In praise of … wooden hangers.


Back in my student/newly qualified teacher days, when I ventured out of the charity shops and actually bought an item of clothing NEW, and the shop assistant asked, “do you want to keep the hanger?” there would always be an enthusiastic nod. The back of my brain was going, “FREE STUFF! SCORE! I can eat tonight!”

Over time, that led to a wardrobe full of badly made plastic or wire hangers, with stickers on them ranging over three different sizes, and mornings would be full of creative swear words as the wire hangers developed all kinds of complicated feelings for each other and got hideously entangled.

This is obviously a metaphor of some sort.

So when I moved into my current place, I bought several dozen wooden hangers at IKEA, and I am in love. Here are the multiple ways in which they’re better:

  1. They look neat, all lined up in your wardrobe.
  2. They have grooves for your clothing straps, which actually work. Anyone who has had all their dresses fall on the floor or who has tried to wrestle straps into and out of these inventions of Satan knows what I’m talking about:bad-hanger
  3. They feel good in your hand. Solid. Reliable.
  4. They don’t get tangled up with each other. Their relationships are low drama.

Yes, wooden hangers are never going to change your life. But that’s not the point of a simple pleasure, is it? Simple pleasures are about making the everyday stuff of life slightly less of an annoying hassle that raises your blood pressure. It’s a self-care thing.


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