ThisIsDumb: 6.5 Foot High Clothes Hooks

At a Salvation Army Thrift Store, in Salem NH, the hooks in the changing room are 6.5 feet off the ground.

J. Godsey writes:

    “There is a perfectly good other wall AND the door to put hooks on. The average woman is what? 5.7 most of the ones I know are MUCH shorter I am 5′ my arm reaches 6′ – what were they THINKING?… I know it’s not exciting… but I thought it was a bit surreal.

Obviously they’re trying to encourage their less well-heeled clientele to reach higher in life. — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. jeblis says:

    Wow a 5 inch tall woman. That’s gotta be a record.

  2. MissPinkKate says:

    The Salvation Army carries clothes in a wide range of sizes/lengths. The hooks need to be high enough off the ground to keep longer things from brushing the floor.

  3. dantsea says:

    The mirrors themselves are probably donations, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if another dressing room had a smaller mirror and a much lower hook. Someone probably gave the directive “install the hook above the mirror” never considering the variety in play here.

  4. homerjay says:

    hmmm… slow news day?

  5. Smashville says:

    I dunno…a 5-inch tall woman?

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I blame Larson for this…

  7. Sudonum says:

    A 5″ woman whose arm reaches 6″…

  8. acambras says:

    Seriously, if I were in a wheelchair or I were a little person, I’d be extremely aggravated. There are standards in place for mounting heights of hooks, mirrors, paper towel and soap dispensers, etc., to make them universally accessible.

  9. ElizabethD says:

    Umm, peeps, it’s a **Salvation Army Thrift Store**, not Nordstrom’s. Seriously. You get what you pay for. Until recently our local Sally’s didn’t even have a dressing room.

  10. acambras says:

    ElizabethD, thrift stores are still legally (and morally) obligated to abide by building codes and accessibility guidelines. I would especially expect a charity like Salvation Army to be mindful of the needs of people with disabilities.

    WalMart is certainly on a different level than Nordstrom’s — should they be have to make their stores accessible to people with disabilities?

  11. Amy Alkon says:

    Thank you, Elizabeth. What’s next, complaining that they don’t serve champagne to patrons?

    The hook’s a little high at Salvation Army? Mention it to somebody there and maybe they’ll pay a homeless guy five bucks to change it. Is it really bloggable indignation?

  12. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I understand the idea of standards for the placement of items like soap, paper towels, and perhaps mirrors…but I wouldn’t think there would be a standard for hook height. Other items listed are nessicary items. A hook to hang clothes in a dressing room really isn’t. It is more convienece. (This coming from a guy who throws his clothes over chairs and such at home). Hell, if they don’t want me to have an accesable hook, I’ll just throw the clothes on the ground when I’m done trying them on.

  13. “The Salvation Army carries clothes in a wide range of sizes/lengths. The hooks need to be high enough off the ground to keep longer things from brushing the floor.”

    Uh … so do virtually all clothing stores?

    And yet they manage to put the hooks where people can reach them.

  14. acambras says:

    Yep, Altered Beast, there’s actually a mounting height standard for hooks (maximum 48″ according to ANSI A117.1 – the current standard accessibility guidelines).

    Some people might ask, “well, why do we need to change to accommodate the special needs of such a small minority?” Like changing the height of a clothes hook is such an onerous task? And if they want a high hook to hang long clothes, hang two hooks — one high and one at or below 48″.

    People need to get serious about accessibility. Why? Because our population is aging. Because each of us is one bad car wreck away from being in a wheelchair. And because it’s the law.

  15. kerry says:

    What acambras said.
    While they probably grandfathered out of having to abide by the Americans with Disabilities act, they should probably acknowledge that they’re going to have disabled patrons and at least put in a couple lower hooks for them. Also, I’m only 5’4″ and think I’d have a pretty tough time reaching a 6’5″ hook.

  16. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    A hook mounted at 48″ seems kinda dangerous to me.

  17. bigoldgeek says:

    I’m 6′ tall and can easily touch a 9′ ceiling. Using an admittedly unscientific ratio of 2:3 height/reach, a 6’6″ hook should be reachable by anyone 4’2″ tall or taller.

    This is a dumb post.

  18. AcilletaM says:

    bigoldgeek, your arms are over 3′ long?

  19. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Well, they say a when arms are stretched out, from finger tip to finger tip is the same as a person’s height. So if someone is 5′, they should be able to reach (subtrating for their head, and width from shoulder to sholder) should be just under 6′.

  20. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Sorry, my math was off…someone 5′ tall should be able to reach between 6′ and 6.6′ w/o stretching.

  21. acambras says:

    OK, and what about the people under 5′ tall or in wheelchairs? The minority, to be sure, but how hard would it be to use a little common sense and not hang the hook at over 6′?

    It seems to me that the only place it would make sense to hang hooks at 6′-6″ is in an NBA locker room.

  22. mendel says:

    Just remove the hooks entirely. Ta-da, “accessible”.

  23. jeblis says:

    “WalMart is certainly on a different level than Nordstrom’s — should they be have to make their stores accessible to people with disabilities?”

    Pretty sure anyone shopping at Walmart has a disability.

  24. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:


    Im not defending the hook height. Just stating what I estimate.

  25. pronell says:

    Man, this site is fun to read. There’s always someone griping that a story is too boring to have been posted.. after THEY were the one that clicked on “ThisIsDumb: 6.5 Foot High Clothes Hooks” in the first place.
    Then there are those saying that because it’s not exactly a ‘high-class’ establishment, its patrons shouldn’t expect the ability to hang up garments.
    I’m frankly amazed nobody has shown up blaming the customers for being short in the first place.

