The hangers you choose can make a big impact on how well your clothes retain their shape and good looks. Do yourself and your clothes a favor and get rid of those skinny wire hangers from the dry cleaner. You can do it with a clear conscience if you take them back for recycling. You’ll be amazed how soothing it is to never again battle with their bending, tangling mess.
It may seem like a pain to change them over, but you have my solemn promise that you’ll end up wondering why you didn’t do this years ago.
So what to substitute? Even if you are on a tight budget you can swap for the tubular plastic hangers at a bargain price. Stick with one color for the calming visual effect, but you may want two weights for lighter and heavier garments.
My personal favorite for upper garments is the shaped plastic style with swivel heads. If you need a bunch, your can get them for about a quarter each in 100-count packs from storesupply.com. Of you can find the in smaller quantities at Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond or Target.
To keep silky garments in place you can add stick-on foam grip-strips. Those grips even let you hang sweaters without having the shoulders stretch out of shape. So much easier to see them than having them folded in a drawer, and neater than stacking them on a shelf and trying to retain the stack when you invariably want the one on the bottom!
Many clients love the flocked hangers, but to me they grab the garment SO firmly that it is troublesome to get the item off the hanger. Also the hooks don’t swivel very readily and tend to break if you force them to. Their flat profile does take up less width on your closet bar, I’ll admit. Try a few before you go all-in.
I’m really picky about pant hangers. The clip kind have the annoying habit of tangling with one another on the rod. Draping pants over the bar of a regular hanger puts the fabric and color so far below the rod they can be difficult to distinguish. I LOVE the Z-shaped ones with a high profile, keeping the color/fabric visible and maximizing closet space, with a rubber grip to keep the garment in place. And super-easy to get the garment on and off.
For skirts, I recommend the clamp-style – again no hooks to tangle. The wooden ones are pricier, but have felt lining to minimize indentations in delicate fabrics. If a skirt’s waistline is significantly wider that the clamp section of the hanger, fold the outer edges in rather than letting them hang over the ends and cause the skirt to droop. I wish somebody made wider grip hangers — if you see them anywhere please let us know!
I’m a firm believer in hanging everything you possibly can so you can see all your options. Here’s my favorite trick for hanging even heavier or long-sleeved sweaters:
* Fold the sweater in half lengthwise along the center front/center back. The sleeves will layer one atop the other making a big “V” shape.
* Place a hanger over the bust/upper arm area so the hook is sticking out at the underarm.
* Fold the body down over the hanger, then do the same with the sleeve. The fabric layers will grip to one another keeping the garment solidly in place. Magic!
Check out more great ideas shared by readers in the COMMENTS section below.