The decision to hang or fold t-shirts is one of the most important ones you can make if you are short on closet space.
Most of us have a collection of favorite clothing items that get proudly hung in the closet, and the remainder of our clothes are relegated to the drawer. Although this is an easy solution, it’s one of the fastest ways to ruin sensitive clothing.
Don’t let the decision to hang or fold t-shirts be an afterthought. Instead, follow this simple guide to help you determine whether your clothing is better off in the drawer or hung in the closet.
Should You Hang or Fold T-Shirts (and Other Clothing Items)?
It’s true that we wear 20 percent of our clothing 80 percent of the time. Naturally, we want to hang the minority of clothes that we wear every day, and put all of our “special occasion” pieces in the drawer or in storage. However, this might cause some of your favorite clothes to lose their elasticity, stretch out, and become damaged over time.
Below, we’ve listed a handful of factors that should be considered before you decide to hang a clothing item or banish it to the drawer.
The heavier the item, the more likely it will sag and develop bends and creases over time. Heavier sweaters are the most likely to droop and create a sagging neckline if you hang them for weeks at a time.
Some items are suitable for the closet or the drawer, such as lightweight t-shirts. If you have the available space in your closet, you can probably hang your light cotton t-shirts. However, putting your t-shirts on hangers can take up valuable real estate for must-hang clothes such as suits and dress pants, so budget your space accordingly.
Perhaps the most important factor in determining an article’s suitability for the closet is its type of fabric material. The most delicate materials, such as lace, satin, and silk, should be hung in the closet. By contrast, cotton shirts are significantly heavier. Hanging t-shirts should be restricted to light and delicate shirts that aren’t primarily made of cotton. Similarly, knitted shirts or stretchy athletic materials should also be kept in the drawer.
For other clothing items, we’ve created a handy chart to guide you along below. All the clothing items listed on the left are suitable for hanging—the others must be folded.
Jeans and Pants
Sweats and Knits
Stretchy Athletic Wear
Heavy formal gowns
Socks and Underwear
Tips for Hanging Your Clothes
Believe it or not, knowing how to store t-shirts in the closet is somewhat of a skill. You should never grab your shirt out of the laundry and merely throw it on a hanger without some prior consideration—that’s a sure-fire way to ruin your neckline.
Instead, take a moment to ensure that your shirt’s shoulder line is even with the hanger. In other words, be careful to spread your t-shirt over the clothes hanger so that the shoulder seams fall gracefully over the edge of the hanger without creasing or creating bumps.
Another excellent tip is never to overcrowd your closet. Although we’re naturally inclined to throw all our favorite pieces in the closet, you should make sure there’s enough space between your clothes, so they aren’t touching or pressing against each other.
Last, be sure to insert the hangers into the garment via the bottom hole of the shirt. If you put a hanger through the shirt’s neck, you risk stretching out the neckline and ruining the shirt (especially if it’s made of thinner material).
Tips for Folding Your Clothes
The best way to store t-shirts in the drawer is to carefully fold them and keep them neatly organized. However, cramming your t-shirts into a single drawer will ruin your laundry and make your appearance look disheveled and careless.
Fortunately, you can prevent a fashion faux pas by following these simple tips and tricks listed below.
- Lay your t-shirts flat on a bed or hard surface to mitigate the risk of wrinkling
- Always roll your socks together rather than fold them
- Start by folding the sleeves of your shirt toward the center
- Create a rectangle shape by folding the collar to the bottom hem
- Fold the shirt again to create a thick multi-layered fold
- Make sure your t-shirts have enough space in the drawer
Following a correct folding procedure and never overstuffing your drawers will go a long way in ensuring that your clothes look their best.
What Type of Hangers Should You Use?
For your convenience, we’ve listed some of our favorite hangers for t-shirts and other lightweight shirts that belong in the closet.
These heavyweight hangers are built for heavier clothing items like jeans and coats. However, they’re also suitable for denser t-shirts if you need an easy storage solution and do not have access to a drawer.
These stylish and chic hangers are soft and velvety to keep your t-shirts free from stretches and other signs of wear and tear. Although they are often used for blouses and skirts, hangers such as these are appropriate for lightweight sweaters and t-shirts as well as blazers and pleated clothes.
Skirt hangers aren’t only for skirts. You can also use these durable clothes hangers for your slacks and dress pants. However, we wouldn’t recommend these hangers for your t-shirts because they may cause wrinkles.
Although these hangers aren’t designed for shirts, they are the perfect solution for storing multiple pairs of pants. These vertical hangers are an excellent space-saver because they hang four pairs of pants in the space typically used for one.
If you’re going to hang your t-shirts, we recommend going with chrome. These ultra-slim clothes hangers are designed to hold serious weight without causing drooping or stretching. Therefore, they can hold even your heaviest t-shirts with ease.
Clip-based hangers are designed to hold your pants and slacks in an elongated position to protect them against wrinkling. For this reason, we recommend them for formal dress attire but suggest not using them for hanging your t-shirts.
Knowing when to fold or hang t-shirts isn’t difficult. In most cases, the decision to hang or fold t-shirts is quite simple. If you want to preserve the integrity of heavier t-shirts made of denser fabrics, keep them neatly folded in the drawer. If you want quick access to your thinner shirts, use a thin metallic or tubular plastic hanger.
To keep your t-shirts looking fresh for as long as possible, be sure to always insert the hanger from the bottom of the garment. Forcing the hanger through the neck hole will stretch out the fabric and leave your neckline looking droopy and unwashed.