Is it Better to Hang or Fold Clothes?

men's folded clothes
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Honestly, I’ve always been the kind of guy to dump his clothes in the closet till it looks like a rack after a Black Friday sale. 

Fresh clothes get that treatment. Tried-on-once shirts even get balled up and thrown like I’m shooting for my life.

That was until I got more conscious with my (deservingly) wrinkled clothes. Also, I’m now in charge of buying my clothes! 

I figured I should handle them with care just so I don’t waste my money. 

But before buying color-coordinated hangers and learning different folding techniques, you might have asked yourself this too: “is it better to hang or fold clothes?”

The answer is on a case-to-case basis. What to hang and what to fold in the closet depends entirely on the kind of garment and its material. Of course, other restrictions such as closet and drawer spaces should be considered as well.

A trick worthy to be remembered though is if it’s prone to get wrinkled and get creases, it should be hung. But if the garment can be easily stretched, then they are better folded.

Don’t worry, we won’t keep you hanging! We’ll go into detail on the specifics of this rule in this article.

Clothes to Hang

Suits, Blazers, and Jackets

In general, you want your outerwear to be on a hanger rather than folded. This is because you want them to retain their original shape. 

Outerwear such as suits, blazers, and jackets tend to get wrinkled very easily, too. 

By hanging them, you can prevent any unnecessary creases you might get when they are folded instead. 

This makes them easier to iron if needed.

The only exception to this rule is if the outerwear is rather heavy, like thick winter knits.

These comfy clothes should be folded instead as they tend to stretch out when hung. They also have little issues with getting wrinkles mostly on the material used for the garment.

Dress Shirts

Next up are the dress shirts. These should be hung as well since they tend to get wrinkly really fast.

Dress shirts are usually hung with the topmost button buttoned, and then have every other button buttoned. The shirts retain their shape much better if this buttoning scheme is followed. 

But if you’re running out of closet space, then you can still fold dress shirts. 

They may get creases from the fold though, so it’s really recommended that they be hung on your wooden hangers.

Having your dress shirts on hangers is quite a sight to behold. Talk about feeling like an executive before getting dressed!

Dress Pants

Pants can generally be folded; however, dress pants are more preferred to be hung. 

Dress pants get wrinkled too, although not as much as dress shirts. 

It’s just recommended to be stored with a hanger since the garments you use with them are usually hung as well. 

It makes it more convenient when you’re dressing up because all the things you wear for a formal event, bar the underwear, are all in one place.

Hangers with clamps are the dress pants’ best friends so they can be hung on the waistband. Hanging them this way helps the garment to not sag and retain its shape.

It’s understandable though if you don’t have this kind of hanger – I mean, I don’t even have that! 

If that’s the case, then you can always fold your dress pants and hang them in the middle bar of a hanger.

Linen Clothing (and other clothes made of lightweight materials)

Although having wrinkles and creases is kind of like the charm of linen clothing, you might not want them to be that wrinkled.

Taking this into account, they are better off hung than folded, just so you can avoid the extra wrinkles and creases. 

This also goes to the extent of other clothing made from lightweight materials, such as silk and chiffon. 

Clothes to Fold

Sweaters

Sweaters are often made with materials such as wool and cashmere. 

They are usually heavier than average, and this added weight stretches out the garment when they are hung via hangers.

Because of this, sweaters should be folded and tucked in your drawers.

The usual fabric of sweaters is also not prone to wrinkles and creases, making them perfect to be folded to save you some closet space.

But if it’s the other way around and you have more closet space than shelf or drawer space, you can still store them on hangers. Simply fold the sweater in two and hang the garment in the bar of a hanger.

Sportswear

Sportswear is another kind of garment that should be folded and not hung. Similarly, this is because of the usual fabric used in making these clothes.

When looking for sportswear, you want them to be somehow elastic and stretchy just so it doesn’t deter your movements. 

This innate stretchability makes sportswear not advisable to be hung. 

By folding them, you can ensure that they are not stretched unnecessarily by hangers, which will keep them elastic for a longer time.

