April 30, 2019 4 min read

There is far from than just one type of mannequin that you can use in your store. In fact, there are multiple types of mannequins that can be used for a wide range of displays.

Plus, mannequins influence the visual merchandising in your retail store. Use the following tips to determine the correct types of mannequins for you, your store and your personal profits. Get ready to expand your ability to experiment and explore the opportunities for additional profit.

Types of Mannequins

Here are some of the most popular types of mannequins for retail and fashion photography.

  • Realistic Mannequins: As the name suggests, realistic mannequins are natural looking and relatively life-like. They depict humans in the most accurate way possible.
  • Abstract mannequins: Abstract mannequins are more closely related to works of art than realistic-looking mannequins. They have a minimalistic design in their approach, leaving fingernails, muscles and facial features off.
  • Headless mannequins: Not-surprisingly, headless mannequins do not have heads, and therefore there is more emphasis on the clothing and their body shapes.
  • Dress forms: Dress forms are typically void of features and crafted for fashion design. They can be adjusted for fitting garments and are generally very durable, rather than made to look appealing or realistic.

Style of Mannequins

There are multiple styles of mannequins that fall into the categories of the above mannequin types.

  • Sexy mannequins: Sexy mannequins are hyper realistic and typically for lingerie or adult shops only. They may accentuate the female form with an ample figure that is appealing.
  • Sporty mannequins: Athletically built or sporty mannequins are specifically designed to be placed in active poses for yoga, sports or gym wear.
  • Colored mannequins: Mannequins can come in black, chrome, gold, brightly colored and even clear shades, for different store themes and styles.

Below are even more details about the various types of mannequins.

Ghost Mannequins and How to Use Them

Ghost mannequins are great for a wide variety of retail store owners. They are easy to take apart and put back together, appear to be sleek and professional and highlight clothing extremely well.

Most ghost mannequins come on a rolling base, making them easy to maneuver and reposition depending on your ever-changing display. Because ghost mannequins typically have interchangeable limbs and other sections of the body, it is easy to personalize your mannequin based on your outfit or display.

Finally, ghost mannequins are often made of fiberglass, making them durable and long-lasting.

Ghost mannequins focus on the customer, showcasing the clothing on the mannequin without distracting the customer with other aspects of a full size or realistic looking mannequin.

Realistic Mannequins and How to Use Them

Realistic mannequins are ideal for displaying higher-quality clothing, lingerie or displays that need the look and feel of a real human rather than something false. Realistic mannequins typically have fiberglass skin that resembles a human being, making them look higher-class and more expensive than a dress form or ghost mannequin.

Realistic mannequins are specifically designed to help customers envision clothing on themselves better than they ever could on another kind of mannequin. Try a realistic mannequin for a window display or for displaying clothes.

Adjustable Mannequins and How to Use Them

Adjustable mannequins are — obviously — easy to work with in most situations. Being able to adjust the arms, legs and pose of a mannequin makes them easy to customize, depending on the display in your storefront or inside your store. It makes dressing and undressing easy so you can routinely shift your visual merchandising displays. Having one or two adjustable mannequins in your storefront makes it simple to switch up your display without changing every piece of it.

Adjustable mannequins are also great for stores that hold not just women’s, but also men’s clothing, and not just smaller sizes but plus-sized clothing as well. It offers plenty of opportunities to make changes and customize your pieces.

Sport or Soccer Mannequins and How to Use Them

Clearly, sport and soccer mannequins are best for stores that sell athletic clothing, but that isn’t the only case.

Athleisure clothing is becoming one of the most loved fashion styles in modern fashion. Categorized by easy-to-move-in fabrics that are great for sports and other recreational activities, athleisure-wear is becoming common across a wide range of fashion stores and brands.

With sport and soccer mannequins, you can display the breathability and movement of the athletic clothing you carry.

Another great use for a soccer mannequin is in a sports-themed display. Maybe it’s fall and you want to highlight soccer and football season, or perhaps you just want to highlight your athletic clothing. Either way, soccer mannequins are the best mannequins for these displays.

Glass Mannequins and How to Use Them

There are many different materials with which mannequins can be made. Fabric, plastic and canvas are the most common, but glass mannequins can add a level of sophistication and high-class taste that will sell expensive clothing.

Glass mannequins are also great for displays that would otherwise be overwhelmed by the look of plastic or fiberglass mannequins. Glass mannequins allow the clothing to shine through, not the fake human bodies.

Glass mannequins can, understandably, be far heavier than mannequins of other materials and may break a bit easier as well. The results and the look and feel of these mannequins, however, are worth the hassle.

The best way to choose the right mannequins for your store is to learn all of the types of mannequins that you can purchase and then decide what is best for your specific displays and merchandise. There is no single best mannequin out there; learn everything there is about glass mannequins, adjustable mannequins, ghost mannequins and much more to make an informed decision. Once you experiment, you can make your retail store better each day.  

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