This post is sort of following on from my last one: Which Clothes Should I Hang and Which Should Be Folded?, so if you’d like to read that first (or next – you might as well stay to the end if you’re already here) that’s linked up there. I’ll warn you now, this may not be the most entertaining or funniest blog post that you’ll ever read, but hopefully you’ll get a lot out of it – you’ll for sure know a lot more about hangers by the time you’re finished reading; unless you don’t start, in which case you’d be losing out on some top-notch wardrobe knowledge.
I know that an entire post dedicated to clothes hangers may seem a little over the top, but the fact is that they really affect the lifespan of a garment. If you’ve just spent hours and hours making something lovely using a fabric that you’ve been coveting for ages, by putting some thought into how you store them you’ll almost definitely see an improvement in how long your clothes last – no longer will anything come out of your wardrobe all skewiff or creased even though you’ve just ironed it.
If you think about it, the wardrobe is where our clothes spend the majority of their time, so it makes sense that storage is a big factor in how long a garment lasts. There are definitely some items of clothing and fabrics that prefer to be folded rather than hung up, but don’t fear – you can refer to the aforementioned blog post if you need some help with that! For now we’ll just talk about hangers. I’ve been trawling the internet and books in the library to get all of the information that I can about all of the kinds of hangers there are, and to be honest in total there are so many different types that I could go on for forever, so I decided to stick with the most common. I did find a lot of really interesting things about space-saving solutions for your wardrobe, so if that’s something you’d want me to talk about I can write about that in the future too! But anyway, I must stop rambling and get on.
Some quick pros and cons:
- Can often be picked up for free, otherwise very cheap
- Intended to be disposable
- Not good for helping a garment hold its shape – doesn’t distribute weight well
- Pointed/ sharp angles can distort the shape
- They’re good for unclogging sinks and other random jobs around the house, but they’re not good for your clothes
- Wire hangers have just been getting thinner and weaker over the years
- Usually aren’t wide enough, which can make indentations in the clothing
- The metal can even discolour your fabrics!
Okay, I know that they all look like cons – but to be honest, it’s because they are! I’ve read around a lot, and it seems to be a unanimous opinion that these are really not good at all for your clothes if you want them to last. While you can definitely get aesthetically pleasing options with wire hangers (I know that I’ve been seeing a lot of pretty copper ones around recently) they really aren’t able to handle your garments, so I definitely wouldn’t trust them with my handmade loves. If you have any in your wardrobe at the moment, gather them up and move them far away from your clothes. Maybe put them in your craft box, or keep a couple handy for if anything needs fishing out from behind a radiator but please, both I and your clothes beg of you; don’t use them in your wardrobe!
TROUSERS/ SLACKS HANGERS
If you want to hang up your trousers (by trousers I’m talking about an all-encompassing ‘bottoms’ category) you’ll be needing something either with a bar that you can drape them over, or clips that you can slot them into, otherwise you’re going to need some kind of sorcery to get them to stay on the hanger. Here are some points about each type, as well as what you’ll need to look for:
- If you’re going for the bar approach, the thicker that bar, the less creasing you’ll have to deal with.
- If you’re using clips, make sure they’re rubber-covered so that they don’t damage the fabric in any way.
- Clip trouser hangers may distort denim or fabrics with stretch.
- Clip trouser hangers may crease the fabric.
- The primary quality that you need to look for in trouser hangers (whichever version you go for) is strength.
- Bar trouser hangers help them to keep their shape and they don’t fall off.
- Generally, wood will work better for trouser hangers, as they can be pretty heavy items of clothing and therefore could misshape plastic or tubular hangers, which would in turn cause your garment to crease.
Personally, I think that the bar hangers are going to be better for your bottoms (trouser bottoms, I’m not insinuating you have numerous butt bottoms) in the long run, as they’re going to put less strain on the fabric so shouldn’t stretch anything out. Wood hangers usually last longer than plastic ones so it might be worth putting in the little bit of extra money to get those, as if the plastic gets misshapen it could mean that your trousers get creased before they’re even worn – but that’s totally your call!
