Just hanging around.
What's the best way to store dress shirts if you’re not going to wear them for nine months? On a wooden hanger? Or folded up in a box?—Dennis, San Jose, CA
Storage is just as important to maintaining a wardrobe as knowing how to clean each of your garments properly, so thanks for sending this in. Reaching for a shirt after not wearing it for months only to find it has somehow become unwearable during its hiatus is not fun.
And let’s address the number-one culprit right now: the wire hanger. Ban them from your closet. Recycle them. They’re not even useful anymore to keep around in case you lock your keys in your car. Hang any shirt on them and you risk either rust stains (even a little humidity in the air can cause this) or, because they’re so thin, a permanent stretching of the fabric at the shoulder. (When you put on your shirt, you’ll see these weird bumps like a marionette string is attached to you from above.) Plastic hangers can stretch the fabric, too, although not to the same extent usually.
For storing your shirts, we recommend hanging them on a wooden hanger. Yes, you could fold them, but why risk getting creases if you don’t have to? Covering them with a garment bag to protect them from dust is a good idea, too. If you don’t have a garment bag, placing cotton towels lengthwise over the shoulders of the shirts works as well. Oh, and we hope we didn’t come off as too harsh when discussing our stance on wire hangers. We’re not this worked up about them. But really, no wire hangers.
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