In the world of Retail Clothing, dressing mannequins and displays are an integral part of promoting Clothing Ranges and accessories. Dressing a garment on a mannequin and setting it within a display has proven to increase sales by up to 70% in some instances - so great idea for promoting poor selling lines! But the sales lift cannot just be put down to better visibility within the store i.e dressed on a mannequin - it also has a lot to do with the lifestyle that they create, the way they make the customer feel, think and act when they see the garments displayed on mannequins. Sometimes it can be seen as an endorsement to the shopper that if the store has selected these garments for display then they must be credible, stylish or on trend - so i'll have one too!
When dressed on a mannequin the garment is presented immaculately (ironed without a crease in sight!) and draped on a perfect figured mannequin - then it suddenly becomes something more than just visibility and seeing more of the garment - its about prompting the suggestion to the customer: 'that looks great on those models, i want one of those'.
The average customer is physically shopping when they are in a store, however few of them are actually engaged in shopping mentality - their minds are on a whole lot of other things, such as thinking about what they need to get in for dinner, remembering to pay a etc. most are browsers simply because most are not mentally shopping. For this reason it is the power of display that makes them stop in their tracks and think - wow that looks fantastic!. A dressed mannequin or a display will always catch the customers eye before any garment on a hanger.
Now that we have established the importance of Mannequins and bustforms or tailors dummies, here is ten top tips to a successful display.
Top Tip - Always dress mannequins from bottom to top and the finishing off should always be from top to bottom.
1 - Carefully select garments and outfits to be displayed. It is important that the dressings co-ordinate especially if there is more than one mannequin in the display. Accessories that compliment the selected garments can also add 'finishing off' and 'attention to detail' to a display. Take time to select the outfits because what might seem like a small error of garment choice whilst dressing the mannequin in the back area will be a huge noticeable error out on display.
Note for point 1: Always select the garment size that perfectly fits your mannequin. Do not use oversized garments as these will give an inaccurate image of fit, drape and styling.
2 - Iron or steam thoroughly all garments and outfits to be included in the display. If ironing remember to iron on reverse side of all garments as a sheen will be left on the facing side making your garment look cheap and distressed under display lighting. Displays will amplify the good but also the bad.
3 - Ensure that the mannequin to be dressed has been separated into its separate components at the arms, legs and torso. Always begin with the legs and feet area. Fit the socks and shoes that have been chosen to compliment the outfit put them on the mannequin first before attempting to dress with clothing. The last garment to be dressed should always be the one that is most visible in the display (e.g jacket or top, dress etc) - dressing it last will ensure minimal creasing during dressing.
Note for point 3: This will mean that you may have to turn the legs upside down so the feet area are closest to you for dressing. Then flip it back on its feet again to add torso and continue dressing.
4 - Dressing from the bottom to the top, the next item should be the 'bottoms' - skirt, dress or trousers. Note for trousers these should be slotted over both feet just before putting on the shoes - the turned upright again and torso secured. For a skirt or dress the torso would have to be secured back on top of the legs/hip section first before draping the skirt or dress over the head of the mannequin.