Skirts are notoriously awkward to store, so skirt hangers are super handy and also something that you have in your wardrobe already.
- Should always have rubber-coated clips to make sure that they they don’t dimple the fabrics, and to hold the skirt taut (but not stretch them)
- a lot of these clips can be moved along the hanger to accommodate different waistband sizes which is a super duper handy feature
- Many skirts need to be suspended from even and consistent supports across the whole waistband to maintain proper shape
- Skirts are usually pretty heavy, so getting good quality skirt hangers that will last you a longer is a good investment
You might think that suit hangers are only worth getting if you have suits in your wardrobe, but they’re really handy for heavier garments or ones that need some support with keeping their shape – coats, for example!
- Look for a contoured line that mimics the outline of the jacket or coat
- The hanger should extend all the way to, but not past, the point where the shoulder meets the sleeve (I’m not sure why but I saw this a few times on my researching travels, so I trust this tip)
- Built to withstand the weight of three quality suit pieces, so pretty reliable and should last a long time!
- Vary a lot in quality
- You can get these with notches in (like the picture on the right) to help with holding pesky straps and particularly slippery garments
- Because they’re plastic, they’re best suited to light to moderate weigh garments – anything too heavy will cause the hanger to bend (and therefore misshape your garment)
- Inexpensive and uniform in style
- Available in three colours
- Not good for use with garments that need help keeping their shape
- These are the easiest to find good quality versions of – because they’re made of wood, the quality is pretty consistent across the board, so the cheapest wood hangers shouldn’t differ too much compared to pricier ones (unless the pricier one turns out to be a suit hanger, in which case see above)
- Often contoured to help garments like like blouses and jackets keep their shape
- More expensive than some of the other options, but for sure worth it
- Take up a little more space in your wardrobe
- Often has a bar across the bottom, so you can use these as your trouser hangers
- Cloth covered hangers protect delicate garments
- Padding helps with slipping
- Padding helps to preserve the shape
- Have the widest range of colours, patterns and decorations of all of the hangers in this post – the ones on the right are from Cath Kidston!
- Helps gowns, dresses, blouses and other delicates to keep their shape, without creasing the garment – their softness means that the pressure point has a larger surface area, so it won’t be poking delicate fabrics and weakening the fibres
- They take up a lot of space
- They do get dusty and need care themselves, or will require replacing every now and then if you don’t clean them
While these take up some more space and will need a little clean every now and again, they’re a really valuable addition to your wardrobe in my opinion – you can store your most delicate or most treasured clothes on these and rest assured that you’re really caring for that garment well – these hangers are the ones that will cause the least damage to a garment, while the fabric covering the padding means that the friction between the hanger and your item of clothing will stop it from slipping off.
- Durable – more so than the other plastic hangers
- Not too pricey
- Available in a variety of colours
- Slippery straps and garments may not stay on, but they have a bar so that you can use these to hang your trousers
- Not shaped or moulded to help delicate garments hold their shape
- You can pretend you’re in the 80s when you say ‘tubular’
- In order to care for them properly, some garments do best with specialised hangers, and by that I mean:
- baby/infant/childrens hangers – for obvious reasons really, they wouldn’t fit onto adult hangers!
- lingerie – you can get special lingerie hangers, but they’re pretty similar to padded hangers so they’ll do the job nicely!
wire hanger: www.wardrobesupplies.com
trouser hanger with bar: www.caraselledirect.com
trouser hanger with clips: http://www.smartshopfittings.co.uk
skirt hanger: http://www.hangers-shop.com
suit hanger: valentinosdisplays.com
plastic hanger: amazon.co.uk
wooden hanger: stardisplay.co.uk
padded hanger: (from Cath Kidston) pinterest.co.uk
tubular hanger: ebay.co.uk