Shorts

Shorts are folded by default only because it doesn’t really make sense to hang them.

I mean, shorts don’t get wrinkled that much anyway, plus they’re almost always used for casual wear. You can also save up on the closet space if you have them folded in your drawer.

To Hang or To Fold: You Decide!

T-Shirts

Now we’re moving to the gray areas of the “hang or fold clothes” question.

T-shirts are very situational. 

If you don’t have a lot of shelf space, then you can hang them. If it’s the other way around, then you can fold them.

You can also hang or fold these depending on the particular tee itself! 

There are shirts you want as wrinkle-free as possible – say, you love wearing them on casual dine-outs or when visiting somebody. You might want to hang these just so you can avoid the possible creases when placing them in a drawer.

On the other hand, there are shirts that you wear when you’re doing your chores. Or when you’re home alone and binging a TV series. 

If it’s a t-shirt that you wear just so you’re clothed, then you can have them folded in your drawer.

The t-shirt’s material should be considered as well when choosing if it should be folded or hung. 

If it’s kind of stretchy, then the shirt should be folded. If it’s not, then you can consider hanging it instead.

Pants 

Jeans, khakis, cargoes, and other kinds of pants on the heavier side are so tough, they don’t care how they’re stored.

You can fold them if you like, they’re not wrinkle-prone anyway. 

If you want to hang them like how you do with your dress pants, it won’t be a problem, either. 

Its fabric won’t droop and sag. 

Honestly, the way you store these pants all boil down to your preference. And your space situation, of course!

Some Hanging Issues

Are hangers bad for clothes?

Well, when used properly, hangers should be able to do a good job storing garments. 

That is, when used properly. 

We already know that stretchy clothes should be folded and not hung as much as possible, just so they’re not always stretched. 

In addition to this though, hangers can potentially stretch out the neckline part of a shirt when the hanger is inserted from the hole where your neck is supposed to go through. 

The solution to this is quite simple: 

make the hanger go through the bottom of the shirt instead! Admittedly though, this step is very hard to remember as it’s been everyone’s instinct to pop the hanger in the shirt via the neck hole, but a bit of muscle memory should help you here.

Another issue we found is with the usage of wire hangers. 

Wire hangers are probably the cheapest and the most space-saving kind of hanger since they are usually thin. 

And like everything, they have some downsides.

The most obvious is that the wire hangers can leave dents on the shoulder area of some delicate and thin fabrics. 

Wire hangers can rust as well, which might leave rust marks on your clothing.

There are also instances where wire hangers snag and catch other clothes, which can rip them especially if they’re made of delicate fabric such as chiffon.

Luckily, there is a solution to all of these problems – and that is by wrapping your wire hangers with an old cloth, whether it’s from an old shirt or an old blanket. This wrapping prevents any rust from transferring to your clothes, all while being delicate enough to not leave dents and marks on your shirt.

They also act as a grip for the clothes, so they don’t just fall off the hanger.

Ultimately, you can always ditch wire hangers and buy plastic or wooden hangers instead! 

Your closet would look better and more premium with these kinds of hangers anyway.

how to keep clothes from falling off hangers

Whether made of wire, wood, or plastic, most hangers are really “slippery” for some clothes, and that has something to do with the smooth surface of these hangers.

Velvet hangers are available now that are said to be non-slip. And as said above, you can wrap your hangers with some old cloth, and this should serve as a grip for your clothes.

But if you’d rather save your money than buy velvet hangers (like me) or if you’re not that much of a DIY-kind-of-person (…like me), then there’s still good news. 

We happen to know a trick using basic materials. 

These materials build enough friction with the clothes you hang to keep them from slipping to the floor of your closet.

The first one is by using rubber bands. All you have to do is put some rubber bands near the tip of the hanger, and voila, there you go. 

If you don’t have rubber bands, then wrapping pipe cleaners on the part that resembles your shoulders should be a good alternative.

Finally, you can use a hot glue gun to create dots or a zigzag line on the top side of the hanger. But make sure to only use your hanger after the glue has dried, if you don’t want your clothes to be ruined!

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