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To Mannequin or Not

Benefits & Types of Mannequins

When consumers shop for clothing, it’s understandable they want to see themselves wearing the garment. High-end retailers use models as they are the best way to achieve this objective, but it comes at a price. When reselling clothing, especially if the item is being sold “New – with tags”, it’s important to showcase the piece(s) as new so a model in this instance might not be wise. This is where a mannequin can really help, as it can showcase how it would look on while preserving its ‘New’ status and without the expense of a model.

FULL BODY: To mimic the effect of a model, having a full head-to-toe mannequin is a great way to capture the full impact of your garment. These are usually made out of fiberglass to make the skin resemble an actual human, but come at a strict ‘one-size’, which could make it hard when reselling a variety of sizes. Often times, these types of mannequins are referred to as ‘Realistic’ since they come with make-up and wigs.

If unable to locate, or don’t have a desire for a realistic mannequin, there are non-realistic ones which are most commonly seen at department stores like Kohl’s, Macys, Express, etc. These can be abstract with minimal design, allowing the viewer to see the garment without the deflection of a realistic mannequin.

Additional full-body mannequins are available for plus-size, pregnant, children, sport, colored (including chrome & gold). Depending on the clothing most often sold, choose the mannequin where you’ll get the most benefit for the most articles you’ll sell.

DRESS FORMS: Often seen and found in fashion design studios, these are flexible mannequins able to adjust to the size of the clothing piece allowing a single mannequin to be used in a variety of ways without the cost of multiple mannequins.

Made out of canvas, they enable our professional buyers with sewing experience the opportunity to alter clothing pieces that may have been ripped, frayed or stretched from various shipping and handling issues.

While not technically a dress form or a full-body mannequin, there is a hybrid solution called a handing mannequin. Commonly seen on eBay and by individual consultants from RueLaLa, these are a cost-effective solution, easy to dress/undress and gives the effect of a full-body mannequin.

GHOST MANNEQUINS: Widely taking over the market, ghost mannequins focus first and foremost on the customer, so they can see how the clothing piece will look on them without the distraction of a typical mannequin. When clothes are dressed on ghost mannequins they appear to be floating as a raster graphics editor removes the appearance of the mannequin, leaving only the article of clothing on display – pretty nifty huh?

With removable parts like various necklines for men and women, arms, hands, legs, and torso add-ons, the possibilities are endless for a perfect photo shot of the article.

STAND-ALONE MANNEQUIN PARTS (NECK, HANDS, ARMS, LEGS, CALF, FOOT): Buyers who sell both Jewelry and Clothing have a unique opportunity to cross and upsell consumers – if you’re currently only specializing in one, take a look at the other and see if it can complement your business!

Stand-alone parts will allow you to feature necklaces, rings, bracelets, shoes, and more encompassing the full spectrum of the category. As a bonus effect, when dressing your form with clothing add some accessories to the piece and sell it as a packaged deal for a lower cost. You’ll move your inventory quicker, save on shipping costs and increase your chances of gaining a repeat, high-value customer! It’s a win-win!

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