When a builder puts in a closet, it’s usually a simple space with a rod and shelf for storage of clothing. The same generic design is often used on every closet in the building. But closets are a very personal space. It’s where you keep your clothes and maybe even your underwear. It’s no wonder closet needs for men and women are not the same! Get men’s closet ideas here and optimize your storage space to suit a masculine perspective.

When it comes to storage of clothing and personal items, men’s closet needs can vary widely from those of a woman. Sizes are the obvious difference. But the type of items kept in the typical man’s closet are also not the same as his female counterpart. That’s why closets for men and women need to be designed differently. Learn to optimize your storage with a male perspective. Gain storage without increasing your space by adjusting your closet organizers to suit your wardrobe, not hers. All you need to do is figure out which closet organizers work best for you! It takes a little time and planning, but the results are worth it.

Differences between men’s and women’s closets.

Example of custom mens closet ideas that address a male wardrobe.
Example of a walk-in closet design for men with a built-in closet dresser. Other features include a slide-out hamper, accessory drawers with soft cloth sides, two pull-out pant racks, and a tie organizer.

When it comes to hanging space, a man’s closet needs less long hang than a woman. That’s because the backbone of a woman’s wardrobe is her dresses, while a man’s closet is mainly/completely separates. Pants and shirts dominate. These items do best with double hang closet organizers.

When it comes to closet drawers, organizers sized for watches and eyeglasses are much more useful than similar jewelry organizers optimized for rings and bracelets. Underwear can be organized differently as well. Why bother with special dividers designed to separate bras or keep pantyhose from snagging? Long drawer dividers work so much better for men.

Shoes are another area where storage will differ. An area for high heels is not needed. Replace some of your shoe storage with bigger shelves that can handle larger shoes and gear for specific hobbies or athletics instead. And don’t forget about the need for specialty storage for a man’s ties and other unique wardrobe accessories.

Essential components of a man’s closet.

Hanging Areas for Shirts, Pants, Suits and Jackets

Double hang organizers are the backbone of a man’s closet. This setup places two clothes rods one above the other with enough space in between for clothes to hang neatly. Replacing a single clothes rod with double hang will immediately increase your hanging space by 100% because you now have two rods rather than one. Use them for pants that are folded over the bar of a hanger, dress shirts, polos, and jackets. Even T-shirts work well here.

Medium hang closet organizers can be used for any suits and longer coats. The advantage to this type of closet organizer is that they can usually accept a couple of shelves or a cabinet above the clothes rod. Cabinets can be useful because they’re an easy way to hide things like a closet safe. Each cabinet should offer at least two shelves depending on ceiling height.

Closeup of a safe inside a closet cabinet and hanging men's clothing.
Use a medium hang closet organizer for longer coats and suits. Hide your closet safe above them inside a cabinet.

Pull-Out Pant Racks

Trousers are the most essential part of a man’s wardrobe. As a result, many men will own a lot of choices in pants. If you have numerous pairs, consider a pull-out pant rack. They work well for casual as well as dress slacks. Even sweatpants or pajama bottoms can be kept on one of these racks. They work on drawer glides to slide the pants forward when you need them. It’s easier to find what you need, and the pants are less likely to fall off the hanger due to the double rod construction of the rack.

Men's closet with pull-out pant rack next to a clothes dresser.
This slide-out pant rack inside a men’s closet fits neatly within the space allocated for half a double hang closet organizer. However, it creates greater convenience inside the closet because the pull-out feature means less bending and searching for clothes.

Tie Organizers

Neckties are a wardrobe accessory unique to men. That’s why no man’s closet is complete without some sort of organizer for ties. There are two schools of thought on the best ways to store ties. Some like to hang them from a tie hook or tie rack, while other prefer to roll the ties and keep them in a drawer.

For ties stored in a drawer, roll them loosely and use a drawer organizer with separate compartments for each tie like those used for socks. This will keep the ties from becoming unrolled and wrinkled.

Ties that are hung should be kept on separate hooks with one tie per hook. This way, they’re organized. Don’t leave numerous neckties on a single hook or you risk burying them. There are special hooks and racks for neckties designed to help with this. Each type of hook or rack is designed to hold a set number of ties. Use multi-pronged hooks to hold a small collection of eight ties or so. Slide out racks, on the other hand, will hold anywhere from 15 to 44 neckties per rack depending on whether it’s a panel mount or under-shelf type of rack. Men with extensive tie collections may need more than one hook or rack.

Close-up of a man's closet with a slide out tie organizer
This men’s closet includes a slide-out tie rack to organize neckties. Pull the rack forward when you need a tie to view your whole collection at once. Slide it back into the recesses of the closet when you’re done. The ties remain wrinkle free and hidden until the next time you need them.

Belt Storage

Every man needs belt storage in his closet. Unlike ties, which probably aren’t used every day, belts are needed daily. They’re just as essential as a man’s trousers. Without them, your pants might fall down! That’s why men’s closet ideas should always include a good belt organizer. Use a multi-pronged belt hook or a belt rack to hang your belts from the buckle. That way, each belt gets its own hook. It’s easy to remove the belt you want from its hook without disturbing the others.

