I bought some cedar "Suit" hangers from Amazon would these work for things like suits or sport coats? I also esp. ask as I have a couple of pieces made of heavier cloth like a flannel suits and thicker regular wool.
Or do I need something substantial more like this?
Those skinny things won't preserve the shape of the shoulders of your suit jackets and sport coats. Get hangers with wide shoulders and hang up your garments properly. Spend the money now on the right hangers for the job so that you won't have regrets later on.
I've got a dozen+ of these hangers and a dozen+ of these, all from eBay, all from China. Not these very ones, but the same things. They can be found in abundance and very cheap, but mine at least are excellent quality.
I've also got a couple of identical ones I bought from an online shop a few months earlier. They turned out to be the exact same hangers (design, construction, measurements), quite probably made in the same factory, only seven or eight times more expensive.
Go with the more substantial hangers, as they will do more to maintain the shape of the shoulders on your suits. Further, I recommend that you avoid the raw cedar hangers and go with the finished ones, as recommended by Adelstensfostre in post #3.
I've always just used the hanger that came with the suit/jacket I purchased. I just looked in my closet and only one has really wide shoulders, although all are curved. So the wooden hangers, say from Nordstrom, aren't good enough and I need ones with wider shoulders?
To be honest I used the run of the mill, flat hangers for years without them ever having any untoward effects on my jackets. The main reason I swapped them all out was that they were almost all different and I wanted a bit more uniformity. I would never have bought 30+ hangers at $25-30 a piece, but picking up two-three dozen at $25 or so for six was quite painless.
With all due respect to the many esteemed members who feel otherwise:
As a product of trial and error (Simply meaning I'm too obtuse to learn an easier way.) I have found over 50+ years of hanging up my suit jackets, that the hangers best at preserving their shape are those used in finer men's shops for at least that many years. (Astounding, isn't it? )
These are the hangers most commonly known as wishbone hangers and they have a shape with a rounded but moderately narrow top piece that is curved and angled forward. This is the best photo of one I could find, though the top piece is thicker and less rounded than optimum. Perhaps 15 years ago I purchased a dozen from a retail clothing supply manufacturer, no doubt driven out of business by now.
I had previously purchased the broader, fancier and more costly variety sold by men's retailers and retail storage supply with the commonly recommended broad top piece similar to the one below. But I got rid of them because I found they did a much poorer job of maintaining a jacket's shape as they inhibit its draping properly.
Edit: Sometimes it's nice to be wrong, and I was. The type of hanger I'm describing is still available. Can't tell from the photos if the quality is quite as good as those I purchased, as mine were intended for display in upmarket retailers, but I'd think these would do. The only kicker, you better have a lot of jackets, because they only come in lots of a 100. But at a per unit cost of $1 or $2, I see the makings of an I-gent e-business!
Note: First one is 19" top coat or larger size hanger.