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What Is a Tallboy Wardrobe?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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A tallboy wardrobe is a type of storage unit usually found in bedrooms. It is taller than other types of wardrobes, hence the name, and it is also often narrower than other types of wardrobes. This style is particularly useful for storing longer garments, such as dresses, without the bottom of the garments getting damaged or making contact with the bottom of the wardrobe. The style, size, shape, cost, and materials used for construction of this type of wardrobe will vary, and choosing the best one is often a matter of finding one that fits the purchaser's sense of style.

Traditionally, a tallboy wardrobe featured a set of two drawers at the low end of the unit, and a closet space on top of the drawers. This style generally holds true with modern units as well, though some models do not feature any drawers at all. Tallboys were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they were the primary storage method for clothing at that time. They became less common as wardrobes with sliding doors became more popular and more spacious, meaning the tallboy was less convenient and somewhat antiquated in style.

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Some tallboy wardrobe units are quite ornate, while others tend toward simplicity in design. Wood is the most common material used for construction of such furniture, which lent itself to ornate carvings and designs. Modern tallboys may be made from inexpensive materials such as particleboard or plastic, though these units tend to be far less durable and attractive. They are, however, often lower in cost, so a budget-conscious consumer might consider such options.

The interior design of the tallboy wardrobe can vary. Some feature a shelf at the highest part of the closet, while others do not feature any shelves but instead just a rod for hanging clothing. Some low shelves may be present inside the closet portion of the wardrobe as well, and these shelves are useful for storing shoes or other small items. The wardrobe just about always features a hanging rod, and the doors to the closet portion are very often hinged at each end to open in the center of the closet.

The low drawers often feature some sort of knobs or handles for pulling the drawer out during use. The drawers run the length of the tallboy wardrobe in most cases, though some wardrobes feature smaller drawers that only run half the length of the wardrobe unit.

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