Changing Your Clothes

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Closet Confessions: A Big Hang-up

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Yes, it’s time for another closet confession. Today, I’m revealing all about one of my biggest closet hang-ups: hanging things up.

It’s not that I’m a slob. (Well…) It’s just that somehow, over the past several years, my wardrobe has gradually become more and more about clothes that don’t need ironing— which, coincidentally, usually means they don’t need to be hung up. Looking inside my closet this morning, I realized that at least 65% of my clothes (I’m guessing here) are not, in point of fact, hanging up. Sweaters stacked on one shelf, purses (and the odd out-of-season item) on the other, and everything from camisoles to workout clothes in one of those hanging multi-compartment organizers (I use that term loosely). This leads me to the profound observation that I prefer low-maintenance clothes.

Interestingly, though, I’ve also noticed that when I make clothes for myself, the pieces I choose to spend my time and energy making are nearly always special things: a fabulous asymmetrical jersey dress, heavy Irish linen trousers, printed silk tunic. (All of these can be seen here.) And that silk tunic, bless its lovely one-shouldered heart, is the reason I’m writing this today: it not only needs to be hung up, it needs special assistance in doing so. To wit: the addition of a hanging strap.

But first, my confession: you know those hanging straps, right? The narrow little loops that are stitched into the side seams of a garment, and are intended to help keep the piece on a hanger? Well, I nearly always cut those things out before I ever wear the garment, because (bad) they’re scratchy, (worse) sometimes make visible lumps, and (horrible), in the case of sleeveless or strapless items, they tend to work their way out from under cover, rendering me hyper-aware of this possibility, which I do not like. (Besides, I don’t use those straps anyway— those clothes are all folded on a shelf.)

I love my silk tunic, however, more than enough to not only iron it and hang it up, but to voluntarily add a hanging strap! When I went to look for something suitable for this purpose, I ran across some ribbons I’ve been hanging onto for a really long time, for good reason: they’re from Chanel and Hermes in Paris, souvenirs of my very first trip there, almost exactly 20 years ago. These ribbons, each elegantly printed with the name and logo of the atelier, were tied around the boxes that contained my only real fashion extravagances: Hermes scarves, Chanel bag.

Since the Hermes ribbon was (of course) brown, and the Chanel was (of course) white and black, I decided Hermes was the best color for my hanging strap.

Hermes ribbon hanging strap

Hermes ribbon hanging strap for my silk tunic.

Here, you can see the strap in the context of the top:

Hanging strap on tunic

Hanging strap on tunic: note that the height of the strap is equal to the height of the opposite shoulder (or as close as I could get it). It’s attached inside, on the bottom of the neckband, with the ends of the ribbon inside the double-layered band; this keeps those ends from scratching me.

And here is my elegantly-strapped masterpiece, all hung up and ready to go:

Tunic on hanger, with hanging strap

Tunic on hanger, with hanging strap. Doesn’t it look happier now?

So I have to make one more closet confession: if the garment is special enough, I will, in fact, take good care of it— even to the extent of adding an equally special hanging strap. I love the idea of things that I make becoming souvenirs (more on this later); in the case of this silk tunic, I’ll think not only of Santa Fe, but also of Paris every time I wear it! Good memories? Definitely not a hang-up.

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Author: colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, costumes, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

3 thoughts on “Closet Confessions: A Big Hang-up

  1. My closet is just crammed (yes, even with those multi- clothes vertical hangers) so that next project is to re-organize. Summer vs. winter sections or just types of clothing in sections? Not sure how to start.
    Love the strap you added above – tres chic!

  2. I sometimes use a trouser-hanger and just drape the top or whatever it is over the bar. Am I being clever or lazy? (I hate those straps too). Love the Hermes ribbon, though..

    • I do that too. I think it’s fine as long as it doesn’t create creases. This method can actually be beneficial, especially when it helps to more evenly distribute the weight of some garments. (I have a velvet tango dress hanging right now in the way you describe.)

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