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October 18, 2017 3 min read

Just take yourself a moment and think about spending some time wandering around a mall, or a street filled with garment shops. What makes you attracted to a storefront window? Of course, the garments exposed to it. But get a second thought and try to imagine how the garment is showcased. We suppose you got the answer – on mannequins, or dress forms, depending on each store.

We all know that it is essential to create a stylish and attractive exposure for the garments, to attract customers. But people tend to overlook the importance of those mannequins or dress forms used for displaying various garments in the windows or in the stores. Actually, these tools are the ones that give a certain appeal to the garment exposed and makes it become more eye-catching. But now, let’s see the differences between mannequins and dress forms, and decide how they can help the garment industry.


Mannequins are generally made from fiberglass or plastic, and they are available in a wide array of shapes, colors, sizes, and genders. They are mainly used in stores, to show the potential customer an accurate preview of how the exposed garment might look like when worn by a real person, or in a chosen outfit. This way, potential customers can get an image of how the garment on the mannequin would look on a person that has the same size and shape.

However, as we stated above, the mannequin is also a great choice for stores, as they can use the mannequin to create various outfits. So if you want to buy various clothes, but you aren’t quite sure what would make a good match, then you can take a look to the exposed mannequins, and maybe you would be attracted to one of the displayed outfits. Now all you have to do is find your size and combine the pieces so you get the much-desired outfit.

Dress forms

Dress forms are similar to mannequins, but they are mainly used by dressmakers and fashion designers. A dress form is very useful to any sewing room, no matter the sewer’s skill level. Dress forms are generally made from a hard interior and a foam or fabric exterior, which allows the sewer to pin the fabric to it. They are available in various genders, sizes, colors, and shapes. Basically, there are two main types of dress forms: standard and adjustable. While standard ones are perfect for making patterns, adjustable ones are better for tailoring garments to fit a specific individual.

A dress form can be used for various purposes. The main use of dress forms is in the sewer’s studio. The dress form is ready to assist you throughout the creative process, involving draping, pinning, fitting and other steps of this process. When you’re making garments, it is helpful to have at least a dress form to use, as it helps you see the fit and drape of the created garment, as it would appear on a real person’s body. Therefore, you can make alterations and adjustments to your garments, with the help of the dress form.

You can also use the dress form to display your garments. However, in comparison to mannequins, dress forms are mainly used by individuals and small boutiques for displaying purposes.