Should you hang or fold tank tops?

Tank tops are a wardrobe staple for many people. Their simple, versatile design makes them easy to wear in warm weather or for layering. But when it comes to storing tank tops, there’s an age-old question: should you hang them or fold them?

The Case for Hanging Tank Tops

Hanging tank tops has some clear advantages:

  • Keeps shape: Hanging helps maintain the shape and structure of tank tops. Folding can distort the neckline, straps, and arm holes over time.
  • Prevents wrinkles: Gravity pulls down on the hanging top, smoothing out wrinkles and creases.
  • Quick access: Tops are immediately visible and ready to grab. No need to unfold to find what you want.
  • Maximizes space: Hanging makes full use of vertical storage space, allowing you to fit more tops in a small closet.
  • Better air circulation: With space between each hanger, air can circulate to prevent musty odors.

For these reasons, many people swear by hanging their tank tops. However, there are some downsides to consider.

Potential Drawbacks of Hanging Tanks

While hanging has perks, it’s not perfect. Some issues to keep in mind:

  • Hanger bumps: Wire hangers can leave indentations on the shoulder straps over time.
  • Stretches out: Hanging may pull on and stretch out delicate fabrics like silk or lace.
  • Slip off: Straps can easily fall off the hanger, leaving the top in a crumpled pile.
  • Less space efficiency: Only garments with straps or shoulders can be hung, limiting space usage.
  • Dust collectors: Tops attract dust when hanging in the open air.

So while hanging has some advantages for storage and access, it also comes with drawbacks to consider. What about the alternative?

Benefits of Folding Tank Tops

If hanging has mixed reviews, how does folding measure up? Here are some benefits of folding tank tops:

  • Prevents hanger marks: When folded, tops rest flat without imprints from hangers.
  • Space efficient: More tops fit into drawers than a hanging closet.
  • Less dust: Tops are protected from dust in closed drawers.
  • Neater appearance: Folded stacks tend to look tidier than hanging garments.
  • Suitable for all fabrics: Delicate materials can be folded without stretching.

For those short on hanging space or looking to maximize their storage, folding tops into drawers is an appealing solution. But it’s not without a few snags.

Potential Problems with Folding Tanks

Folding tank tops also comes with a few issues to consider:

  • Wrinkling: Folds can create creases in the fabric that are hard to remove.
  • Misshaping: When folded for long periods, the tops can conform to the folds.
  • Harder access: Have to sort through a stack to find the top you want.
  • Takes up drawer space: Limits what else you can store in those drawers.
  • No air circulation: Stacking tops can trap odors and create a musty smell.

As you can see, folding isn’t a cure-all either. Both hanging and folding tank tops have their pros and cons.

Best Practices for Hanging Tanks

If you decide hanging is best for your needs, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use wide, smooth hangers that distribute weight evenly across the shoulders.
  • Place multiple tops on each hanger to maximize closet rod usage.
  • Group tops by color to make finding what you want easier.
  • Check for stray ends or straps caught in the hanger and adjust as needed.
  • Periodically reshape any tops that have lost their form from hanging.

Taking measures like these can help minimize potential issues with hanging tank tops.

Best Practices for Folding Tanks

When it comes to folding tank tops, consider these recommendations:

  • Always fold along the seams rather than forcing new creases.
  • Fold garments in thirds or quarters to distribute bulk evenly.
  • Store folded stacks upright on their edge to retain the shape.
  • Use dividers, shelves, or drawers to separate types of tops.
  • Refold any wrinkled or misshapen tops to restore their form.

With some care taken when folding, you can avoid some of the pitfalls of this storage method.

Other Tank Top Storage Tips

Beyond hanging versus folding, there are other tips for keeping tank tops organized:

  • Sort tank tops by sleeve style – sleeveless, cap sleeve, spaghetti strap.
  • Store lightweight silk and lace tanks separately from sturdy cotton tanks.
  • Consider using bin organizers or cubbies to neatly divide a drawer.
  • Arrange tanks from light to dark color to make finding colors easier.
  • Store off-season tank tops in breathable storage containers.

Taking the time to organize your tank top collection with these principles can streamline getting dressed.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about tank top storage:

Should I hang a cotton tank top?

Cotton tank tops can be hung or folded, depending on your preference. Cotton tends to maintain its shape well on a hanger. Just be mindful of potential hanger bumps. Folding cotton tanks can cause wrinkles, so refold them smoothly every so often.

Should I hang a silk tank top?

Delicate silks are prone to stretching on hangers, so it’s best to fold silk tanks. Lay them flat or stack carefully in a drawer. Use tissue paper between folds to prevent creasing if needed.

Should tank tops be stored on open shelves?

Exposed open shelves can work, but will allow dust to settle on the tanks. Bins or baskets on shelves keep them covered. An open wardrobe is also an option for displaying folded tanks tidily.

How do I prevent stretched out tank top straps?

To avoid stretched straps, either fold straps inward before stacking tanks or use dividers in drawers to keep straps separated. For hanging, place multiple tops on a hanger or crisscross the straps to distribute weight.

How do I fix a misshapen tank top?

To fix distortion issues, fill a spray bottle with water and lightly mist the tank top. Then smooth and shape the top by hand as it dries to return it to its original form.

The Verdict: To Hang or to Fold?

When deciding whether to hang or fold tank tops, consider these key points:

  • Hanging maintains shape and prevents wrinkles but risks hanger marks and stretching.
  • Folding maximizes space and avoids hanger imprints but can cause creasing and misshaping.
  • Cotton tanks can be successfully hung or folded using the right methods.
  • Delicate fabrics like silk and lace are better off folded than hung up.
  • Implementing organizational practices can optimize tank top storage either way.

In the end, it comes down to your own needs and preferences. Focus on what works best for your space, wardrobe, and lifestyle when choosing how to store those trusty tank tops.


Hanging versus folding tank tops is an age old closet debate. Both methods have their merits and downsides. Factors like your wardrobe composition, space constraints, and personal habits should steer your approach. With some best practices in place for either hanging or folding, you can keep your tank top collection neat and wrinkle-free for seasons to come. Proper storage keeps these wardrobe workhorses ready to wear whenever you need them.

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