If you collect belt buckles, you may need to store your belts and buckles separately. In this case, hooks and racks won’t work. Belts that must be stored without their buckles should be rolled loosely and kept in a cubby or drawer with dividers that can keep each belt separated. Don’t roll too tightly or your belt will end up permanently curled. The belt buckles can be stored separately in a jewelry drawer organizer. The ones with velvet lining will help prevent your collectable buckles from getting scratched.

Slide out belt rack for men's closet
This slide-out belt rack keeps belts handy when you need them. It easily mounts to the side of any closet panel. The belt organizer slips invisibly into the recesses of the closet when you don’t.

A Place for Underwear

Underwear is another item everyone needs, and the closet is a good place to put it. Use a closet drawer with dividers to keep your folded or rolled underwear neat and organized. If your closet doesn’t have a built-in dresser or any drawers, retrofit a shelving section with a soft cloth pull-out drawer. They offer the same functionality but are easier to install.

If your closet doesn’t have any drawers for underwear, you can add a soft cloth drawer like this one. These closet accessories are 14-inches deep and come in widths to fit into any standard closet shelving section of 18, 24, or 30-inches wide

Compartments for Watches and Eyeglasses

Closet jewelry organizers can be used for more than jewelry. One of our favorite men’s closet ideas involves using closet drawer jewelry organizers for watches, eyeglasses, keys, nail clippers and other miscellaneous items a man needs to keep on hand. The jewelry organizer compartments are usually lined with soft cloth to prevent scratching and the sizes are often adjustable. Every men’s closet can benefit from one of these because they prevent small, pocket size items from being left in a jumble on the dresser or countertop. Simply slip the jewelry organizer into your closet drawer and they’re ready for use.

Closet-up of pull-out jewelry tray for men's closet.
This slide-out jewelry tray organizer provides small, divided compartments for holding watches, keys, loose change, shoe-horns, etc. Use it as a place to put the contents of your pockets at the end of the day.

Organizers for Hats and Caps

Hats are another wardrobe accessory that needs organizing. Dress hats belong on the shelf in a hat box because this will prevent it from getting dusty between uses in the event you don’t wear your fedora very often. Casual caps, however, are usually better stored in a drawer. Drawers 7 to 10-inches-deep work best for baseball and knit caps. Make sure your drawers have dividers to keep all your hats in place and organized.

Closet with a soft cloth drawer for storing hats and caps.
Men’s hats and caps can be stored in a divided drawer. If you don’t have a drawer in your closet to devote to cap storage, add a soft cloth pull-out version like the one pictured above.

Shoe Storage

Every closet should include a place for shoes. Even if you remove your shoes when you enter the house or keep your everyday footwear in the mud room by the back door, you still need a place in the closet for out-of-season footwear and special occasion shoes that are worn infrequently. Depending on how many pairs you need to store, choose either shoe shelves or a pull-out shoe rack to organize the footwear. Shoe shelves have the potential to hold more than a rack which might only handle up to a dozen sets of shoes. If you decide to go with shelves, keep space requirements in mind. Each pair of men’s shoes stored on a shelf typically requires between nine and ten-inches of space. Be prepared to include an appropriate number of shelves to handle the amount of footwear you own.

Men's closet showing shelves with shoes plus pants and shirts on hangers
Men’s closet ideas should always include storage for shoes. This 36-inch-wide shelving section can handle 4 pairs of men’s shoes per shelf.

Valet Pole

Don’t forget to include a valet pole in your next closet. This handy closet accessory is well worth the few extra dollars it costs because it will make your life easier. A valet pole is simply a rod or pin that sticks out from a closet shelf or panel. The better ones are made to slide in and out as needed. It is used as temporary hanging space for placing garments while selecting various articles of clothing to be worn together. Use it when you’re trying to match a shirt and tie or a suit together.

Close-up of a valet pole holding a shirt and tie.
The knack for selecting neckties is an art unto itself. Use a slide out valet pole to help select the perfect tie to go with a dress shirt. It’s one of those men’s closet ideas that just makes life easier.

Backpacks and/or Suitcases

Finally, plan for storage of any backpacks or luggage that you keep in your closet. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Hooks can hold a heavy backpack. But make sure the hook is strong enough. Hooks rated to bear 50-pounds of weight should work as long as they are secured to a cleat or the studs. Store suitcases on the top shelf of the closet. In fact, most closet systems stop at 89-inches-height specifically so that oversize items like suitcases can be stored on the top shelves of a closet with a standard eight-foot ceiling.

Another way to store backpacks and suitcases is under your bench seating. Include a closet bench as a convenient place to sit down and put on shoes. Cover it with a flip-up top and put your suitcases or backpack inside the bench. The top of the bench doubles as a handy spot to place the suitcase while packing.

Suitcases stored inside a bench with a flip-up top.
These suitcases are being stored inside a bench with a flip-up top. It’s also a great place to sit down while putting on shoes. Image courtesy of Closet Works.

Try these men’s closet ideas in your own home.

When it comes to closets, women often overshadow their male counterparts. But there’s no good reason for this. Men deserve a custom closet design specifically for their needs and possessions too. Stop trying to make do with a closet system that wasn’t meant to accommodate your wardrobe or gear. It isn’t hard. It’s easy to transform your closet space into a haven for masculine needs. Just use these men’s closet ideas as design tips when laying out your next closet project. If you’re still unsure where to start, remember that the professional closet designers at CLOSETS.COM are here to help. You’re sure to appreciate the improved storage and functionality of the closet when it is designed specifically for the person who will be using it.

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