A clothes hanger, coat hanger, or coat hanger, is a device in the shape of:
- Human shoulders designed to facilitate the hanging of a coat, jacket, sweater, shirt, blouse or dress in a manner that prevents wrinkles, with a lower bar for the hanging of trousers or skirts.
- Clamp for the hanging of trousers, skirts, or kilts. Both types can be combined in a single hanger.
There are three basic types of clothes hangers. The first is the wire hanger, which has a simple loop of wire, most often stee, in a flattened triangle shape that continues into a hook at the top.
The second is the wooden hanger, which consists of a flat piece of wood cut into a boomerang-like shape with the edges sanded down to prevent damage to the clothing, and a hook, usually of metal, protruding from the point. Some wooden hangers have a rounded bar from tip to tip, forming a flattened triangle. This bar is designed to hang the trousers belonging to the jacket. The third kindest and most used in today’s world are plastic coat hangers, which mostly mimic the shape of either a wire or wooden hanger. Plastic coat hangers are also produced in smaller sizes to accommodate the shapes of children’s clothes.
Some hangers have clips along the bottom of suspending skirts. Dedicated skirt and trousers hangers may not use the triangular shape at all, instead using just a rod with clips. Other hangers have little rings coming from the top two bars to hang straps from tank-tops on. Specialized pant hanger racks may accommodate many pairs of trousers. Foldable clothes hangers that are designed to be inserted through the collar area for ease of use and the reduction of stretching are an old, yet potentially useful variation on traditional clothes hangers. They have been patented over 200 times in the U.S. Alone, as in U.S. Patent 0586456, awarded in 1897 to George E. Hideout.