Tuesday, October 6, 2015


This blog post is the answer to the questions like; how many types of mannequins and dress forms are available? What is the difference between mannequins, dress form, dummy, and life size mannequins? What are the alternatives available for mannequins? How to select the right kind of mannequins for your store? 

Mannequins and dress forms are different from each other. Dress forms or dummy are made with a specific body measurement, while mannequins are the stylized and exaggerated version of human anatomy. In other word we can say;
MANNEQUINS-A life size full or partial representation of the human body, used for the fitting or displaying clothes; where as a dummy- A jointed model of the human body used by artists, especially to demonstrate the arrangement of drapery. Also, called lay figure. Dummy is based on the actual body measurement.
 We can categorize all mannequins into three categories, and they are;

1. Realistic Mannequins

a. Life size mannequins b. Featured mannequins

2. Semi realistic Mannequins

a. Soft sculpted figures b) Articulated Artistic figures

3. Abstract Mannequins

a. Headless mannequins b) Three quarter c) Stylize mannequins

Realistic Mannequins
It looks like  natural, more true to life, less animated, and more identifiable as the people who shop the stores, Features are highlighted.
Well made up and proportioned to wear a particular size and well positioned to show off a certain group or style or merchandise

Semi realistic Mannequins
Mannequins proportioned and sculpted like realistic mannequins but with makeup that is neither natural nor realistic, but more decorative or stylized.
The hair may be part of the sculpture. It may not be changed, replaced or restyled.

Abstract Mannequins
Represents the ultimate in style and decoration used to create an overall effect without natural lines and proportions.
The features and specific details like fingernails, elbows, musculature are rarely sculpted.It is the most exaggerated version of mannequins.  
Frequently finished in white or black or sprayed in a color to match an interior design scheme.
Less expensive to maintain as hairstyle and make up do not change.
Headless Mannequins
It is also a type of stylized or abstract mannequins.
A headless mannequin has a full size or semi realistic body with arms and legs but no head.
It may be standing/sitting or reclining but offers no personality or image.
Works well in a window where height is a problem.
Since, there is no head, makeup, or wig this type of form is considerably cheaper than realistic mannequins.

The  Alternatives to Mannequins

Three quarter forms
Body form
Soft sculpted figures
Articulated Artistic figures
Dress Forms and suit Form
Three-Quarter Forms

It is a three-dimensional representation of a part or  the human anatomy, such as the torso, the bust, or the area from shoulder to waist or form hips to ankles.
Has an adjustable rod (located beneath the form or in the butt) and a weighted base.

Soft-sculpted Figures
This is a life size doll male, female, or children of all ages and are available covered in black, dark brown or off- white, jersey like fabric with little or no facial details.
The skeleton is a soft, spongy, foam filler that holds its shape inside the jersey “skin”.

Selection of a Mannequin
Below are the criteria & objectives behind the selection of Mannequins:-
Mannequins selection should be based on the target customer personality and store image, it should also selected according to sizing dimensions. One should check the poses to see to match different style of apparels. If different postures are possible to show. Skin tones should complement the types of clothing the mannequins will display.
Where Mannequins can and should be used in
Theme areas
Main aisle presentation
Window display
Wherever mannequins are used, they should be appropriate for the segment of the population they are meant to represent.
Importance of using Mannequin
It is the most popular presentation tool and store’s most valuable asset. It is designed to express an individual’s personality and attitude. Mannequins are built in a variety of human forms, they can trigger customer’s imaginations, causing them to visualize themselves wearing the merchandise.
Can be completely accessorized to provide a total look.
Can be used single or in groups. Stores use them in groups to strengthen specific fashion statements.
It is a “silent salesperson”, speaking the clearest fashion message.

Articulated Artistic Figures
These life sized figures are based on the small wooden miniatures used by artists and designers to get correct anatomical proportions and poses for figures drawing when a live model is not available.
Movable joints can be swiveled or turned into new positions. They are usually made of wood or white plastic.
Dress Forms and Suit Forms
The old metal basket and roll around, cast iron base is often reproduced today to look as it did a century ago.
To enhance the “old-fashioned”, tailored, crafted and designer look of the garment.
The dress form actually provides an image to the garment.

Steps of Dressing a Mannequin
Arrange for clothing of the correct size.
When more than one mannequin is used in a display; the clothing being shown is coordinated.
Coordination can be either rigorous ensuring that the clothing colors, shapes are compatible.
Or move flexible, using alternating colors for separates navy blazer and white slacks for one model, white blazer and navy slacks for another.

Wigs: different wigs add some variety to the presentation change in appearance.
Hairstyles should be compatible to what the customers wear.
Hard wig cannot be restyled suited to semi realistic or highly styled mannequins and soft wigs: softness of natural hair and can be combed and brushed.
Eyes are also movable and be directed in the suitable direction.


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Anonymous said...

Nice post about mannequins.

Matreya Fedor said...

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