At Shrimpton Couture all our vintage and couture garments are hung on one of the two hangers you see above. Either the black velvet, non slip hanger or a padded hanger with a little stopper at each end - especially useful for sleeveless garments or for ones that have those inside loops to help hold them and distribute the weight. If possible, space your hangers out so that air can circulate between garments. Our archive racks are pretty tight as you can see, but on a weekly basis we loosen them up and move the clothing around a bit so that the air can get in there and circulate. This also ensures that folds do not remain static and get a chance to set. If a garment is very heavy you can loop the hem over a second hanger or may need to store it flat or folded. Antique clothes or fragile garments should not be hung at all or the weight will eventually ruin them (more on antiques and storing folded pieces in a future post!)
Don't store items near an open window - if you let a garment sit for a season or two you may find one side permanently sun-bleached!
Most important please banish all wire! Wire hangers may stretch or pull seams and cause tearing. They are cheap and plentiful for a reason and it is not to the benefit of vintage.
Even if you are not running a vintage business and your budget is tight, changing over your hangers is an investment that is worth it in the long run. Our tip? Scout out a department store or discount store you frequent that has a brand of velvet or padded hangers in stock on a regular basis and every month buy one batch or box. At the end of the year you will have all the same hangers, your closet will look great and you will have barely felt the pain of buying hangers!
Plus, won't it feel good to know you have a Shrimpton Couture approved closet?