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How to Pack a Suit in a Carry-On Bag

(And One Man’s Argument for Why You Should)



On any given day I might have to be five different people depending on what’s in my calendar. No, this is not a multiple personality situation. More like a multifunctional personality situation. A real life Swiss Army Man but without the being dead part.

My name is Dennis Cahlo. I’m a filmmaker, photographer, musician, content creator, and writer. There are days when I have to be all those things in the span of 24 hours, and that could involve a suit if I am shooting with a corporate client who requires me to wear one, going to a film premiere or festival, or (to be honest) sometimes I just love putting one on. There are also those times when I have to travel with one.

This is where my Pakt One comes in.

I like to think of the two sides of my Pakt as two sides of my personality (or three or four if I’m using compression bags). On one side I’ll pack my suit, dress shoes, dress socks, tie, belt, and dress shirt. On the other side...well let’s just say it’s a bit more rock and roll. You can take the boy out of the band but not the band out of the boy.

“But why a suit, my man? Aren’t you a creative type? Don’t you just wear all black and have three favorite graphic shirts? One being the Sriracha label?”

To that I say not all creative types are created equally. And, might I add, not all of us own Sriracha label shirts.

The story that comes to mind is when I really dropped the ball by not bringing formal attire to the Cannes Film Festival. I was there in support of my first film The Weekend and our contact had two tickets to a HUGE premiere from one of my favorite filmmakers. He couldn’t make it and asked me if I wanted the tickets. “DUDEAREYOUKIDDINGOFCOURSEIWANTTHETICKETS” I yelled as I flailed my arms wildly like a car dealership air dancer. “Great, you have your tux, right?” he asked.

The air dancer officially deflated. And so did my heart.

Let me start by saying that, yes, I do own a tuxedo. In fact, I owned said tuxedo at this time in my life but since I was a newb filmmaker I had no idea you were required to wear one if you are going to a Cannes premiere or any of the major screenings. And there I was at Cannes without it. The next day I found out they sold tuxedos at the local Zara and I immediately bought one. Unfortunately I didn’t get invited to any more premieres.

From that moment on I decided that, as a filmmaker, if I was going to any festival at any level I would bring a suit with me to wear on the red carpet. And if you poke around the internet a bit or go to my IMDB page, you will be sure to find photos of me traversing a red carpet in a suit of some kind. It’s something that has slowly become a calling card for me --and something people definitely notice. At all the after parties when I would meet my fellow filmmakers they would all say the same thing:

“When I first saw you I thought to myself, ‘Damn, who’s the guy in the suit?’”

Not a bad way to be remembered.