posen head designer Miyako Nakamura's effortlessly chic designs with machine-washable fabrics. This latest release seems so natural most people will be surprised it didn't already exist.
Like many MM.LaFleur pieces, be prepared to pay relatively high-end prices, though you can expect great utility and design in return. The capsule, like the company, exists in the sweet spot of form and function: easy but polished workwear that's machine-washable and designed for scrunching up in your purse underneath your laptop. It's meant to look good, feel good, and pose no additional stressors to business travel.
To see if the Packable Suit stacks up and upholds the legacy of a company we've recommended for everything from pants with adjustable hems for different shoe heights to fitted dresses that you could perform a ballet in, the company sent the Colby Pant ($195) and the Yan Jacket ($325) to our offices.
The Colby Pant ($195) is a brand-new silhouette that looks like a trouser but feels like workout pants. It has pintucks with sharply defined creases, a silhouette that tapers at the ankle, and an elastic waistband for optimal pull-on comfort and ease.
The Yan Jacket ($325) is a double-breasted jacket made out of a breathable fabric the company says was originally developed for Japanese "commuter suits." It's designed to hit at the top of the thigh (slightly longer than a traditional blazer) and can be belted or worn open for a more relaxed silhouette. Like the Colby, it's machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and folds up into a small included bag. It also has pockets if you're looking for something you can rest your hands in.
Keep reading for a full review, but the short and sweet summary is this:This is a great option for business travelers who have some extra room in their budget and want a classic set they can repeat wear, feel comfortable in all day, and never worry about. After being smooshed in my purse and packed in a suitcase, they still held their shape for my conference. My one note is to go down one full size in the Yan Jacket.
If you're looking for budget buys, the rest of M.M.LaFleur's line can be filtered by price and machine-washability (though not wrinkle-resistant fabrics). If $195 is too much for pants, there are other options to consider — you can find our personal favorites here. Everlane also makes a $50 work pant that we like and is comfortable for travel, though it won't match the sleek material of MM.LaFleur's packable blazers. For that reason and the superior ease and look of a nice, worry-free set, I recommend first checking out MM.LaFleur if you can comfortably afford it.
My experience with the Yan Jacket and the Colby Pant:
The whole point of this collection is that you're supposed to be able to scrunch it into a purse or suitcase for hours and find that the pieces have held their shape. For total comfort and ease of use, they're machine-washable, made from wrinkle-resistant fabrics, and have a naturally relaxed silhouette (it's worth noting that the jacket has the clever option of transforming into a fitted shape with the belt). In my experience, they deliver on that promise. I shoved them in my purse and left them in a suitcase, and they looked fresh, intact, and ready-to-go for my conference.An added bonus is that, while they travel well in bags, they're also comfortable enough to be worn on a plane if you're just taking a day trip.
In terms of cons, they're an investment at $325 for a blazer and $195 for pants, but if you have the budget and will get a lot of use out of them, you'll see the returns quickly. If you want to save a bit, I recommend checking out the Packable Moreland Blazer ($295) first. Overall, the style of the packable suiting is versatile and classic, and you can dress it up with nice shoes and accessories or down with sneakers and a white T-shirt underneath. I'd also personally be more willing to invest money in eliminating friction in travel than in a lot of other areas of my life.
Lastly, M.M.LaFleur designers recommend sizing down in the Yan Jacket. As someone who didn't, I agree with that assessment. The Yan in my typical size looks slightly large on me, and since the pants are loose and tapered, you're probably going to want a fitted jacket on top.
All in all, there are more affordable travel-friendly options from brands like Everlane, but this is a great choice if you can spend the money comfortably and just want a no-hassle suit that looks professional and feels good to wear.