Are These Fancy, $6-a-Pop Neon Acrylic Hangers the Key to Happiness?

published Oct 12, 2022
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Credit: Anna Spaller

The Instagram algorithm goes hard (at least for me) when a new brand comes out with something colorful, kitschy, maximalist, and functional. The neon acrylic hangers from Staff caught my eye a few months ago with their bold shades of hot pink, vibrant orange, and lime green, but I tried my best to ignore them. The little crooked smiley faces and bow tie in the center of the hanger kept haunting me, following me around various corners of the internet until I gave in.

At $48 for an 8-pack — compared to the slim velvet hangers I usually get from T.J. Maxx priced $10 for 10 — I couldn’t replace every hanger in my closet without wiping out my bank account. So I decided to try them out as a little decluttering tool. After moving across the country from New York City to Los Angeles two years ago, my style changed and evolved, but I hadn’t gotten rid of some lesser- or never-worn pieces in my closet. I want to rehome those pieces to thrift and secondhand clothing shops — especially plus size-focused shops like Plus BKLYN, The Plus Blus, and Berriez — but the hardest part of purging and donating is getting started. 

When my Staff hangers arrived (in full transparency, two colors were sent as a sample from the company to try them out before I invested in buying multiple sets) I carefully unboxed them… in an AirBnb. I was staying at a friend’s rental outside of Palm Springs and decided to select 16 items from my closet that have been overlooked in the past year or so, whether that was because I wasn’t sure of the fit, the item wasn’t seasonally appropriate, or I had it tailored. I was impressed by the lengths Staff goes to so none of these acrylic hangers get scuffed up in transit. They were all held together by sleek white rubber bands, and individual plastic circles covered each smiley face (similar to when you buy a new cell phone) so none of them were scratched in the eye and looked like they were winking.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

These hangers made my clothes look better, which you can see above on my garment rack. I appreciated that the divots in the hangers are shallow and subtle so it doesn’t compromise on design yet can still hold up any style of neckline or strap without it sliding off. The contrast of fall colors like deep maroon and mustard yellow against the pops of neon was enticing, vibrant, and fun — and honestly made me excited to get dressed. The first outfit I re-tried on was a wine-hued floral shirtdress I bought from Target a few years ago. Comfortable and flowy, it had a high-low hemline, which is not really “en vogue” anymore and somehow made me look shorter. After wearing it for a day, it went directly into a bin for donations to Goodwill.

If I was home, I would have swapped out that discard for another unearthed-from-the-vault piece and continued to keep rotating those clothes out until I didn’t have any more “should I keep this?” moments. Once this Maximalist Marie Kondo closet experiment ends, I’m thinking of using these hangers like a low-tech version of Cher’s outfit machine from “Clueless” to put together pieces cohesively to choose from for certain occasions. Maybe I’ll use them to create a color-coding system, highlighting the fanciest outfits in my closet in pink, corralling casual go-tos in green, and noting the hottest date outfits in orange. I could do this with colorful hangers from any brand and in any material, sure, but these hangers are the only ones that smile back. They say a smile is worth a thousand words, so I’ll take that as 1,000 compliments!