I am a tailor by trade. I know that if you look after clothes, they can literally last a lifetime. I am fiercely disapproving of the throw away fashion culture and have another whole business based on mending, taking in, letting out and re-designing favourite garments. There are a number of elements to building a lifelong wardrobe. I tell my clients to look for classic designs, with a good fit, in quality materials, in colours and shapes that suit. But once a wonderful wardrobe has been created the clothes need to be cared for and a big part of this is how they are stored.
There is no point in going to all of this effort if you shove your clothes into wardrobes and draws randomly, using any old hanger from the shops they came from or worse, the dry cleaners! Flimsy, ill sized hangers cause creases, stretch clothes, create unsightly lumps and bumps and sometimes don’t even hold them securely so they end up in a crumpled heap on the wardrobe floor. Getting the right clothes hanger is the final but essential step to looking after your clothes and prolonging the life of your wardrobe.
The perfect hanger
Classic wooden hangers are great for strength and they look lovely, but they are quite bulky. As well as taking up a lot of space they create a lot of unnecessary weight on the clothes rail, so it makes sense to use thinner lighter hangers where you can.
For slimline hangers the quality can be very variable. I’ve tried different batches from TK Maxx and although they look identical, some have stood the test of time while others have broken with barely any use.
You shouldn’t have to compromise on quality for space, so our range includes super slim options which are also very strong. They are perfect for shirts, t-shirts and knits which have a habit of slipping off or hanging haphazardly on most other types of hanger. This is because ours are coated in non-slip rubber which really holds the garments in place. They have a lovely curved shape so there are no sharp angles to pierce into delicate, less structured items and because the rubber is in contact with the whole shoulder area, it doesn’t pull on a single point of the material, making it perfect for fine weaves. Again, these hangers also measure 38cm wide to accommodate a smaller female shoulder.
The hanger comes in two styles, one for single items which is best for silk or delicate knits especially summer ponchos.
The other Non-Slip Hanger, has a trouser bar with width adjustable clips to hold trousers or skirts by the waistband. This is best for summer suits and co-ords.
Along with the rubber coated hangers are a range of accessories such as Chinese knots which can be used to secure camisoles and strappy dresses and hanger extensions which help to create even more space and keep whole outfits together.
How to hang trousers
The best solution is full-length hanging, if you’ve got the space. You will need peg hangers.
Otherwise, they should be folded in half and hung on a hanger with a round, fat bar so that you don’t get creases at the knees. The foam-covered ones given away by boutiques are fine. Wooden hangers with grips are excellent, but you do need a lot of room as they’re bulky.
Best hangers for jackets
Look at your shoulders in the mirror, or better, look at other people’s shoulders as they stand. Are they straight? No, they curve, and that’s how jackets are cut. So you need curved, banana-shaped hangers to hold the shape nicely.
Plastic ones are fine and wooden too, though again, they’re heavy. Expensive designers such as Chanel or Stella McCartney give away velvet flock hangers with their clothes, which are fabulous but cost a lot. Clothes doesn’t fall off.
Hangers for skirts
For these, depending on the fabric and cut, you need peg or expander hangers to hold the waist taut. Expanders are good with materials such as suede, leather or delicates, which will be marked by the grips on peg hangers.
Never hang a skirt by its loops; it makes a V-shape in the middle and creases against other clothes.
Hangers for dresses, blouses and knitwear
Of all the hangers I’ve ever tested, I’ve found the narrow, rubber-covered, slightly curved hangers we stock to be the best for dresses, blouses and tops. They need to hold the garment and stop it slipping off but be light enough not to spoil the shape. Unlike wire hangers, they don’t have pointy corners.
What is the best way to store out of season clothes?
Another reason hangers need to be strong is so they can carry the extra weight of storage bags. When out of season clothes are stored away, we highly recommend placing them in breathable, protective storage bags which shield them from dust and most importantly stop clothes moths from laying their eggs amongst them.
Before placing in a bag, ensure that all garments are meticulously clean and dry. If items have been dry cleaned, exchange the wire hanger from the dry cleaners to one of your own garment appropriate hangers as soon as possible. Remove the plastic bag from the dry cleaners and let the item air before putting it away. This allows the dry-cleaning chemicals to dissipate. For that matter don’t store anything in plastic bags or boxes because moisture will be trapped, and this creates mould. For breathable storage solutions, have a look at our Garment Knit Bags and Storage Boxes.
- Beware the pretty, padded hanger, which can often be too horizontal and take up too much space.
- Never use too wide a hanger, it will disfigure your clothes.
- Look for hanger extensions so that you can store a jacket and skirt together.
- Take hangers when you travel because hotel ones are rarely satisfactory.
Protecting and prolonging the life of clothes is our business so if you need any advice on clothing care products or how to protect them from moths, give us a call or peruse our blog pages where there is a plethora of advice.