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The M Dash

Live with purpose.

Meet the Suit You Can Stuff in Your Suitcase

August 23, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet

When M.M.LaFleur’s Creative Director, Miyako Nakamura, set out to create a suit specifically designed for women who travel for work, she didn’t research men’s suits or anything too formal. In fact, her two biggest sources of inspiration was athleisure—yes, yoga pants and exercise gear—and the folding capabilities of Japanese origami. “I’m hoping that people feel that they’re in tracksuits, but look like they’re in business suits,” says Miyako. “And that’s a very exciting sensation.” 

Christine shows us her early sketches of the origami suit.

While sourcing the material for the suit, Miyako and her co-designer, Christine Hamer, looked for fabrics typically used for workout wear. They landed on a breathable, washable, and, most notably, wrinkle-resistant blend that can easily fold up into a tiny pouch and emerge flawless eight or nine hours later. They then added tailoring, which ensures the suits are more fit for the office than the gym. “The pin-tucking on the jackets and pants keep the creases intact,” explains Christine. “We added certain stitches and seams on the sleeves to guide the wearer into folding it and to make sure the jacket always looks polished.”

Our origami suiting styles come with instructions on how to fold the garments and fit them in the travel pouch.

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Options for the mix-and-match suit currently include the belted Yan jacket; the shorter Moreland jacket; the Colby pants, which have an elastic waistband (yes!); and the beautifully sculpted Cobble Hill skirt. Each piece pairs well with any M.M. underpinning, making packing for a work trip preposterously simple.  

Miyako teaches us how to fold an origami suit.

For Miyako, the best part about the origami suits is that the women wearing them don’t have to think about them. “We are here to make their lives easier,” she says. 

Christine echoes a similar sentiment. She wants the women wearing the suits to be able to have more fun. “Traveling for me is always a little bit of an anxiety-driven activity. So the less anxiety women can bring to traveling, the more they can relax on the plane and enjoy their time away from their daily activities. Just enjoy the trip.”

The origami suit jackets come with thoughtful details, like an inside card pocket.

Photographs by Yan Ruan.