Who doesn't remember Faye Dunaway screaming, "No more wire hangers!" in the movie Mommy Dearest.  Faye Dunaway played Joan Crawford in the story of Ms. Crawford’s life as told through the eyes of her daughter, Christina Crawford.  It remains a legendary Hollywood film. 

Joan was right.  Wire hangers are only good for dry cleaners’ use.  They buy and use so many because they are extremely cheap and serve their generic purpose of being able to hang any type of garment for a short period of time.  The keyword here is “short.”  Wire hangers are not good for long-term use for one essential reason.  They ruin your clothing!

Wire hangers do not give any support to the natural shapes and fibers of your garments.  Most clothing is just too heavy for this type of hanger, and even the most lightweight articles of clothing, t-shirts for example, do not fare well on wire.  Wire hangers change shape very quickly because they are nothing more than exceptionally malleable pieces of wire metal.  Coats, suits and blazers do not do well on wire hangers because the weight of such garments pulls down on the hanger.  This not only changes the shape of the hangers, but changes the shape of your clothing!

Trousers should also never be hung on wire hangers.  Certainly forget the notion of “space-saving” by hanging multiple pairs of trousers on one hanger.  Not only is stacking pants on wire hangers a bad idea, one pant alone on a wire hanger is a definite faux pas.  The thin cross bottom wire cannot hold any substantial amount of weight.  As a result, pants sustain a dimpled crease across the pant legs.

Even shirts, most commonly stored on wire hangers for long periods of time, should not be kept on such hangers.  Although lighter in weight than jackets and trousers, keeping shirts on wire hangers allows for the narrow, wire arms to stretch the material of your shirts, especially those made of cotton.  Hang shirts on plastic hangers with a broader arm.  The problem of completely misshaping and permanently damaging the fabrics and fibers of clothing becomes worse if the garment being hung is crafted from any type of knit, mesh, wool or cashmere.

 

The wire hanger is good for something and serves a great purpose in the home.  If you unwind a wire hanger at the hook, you may stretch it out and push it down a drainpipe to unclog a clog.  It is great for reaching those hard to reach wads of hair that a screwdriver just can’t retrieve.  So, it does pay to keep a few wire hangers around the house.

So what is to be done?  Most home goods stores these days sell hangers marketed as “better” hangers.  However, these hangers are not made nor sold with your clothing in mind.  These hangers are for achieving nothing more than a uniform, neat look in your closet.  Sure, a velvet hanger or bright colored hanger in keeping with the color scheme of the room creates a homogenous look when the closet doors are open, but they amount to nothing more than a surefire way to undermine the investments you make in your clothing.  Even the seemingly fancy, wooden, hotel style suit hangers available in stores are only good for short-term use.  Wooden suit hangers are good in that they are strong, but as a rule, wooden hangers have a very narrow arm.  This arm width is not ideal for supporting the width of the interior of a suit’s shoulder.  In my opinion, these wooden suit hangers are best for stocking pants along the middle, wooden cross bar and leaving nothing on the top.  They are also ideal for hanging shirts.  Personally, I like my shirts hanging when receiving them from the dry cleaner.  Why have them folded if they have just been pressed?  Transfer shirts from the wire hangers to narrow wooden hangers. 

The best type of suit hanger is the European styled, injection molded plastic hanger.  Most suits arrive from the manufacturers on this type of hanger.  How do you know if you have one?  The arms on both sides are extra wide.  As you move up the sides of the hanger the arms taper in to accommodate the shape of the jacket from the longest part of the shoulder to the more narrow part, near the collar.  Furthermore, these Euro styled hangers have a very strong trouser bar across the middle, usually covered in some rubber or velvet to keep the pant from slipping off onto the ground.  In addition, many of these suit hangers have a flexible plastic cord.  At each end of the cord are small eyelets, which latch onto hooks that are a molded part of the hanger hidden underneath the ends of each arm.  This cord is great because it really holds the trousers in place while in the closet.

In summary, wire for the shower and sink drains.

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