Mannequin Vs Dress Form: What Should You Choose?

Getting confused when  it comes to choosing between mannequin and dress form? It is quite confusing because both mannequin and dress form seems to be similar but there are subtle differences between them that will not go unnoticed. Dress forms represent the torso body only shape without arms and legs. Mannequins, however, represent full or partial body. Both of these come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and have their own specifications and benefits. So, whether you’re a professional tailor, designer, retail fashion owner or visual merchandiser, you need to understand the purpose and clear difference of both mannequins and dress form. Then it’ll be easy for you to choose the right one. Read on to find the main purposes and important factors that will help you to choose the right one for you.


About Mannequins

Mannequins are the stylized body representing the real human body widely used in the retail stores and fashion industry for the perfect display of clothing and accessories. Basically, they help the shoppers to get the idea that how a specific dress or item will look like on them in real life. On the other hand, they are an important merchandising tool that help retailers to attract the shoppers in their store by creating a beautiful and impressive display.

From realistic to semi realistic, articulated, poseable mannequins to headless, there are several types and styles available in the market. Designed to enhance the appeal of clothing or items, mannequins come in plenty of colors, styles and material. From white, black plastic to silver, gold, red and blue fiberglass they are available in an amazing spectrum of colors. With multiple finishing options, you can easily personalize a mannequin that perfect match with your brand and attitude.

However, with so many options available, it is crucial to choose the right mannequin type and style which highlights the unique collection and increases sale by enticing the shoppers to purchase that product.


About Dress Forms

Dress forms are the torso size only mannequins that are used for dress and fashion design. As they are used in sewing and dressmaking so they are made with the soft material to withstand needles and pins. There are several types of dress forms and each one is different from others and has its own specifications. Some of the different types are;

  • Professional form having cast iron base
  • Display form
  • Adjustable form
  • Bifurcated dress form
  • Handmade form (plaster casting, papier mache and duct tape)

Like mannequins, dress forms also come in multiple colors and you can also get a custom colored dress form. As used for the tailoring purpose they are made with soft material and have lots of padding.

The one important thing dress forms are the torso body with no arms and legs. So they cannot replace the human body for fitting purpose as a designer or dressmaker can’t get off and on the clothes over the shoulders.

Important Factors To Consider

  • Shape and Size

The major difference lies in the shape and size of the mannequins and dress forms. Dress forms are the torso only, having no other body parts such as arms, legs and head. Usually, the height is not adjustable so dress forms are not flexible enough. However, mannequins offer flexibility and variety to the retailers as they come in multiple different types and sizes. You can choose mannequins even with makeup, having facial expressions, and movable body parts so you can easily set them in any position.

  • Material

Mannequins are made with hard material ranging from simple plastic to colored fiber glass. Whereas dress forms are designed with the soft material to withstand pins and scissors, making it effective for sewing purposes. Therefore, mannequins are more durable than the dress forms.

  • Price

The price depends on the type, material and style of the mannequins and dress forms. Because of the torso only body, dress form may be less expensive than the mannequins. From low cost headless mannequin to expensive fiberglass mannequins, there are multiple options. Similarly, display form is less expensive, whereas professional body forms are very expensive. However, the price also varies from brand to brand and store to store.

What Should You Choose?

Though it is difficult to choose the right option but after understanding the purpose and benefits of both mannequins and dress forms you can easily select the one. Dress forms are ideal for sewing purpose or for draping. If you’re on a tight budget then display form will be a great option for you, but remember dress forms lack branding possibilities that mannequins offer.

Moreover, dress forms can be used for sewing and also used for the display purpose. But they cannot do the job well like a mannequin because using articulated and poseable mannequins you can add more interest in your retail store. It means you can create a wining window display and express your brand’s personality by using mannequins.

Keeping in mind your budget, brand and how much you need to fit precisely, you can choose the best one that suit your particular needs. As a retailer or visual merchandiser, you must prefer a mannequin over the dress form that will help you in capturing the hearts of your target audience.

Post Author: meoug

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *