The Top 7 Hanger Styles and Their Retail Use

Learn about the most popular types

Hangers for clothing and fashion accessories are available in a variety of styles, materials, and sizes. Standard adult hangers are usually around 17 inches wide, while children's hangers are only 12 to 14 inches wide. Specialty hangers for pants and skirts are available in 14 inches.

Economical plastic, durable metal, and classic wood hangers may all be suitable to use in your retail environment. However, before you purchase clothes hangers for your retail operation, first learn about the most popular types of hangers and what they're used for.


Commercial plastic hangers are most commonly available in white, black, and clear plastic. The quality ranges from almost flimsy to lightweight to super heavyweight unbreakable hangers. Of course, the heavier the plastic, the higher the cost. Plastic hangers work well as an all-purpose hanger and are generally used for shirts, blouses, and dresses.


Wire Hangers
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Metal, or wire, hangers also vary a great deal in terms of quality. The most inexpensive, lightweight metal clothes hangers are the type you probably receive when you get back your dry cleaning. Heavier metal hangers won’t bend or sag and are a good option for stores with a more upscale, contemporary look. Because wire can rust, some wire clothing hangers are coated with a colored vinyl in order to protect the fabric.


Classic wood hangers are available in a natural finish with chrome hardware or they come in the more expensive teak wood with brass hardware. Wood hanger styles include coat hangers (with or without wooden bars), coat hangers with metal rods, and pant hangers with lock bars on a spring to prevent pants from sliding.


All-purpose tubular-molded hangers are the type that's also available to consumers and found in many homes. They come in a large range of colors. Using colored hangers (especially when coordinated with merchandise) may increase sales appeal.


Not only does a cloth covered hanger protect delicate garments, the padded hanger is usually covered with satin and is a pretty, appealing way to display lingerie and other feminine clothing. The padding also helps to prevent merchandise from slipping and assists in preserving the shape of the garment.


Retailers have many choices in hanger styles when it comes to unusual garments or non-typical situations. For example, notched hangers are perfect for items with straps. Skirt and slacks hangers have metal or plastic clips on a metal rod which prevent them from sliding. Another type of specialty hanger is the salesman’s hanger. These strong, chrome hangers feature a space-saving style and are ideal for trade-shows or salespeople who must transport multiple garments.


Clothes hangers with different sizes
Fernando Trabanco Fotografía/Getty Images

Hanger markers, cardboard tubes, and other hanger accessories can help keep your merchandise neat and tidy while creating an appealing display for your customers. Instead of purchasing different types of specialty hangers, you can use piggyback connectors on most any kind of hanger to allow two garments to be displayed together. Soft plastic clips can easily be attached to most hangers with notched tops. Also, foam hanger covers, or strips, can be placed on most any plastic or wooden hanger to prevent items from slipping.

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