Windowshopping is free entertainment--until that display mannequin, so irresistibly arranged, draws you in, and you try on that dress or suit, and it fits so perfectly you simply have to buy it. At which point the shopkeeper rejoices, and gives the display mannequin a raise! Or buys her a new outfit?
There's an art to making window displays, as there is with any deliberate first impression. Here are some tips to help you make the most of yours.
1. Sometimes Less Is More
Have you ever walked by an upscale boutique with one pair of jeans in the window? How much did you want those jeans? They were the most perfect jeans in Soho, bathed in soft and holy light.
What can you learn from this, shopkeeper? The fewer the items on display, the more valuable those items seem. One pair of jeans might be pushing the minimalist aesthetic, but how about one or two outfits? Think of this tried and true fashion advice: put it all on and then take at least one accessory off.
2. Except when more is more
On the other hand, every rule was made to be broken. There are some kinds of stores that benefit from a maximalist design. If you go this route, we strongly suggest you see tip 3.
3. Work With Artists/Art Students
There are professional window designers, but there are also local artists and art students in your city who would love to have a chance to make a creative window display. You could even offer the position as an internship, with experience and work for their portfolio as incentive.
4. Be A Window Windowshopper
By all means, go to Barney's during the holiday season. But all year round, keep your eyes open and make a note when a window display draws you in. Carry a sketch pad. What about the display pleases you? A particularly attractive display mannequin? An edgy theme? Humor?
5. Keep It Clean
By this, we mean physically. Literally. Clean glass, clean display. You may think this should be obvious, but we've seen shops that didn't seem to get the memo. And we did not walk in to those shops. nothing is less appealing than a dusty, unkempt window display.
6. Good Lighting
You want a well-lit, but not harshly lit display. Invest in good lighting. It makes all the difference.
7. Seasons Change
Don't let passersby get bored with your window displays. Keep a fresh look by changing the display in creative ways every few weeks. Be mindful of seasons and holidays. Even sporting events could find their way into your window display. Everyone's talking about the World Cup, why not join the conversation?
8. Who's that lady?
When's the last time you updated your store's display mannequins? There are so many excellent mannequin models available today, from sexy, realistic mannequins to old-fashioned dress forms. Perhaps all you need to catch new eyes is to show off the new girl in town.