  26. RexRhino says:

    People need to get serious about accessibility. Why? Because our population is aging. Because each of us is one bad car wreck away from being in a wheelchair. And because it’s the law.

    And because lawyers need to buy a new Jaguar, even if it means making things prohibitively costly for a non-profit charitable organizations.

    Just tell the homeless people who won’t have a shelter to stay in, that the $1,000,000 was better spent compensating some midget who was angry that a hook was too tall.

    Don’t you dare try to help someone in the U.S. of good ol’ A. unless you plan on being sued! Makes me glad to live in Canada!

  27. bigoldgeek says:

    AcilettaM, my arm plus the boost I get on tiptoes, yes.

  28. acambras says:


    First, the term “midget” is pejorative. Like if I called you a douchebag.

    Second, it would not cost a million dollars to lower the goddamn hook.

    By the way, non-profits are not exempt from the Americans With Disabilities Act. I’ve worked for non-profits and we got good at the poormouth routine. But we’re not talking about “prohibitively costly” compliance measures here. It would only get expensive if they completely flouted the ADA and then were successfully sued.

    And I would think non-profits would be particularly concerned with accessibility. If a group like the Salvation Army purports to serve people in need regardless of race, color, creed, etc., what about disability?

    Oh, and when your smug ass is crossing the street in Canada, be careful — you might get hit by a Jaguar, being driven by a “midget” lawyer. And you might end up a wheelchair. Gee, I sure hope there’s a Canadians With Disabilities Act.

  29. Sudonum says:

    As someone who was in the commercial remodeling industry ADA law appies to ALL establishments. The only reason that this particular store has non-compliant hangers is because a)Someone who has no understanding of the law and its requirements installed it. Or b) The store has had no modifications made since the hanger was installed PRIOR to the implimentation of the ADA in the early 90’s.

    There is a height requirement for EVERYTHING. There is also a requirement that these things only stick out from the wall a certain distance. So the rest of us hopefully don’t go banging into these things.

    Also the only enforcement action that can be brought is by a disabled person making a complaint or suing for non-compliance. The only inspection that occurs to ensure buildings are in compliance is when the building is first built or remodeled. That inspection is usually by the state or local fire department. This has to be done before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued. Other public places like, shopping centers, hotels, etc, get a fire department inspection yearly. ADA deficiencies can noted then as well, but usually aren’t.

    In my experience (primarily hotels) the moment a disabled guest makes a complaint every effort is made to accomodate them so that they don’t escalate the issue.

    There, more than you ever wanted to know about the ADA

  30. RexRhino says:

    “Midget” is only a pejorative because of American style political correctness. Much like “cripple” became a bad word when you adopted the term “handicapped”, and then “handicapped” turned into a bad word when you adopted the term “disabled”, and and now even the term “disabled” is becoming a pejorative with terms like “physically challenged”, or “differently abled” taking their place. However, Midget was traditionally the proper term for “little people” (which is totally inaccurate, because a non-dwarf and non-midget can be a “little person”… just ask any three year old), and is only a pejorative because of modern rules of American political correctness that say it is offensive to name a physical condition by it’s traditionally recognized name. For example, the proper term for doughbag would be “Feminine Hygene Product” :).

    But back to the matter at hand of the American with Disabilities Act and the American propensity for lawsuits and big settlements: Do you think life for handicapped (er, I am sorry, “disabled”, no, that isn’t the right term, “Differently Abled”) person is significantly worse in Canada, or France, or Germany, who have far more reasonable and modest rules regarding handi— differently-abled access? Do you think things are terribly worse for differently-abled people in Europe, or Canada, were there isn’t the same amount of tort abuse as the U.S.? Did it ever occure to you that maybe there might be a hidden agenda of profit in the American system? That maybe when George Bush signed in the ADA into law, his agenda wasn’t as benevolent as it might fist appear?

  31. kerry says:

    Rex –
    If it’s so prohibitively expensive for a Salvation Army store to lower some hooks, I will drive out there and lower them myself. Seriously, we’re talking about $1.50 worth of hardware. Sure, the tort system is a little messed up, but it doesn’t mean stores intended for people who are less advantaged shouldn’t, you know, make their stuff usable for those with disabilities.
    I would bother to explain why “handicapped” is considered derogatory, but that’s neither here nor there.
    Also, I know our bits can get a little yeasty, but I would imagine a doughbag would just make things worse.

  32. acambras says:

    First, I’ve never thought of George Bush (either one) or any Republican domestic policy agenda as benevolent.

    And on my trips to Europe, I’ve squeezed into tiny hotel elevators (when there were elevators), negotiated public transportation, tried to push a baby stroller or wheeled suitcase on cobblestone streets, etc., and thought to myself, “Thank God I’m not in a wheelchair.” So what you’re calling “reasonable” laws? I would argue that what’s reasonable to you is probably not so reasonable to someone living with a disability.

    A guy I know uses a wheelchair. He LOVES Las Vegas. Why? Because he can go to places that are a lot like Paris and Rome. They’re simulations, but much more accessible to him than the real Paris and Rome. He doesn’t demand that Paris and Rome adopt the ADA, but they won’t get his travel dollars, either.

    And as for your views on “American political correctness,” if people with dwarfism wish to be called “little people” instead of “midgets,” how much of a burden is it for you to honor that preference? Just like “colored,” the word “midget” has fallen out of favor.

    If you don’t believe that, go up to a little person of African descent and call him a colored midget. See what happens.