Dressing Chairs: What To Do With Not-Quite-Dirty Clothes


Whenever we clean our room, Kyla & I realize that most of our mess is just the semi-dirty clothes that cover every available surface from the corner of the bed to the top of the dresser. These “semi-dirty” clothes are items we consider not really dirty, because they either weren’t worn for very long or don’t really need to be cleaner than they are to be worn again, but not clean enough to go back in the closet or drawers.

Please tell me that someone else thinks like this, other than me, my husband, and frat boys.

Kyla told me about some piece of furniture that was popular in the Victorian era that was shaped like a chair (I’m not sure why it wasn’t a chair if it was shaped like a chair, but I’m just telling you what he told me), and men would hang their shirts on the back and throw their ties and pants over the arm. Its sole purpose was to hold clothes that were somewhere in between clean and dirty. That sounds rather opulent to me, but also quite ingenious.

I decided to look into this, since it sounded like such an awesome thing to have, and realized that they are, in fact, called chairs. Kyla now insists he did not tell me they weren’t called chairs, but I know what I heard. Anyway, “Dressing Chairs” is what they’re called, but they’re apparently also called Valet Chairs. And now that I know they exist, I want one badly.

They come in all kinds of shapes and styles, from pretty upholstered formal…

Dressing Chair, Chair Valets, Valet Chairs - Paperclips & Play Pens
Source: North Gate Gallery

…to Danish Modern…

Dressing Chair, Chair Valets, Valet Chairs - Paperclips & Play Pens
Source: My Dad’s Furniture Blog

…to, well, whatever you would call this. Regular?

Dressing Chair, Chair Valets, Valet Chairs - Paperclips & Play Pens
Source: Proman via Amazon

There’s also a nice list of valet chairs at Squidoo/Cozy, which includes some of these, other new ones for sale and some vintage.

It is officially my goal to get a Dressing Chair in the not-too-distant future, but buying furniture for my semi-dirty clothes seems like a birthday/Christmas/other special occasion purchase at best, so I think we’ll wait a while on this. Maybe we’ll try to make one using a thrift store chair…but regardless, I will have a Dressing Chair one of these days.


Now, since we don’t currently have one, and I still needed somewhere to put my workout clothes and pajama pants, I knew we needed some solution. Because I’ll be damned if I’m going to wash those after wearing them once. I asked The Godmother, and of course she had a simple fix that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of myself.

Command Hooks - What To Do With Not-Quite-Dirty Clothes - Paperclips & Play Pens

Yep, Command Hooks. Just on the wall. BAM. Problem solved.

The plan was one hook for Kyla and one hook for me, but he doesn’t seem at all interested in putting his clothes on the hook, so I’ve appropriated both of them. One hook is holding my workout top (the pants are in the wash right now, oddly enough), and the other is holding my gorgeous floral poncho/robe hand-me-down from my mom, which she got as a hand-me-down from my grandmother. Watch out, I’m totally going to show that awesomeness off sometime!

While it’s not as cool as a Dressing Chair, I thought this ended up being a great solution to the problem of what to do with those not-quite-dirty clothes. Thanks Godmother for always-fantastic advice!