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What are Garment Bags?

Top-quality bags have durable stitching and seams.
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  • Edited By: R. Kayne
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2014
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Savvy travelers know that in order to protect their quality clothing during a trip, they need to pack a garment bag. A garment bag is a piece of luggage that will help reduce wrinkles, allowing your wardrobe to arrive in shape for that big social event or important business meeting. Garment bags are ideal to pack business suits, dresses, or eveningwear.

Garment bags used to be simple plastic or nylon covers that would fit over clothes, featuring a hook at the top for hanging. These bags were long and cumbersome to carry and store, particularly for airline travel. Newer garment bags are easier to handle because they are designed to be bi or tri-folds. Being more compact, many garment bags now qualify as carry-ons by the airlines, and a tri-fold bag slips easily beneath your seat. There are also larger caddy-style garment bags that can be pulled along on rollers, but these must be checked with suitcases and other luggage.

Garment bags are extremely useful for traveling, however, attempting to pack all of your apparel into just one bag is not recommended. While most garment bags expand to accommodate many clothes, over-packing a garment bag puts undue stress on the seams and can damage the bag. Your clothing might also arrive with more wrinkles than you had hoped for. If packed properly, your garment bags will protect your clothing from dirt and dust, and you will have less ironing or steaming upon arrival.

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Today's garment bags are available in a wide range of materials, from top-quality leathers to simple cotton, or durable, lightweight nylon. They are also available in a selection of colors and styles, and can be purchased individually or as part of a matched set of luggage.

Prices of garment bags vary widely, along with quality. Designer garment bags, such as those from Diane Von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, and Oleg Cassini, head up the high-end market; while old-guard luggage brands such as Samsonite and American Tourister offer a fine variety of mid-range garment bags. Still more affordable are the lowest price point house brands offered by discount stores.

When shopping for a new garment bag, choose one made from durable materials with handy side pockets and a lock. You can purchase garment bags at discount stores, major retailers, specialty leather and luggage shops, and via the Internet.

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