Showing posts with label The Hanger Project. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Hanger Project. Show all posts

Monday, October 18, 2010

The importance of hangers

Bear with me while I rant a little bit.

Nothing makes me crazier than those stupid little wishbone hangers that some stores use to hang their garments. I really, really hate them. The way that you store your garment has such an impact on it, the same way a shoe tree is so important to the life of a good shoe. Two of the most delicate parts of a coat are the top of the sleeve and the collar, and they are shaped to contour your body; it would make sense, then, to hang a garment on something that closely resembles the body, no? Then why do department stores insist on those skinny little wishbone hangers which in no way resemble the body, are usually too wide so they poke out the sleeves, do not support the top of the sleeve so the sleeve buckles, and do not support the collar?

Take a look at the way this coat sits on this hanger. The ends are poking into the sleeve and the sop of the sleeve buckles; there is a piece of canvas in the sleeve head which is meant to support it because, over time, the rippling you see can become semi-permanent, requiring a skilled pressing to remove. If the garments are stored too closely together on these hangers, the creasing can actually become very difficult to get out, even by an experienced hand. Worse, if you expose the garment to humidity while on this hanger, like hanging it in a steamy bathroom to remove other creases (not something I recommend doing, by the way), the damage can be even worse. Maybe you've never observed this before but I hope now you will.


See how the collar sits away from the hanger with nothing to support it? It can get crushed or stretched out like this, again requiring a good pressing to fix.


Better makers know that hangers are important so the garments are placed on hangers with a very wide shoulder that supports the sleeve and collar. Not only are these hangers, themselves, much more expensive than standard EQ14-type hangers, but they are also more expensive for shipping. But we consider it important to the garment. Some stores choose to switch these hangers at their distribution center for the smaller ones, others don't. The ones who don't, I thank you. The ones who do, well, grrr.

Why do the stores use these awful little hangers, then, if they are so bad? Well, space. And space is money. Space in the distribution center, space in the trucks which ship the product to the stores, and space on the selling floors. They can cram more garments into less space using these little hangers, which saves them money. Grrr.

You probably know where I'm going with this.

I got a message from Kirby Allison, asking if I would mind putting an ad for his products on my blog.

He offered to send me some hangers for review, but accusations of shilling are rife on the internet, and not having seen his hangers yet, I wanted to feel free to say they were not up to par, if that were the case. So let me be clear here- I did not accept any free hangers, I paid for them, though he gave me free shipping. This is not a review in exchange for free stuff. This is me ranting about something I feel very strongly about.

Here is the same coat again, on the wishbone hanger, and then on one of Kirby's hangers. See the difference in the sleeves and collar? The hanger is the proper width, since he offers 4 widths, and it supports the shoulder and the collar. For me, it's a no-brainer.



I am fortunate to have access to good hangers at work, otherwise I would have to buy them somewhere. I guess Kirby was faced with the same dilemma when he started his hanger project- I'm not sure where else you can get good suit hangers. They're not cheap, but then, compared to the price of a good suit, it's a worthwhile investment. And compared to the price of a lasted shoe tree (I pay $160 for mine- ouch!) they're a bargain! So if you are currently hanging good quality suits on crappy little hangers, I strongly recommend thinking about investing in a few better ones.

Your clothes will thank you for it.