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August 15, 2016 3 min read

Having a successful store is any owner’s dream and, with a little help, a drop of creativity and some well-thought investments, this can become a real thing. In the last few decades, fashion retailers have become more and more aware of the importance of using mannequins and dress forms in apparel stores as a way to make your store more appealing and, consequently, to attract a larger number of possible customers.

The way in which they are used can make the difference between a regular store and a great one. For this reason, they are currently viewed as an effective visual merchandising tool, whose importance cannot and should not be understated.

Dress Forms & Fashion

In case you’re passionate about fashion and you’re thinking about opening a new business, we have come up with a number of useful tips designed to increase your chances of success without having to stretch too much your budget. There is a large number of stores that provide their customers with premium-quality and affordable apparel, but, due to the fact that their window display designs are not eye-catching and customer-friendly, they usually fail at attracting possible clients.

Before presenting the tips, we need to draw attention to the fact that there is a great difference between mannequins and dress forms, a difference that many people are not very familiar with. While mannequins are 3D representations of the human body used with the main purpose of displaying clothes, dress forms are representations of the human torso, initially designed for helping tailors.

Another difference between them is the type of fabric they can be made of. Mannequins can be made of a wide range of materials, such as fiberglass, plaster, wax, food, foam, and different types of fabrics and have a hard outer shell, whereas dress forms are usually made of a hard material or foam on the inside and a fabric exterior designed for pinning. Even though they were originally created for completely different purposes, they are currently used in similar ways, such as in fabric and apparel stores.

Dress Forms & Displayed Apparel

Supposing you want to use only dress forms in your store and you want to attract as many possible customers as you can. Before investing some good money, you should definitely take into consideration a number of things. On one hand, you should think about your financial resources and your target market.

If your store is selling good quality apparel at low and medium prices, a good idea would be to use standard dress forms. They usually cost less, can be pinned very easily and have adjustable height. On the other hand, if you’re selling luxury clothing, made from fine and premium quality fabrics, a good idea would be to use some professional dress forms. They are more expensive as compared to the former ones, but their quality and resistance in time is incomparably higher.

Dress Forms & Your Target Market

Another aspect you need to pay special attention to is the complexity of your store. In case your target market consists of women exclusively, then you should definitely use female dress forms. The same thing applies to men or children. But, in case your store addresses to a more complex target market, a good idea would be to use various types of dress forms, male, female, and kids, to clearly state the fact that your stock consists of both adult and kids pieces.

One delicate aspect you need to take into consideration is the types of sizes your apparel comes in. Many plus-size clothing retailers are not fully aware of the importance of this fact, so they use only standard, regular size dress forms, thus failing to attract interested plus-size customers. Given the fact that plus-size customers have always considered themselves an underprivileged category, it is advisable that, in case your stock consists of bigger sizes, you make this thing visible to everybody.

Dress Forms Are One Piece Of Your Visual Merchandising Puzzle

As we have said before, the quality of your products is extremely important in retailing, the same as the prices you ask, but it’s not all. There are numerous stores whose stock consists of average quality apparel and still manage to attract a huge number of customers and one the reasons that contribute to their success is the way in which they choose to display their collections.

At the same time, there are stores to sell top quality apparel and because they do not pay attention to this type of details, their business does not live up to the expected success level. Most of the times, it’s the little details that turn small, average things into great ones. So keep these tips in mind, make informed and responsible decisions, and you will see amazing results in no time!