Friday, November 16, 2007

A Good Hanger is Hard to Find

Today's Wall Street Journal Catalog Critic column compares hangers ("No Wire Hangers!" by Lauren Lipton, p. W12). Yes, hangers. Believe it or not, hangers are extremely important to the care and feeding of fine tailored clothing. Put a jacket on a thin, unshaped, narrow hanger, and the shoulders will droop and the collar will stretch. The overall winner? Suit hangers from The Hanger Project.
"Fantastic," our expert said. Maple hanger comes in three lengths to accommodate a variety of jacket sizes. Flocked trouser bar and extra-wide, 2-inch contoured shoulders keep creasing and sagging to a minimum. Hook swivels 360 degrees without unscrewing.

The expert speaks the truth. Chris Despos ordered a number of these hangers (with his logo on them), and my most recent Despos jacket came on one. They're more functional than any other hanger that I've ever seen, and they're pretty, too.

There is, of course, back-story for The Hanger Project. It's the enterprise of a recent graduate of the University of Texas who is a long-time participant on the Ask Andy Forums. There was a great deal of discussion there about the poor quality of most commercially-available suit hangers and how it would be great if it were possible to pick up Oxxford suit hangers without having to buy Oxxford suits. He took it upon himself to find out who makes Oxxford suit hangers (the company's name is the Beverley Coat Hanger Co., Inc.), what the options were (type of wood, color of finish, etc.), and what the minimum order was. He then organized a group buy for Ask Andy members. That was such a smashing success that he decided to make it a going concern. It's only a sideline, but I hope that he's successful at it. Success means that I will continue to have access to these great hangers. Good job, Kirby!

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