I remember the first time I saw those flocked (velvet) hangers in the store. I had heard about them from a friend, who raved that they made her closet so much neater and with so much more space! Well, of course I had to have them, too!
I bought a set of 24 for all my hanging shirts. I’d been using wooden hangers, and I just figured I’d pass those on to my husband – especially because I was tired of seeing his shirts on the wire hangers from the cleaner.
“Maybe if he had more hangers, he’d change out those wire ones!” Nope.
Back to my flocked velvet hangers. I painstakingly took each shirt off its wooden hanger, re-hung it on a velvet one, smoothed out the shoulders, and hung them all back in my closet.
It really did save a lot of space!
Fast forward to a week later, and each morning, I would curse the blasted velvet hangers and the shirts that would get stuck on them as I tried to pull them down without taking the hanger off the rod first.
Now, if I was taller, maybe this wouldn’t be an issue (actually, I still believe it would). I found myself stealing my (unused) wooden hangers back from my husband’s side each time a shirt of mine was out of the laundry. After about a month, all those velvet hangers were passed on to the school’s used uniform room.
And yet, my friend still raves about hers! She absolutely loves them, and finds my wooden hangers bulky and unrefined.
Well, to each his/her own. Do what makes you happy, or in the case of your closet’s hangers, do what provides you the least frustration while still being enjoyable to your eyes.
I thought I’d give you a quick primer as to why professional organizers choose the particular hangers they do for clients’ closets – their benefits and drawbacks.
TYPES OF HANGERS
1. The Flocked (Velvet) Slim Hanger
- creates more hanging space – the slim profile of these allows your clothes to hang more closely together
- slippery, delicate clothing won’t slide off
- you might be tempted to squeeze your clothes too closely together, causing wrinkles
- clothes can’t be easily pulled off the hanger, if you’re used to do that
2. The Plastic Grippy Slim Hanger
- similar to its slim velvet cousin, creates more hanging space – the slim profile of these allows your clothes to hang more closely together
- non-slip padding keeps slippery, delicate clothing from sliding off
- won’t collect dust as much as the slim velvet hangers
- as with all slim hangers, you might be tempted to squeeze your clothes too closely together, causing wrinkles
3. The Wooden Hanger
- creates a natural/eco aesthetic in your home
- can handle heavier clothing, like denim, suits and coats, etc.
- requires more space between clothing
4. Open-Ended ‘Trouser” Hangers
- fold and drape sweaters and other delicate, or difficult to hang, items (scarves, workout clothes, etc.) on these so they don’t lose their shape on regular hangers
- the bar is coated, so clothing won’t accidentally slip off
- clothing is easily accessed through the open end
- shorter (from hook to bar) than regular hangers, so works well in short areas, kids’ closets
- allows space below hanging clothes for shoes or accessories
- when draping thicker clothes, like sweaters, clearance above the item might be tight
5. Plastic Hangers
- easy to slide clothes off these
- can be flimsy
Putting It All Together
There are some general guidelines that we use to make our clients’ closets look fabulous, no matter which type of hangers they prefer.
Use What You Already Own First
For the planet’s sake, always start with what you’ve got first if it’s working for you, or if you’re just not sure which type of hanger would work best. Group identical hangers together for now, and if you find that you do want to change out your hangers, donate them to someone who can use them: school used uniform room, a thrift shop, an Etsy clothing seller, or even your neighbor.
Use Identical Hangers
Using identical hangers makes your closet look neater and more elegant, even if you’re working with plastic hangers.
Although you can find all these hangers at many retailers, the measurements and details of each vary by brand. If one hanger is slightly thinner than the one next to it, or if the hook measurements or slope of the hanger are a little bit different, your closet will tend to look messy and disorganized. So stick with the same brand if possible.
Use Different Hangers, But In Identical Colors
Feel free to choose a different hanger for a completely separate category of clothing, but try to keep the hanger colors identical. And be sure to group like hangers next to each other.
For example, I use trouser hangers for pants in my closet. I keep all my pants in a different hanging area that the other clothing in my closet.
You can still do this if your closet has only one hanging area. Just group all the shirts together, and then all the pants.
Don’t Smoosh Your Clothes Together!
We always aim to leave about half an inch between hangers in the closets we work on. Not only does that make your closet look neater and more elegant, it saves your clothes from wrinkles and makes it easier for you to take clothes down and hang them up again!
Your closet will be a more pleasant and inspiring space to be in if the hangers you use don’t cause you any frustration. Closets tend to look neater and more organized when the hangers all match. Even better, you’ll get more use out of all your clothes if they’re easy to take out, and easy to hang up again. So get rid of the stuff you don’t love anymore, choose a hanger that fits your style and needs based on the pros and cons above, and let me know which hanger is your favorite!