The male mannequin has been made in a heap of different styles for displaying male garments. But...
Should they have arms and legs?
What pose should they be displayed in?
Should they have heads?
Should you use a tailor's torso?
Predominantly the traditional mannequin has had both arms and legs, but an important aspect that overrides the selection of the pose and style of the mannequin is the statement that the mannequin is making.
Mannequins are an intrinsic part of the image of the store, and to communicate with your target market they need to mirror that market's demographics or lifestyle. Mannequins need to make the potential buyer comfortable with their decision to buy.
So... beware of generic mannequins. There is no point having a street-wear store with mannequins designed for displaying suits and corporate attire.
The next dilemma is whether to incorporate a head on the mannequin or go headless. If chosen correctly, the head amplifies the strength of the mannequin. It -
reinforces the image by mirroring the demographics of the target market;
provides a platform to market accessories with the garments such as hats and glasses;
place in front of the potential buyer a complete fashion concept that may not have been evident initially.
What Type of Mannequin is Best for Suits and Formal Wear?
Firstly you want the mannequin to dress like a catwalk model. The jacket should sit well with the collar hugging the back of the neck and the lapels sitting properly on the body.
Secondly you want the jacket when buttoned up to streamline the body and not balloon out. Remember that mannequins are point of sale aids, and a well cut suit sitting properly on a mannequin or torso may make a difference in a purchasers mind at that instant. At the least it will generate interest and may prompt the passerby to inspect the garments.
An alternative method is to use a traditional dressmaker torso either on a base or with legs. Ideally you would want the torso customized to your style and cut of jacket. Not only does this make the dressed mannequin look appealing but allows you to dress them without pinning. Movable arms let you display garments in various poses, giving the customer a better idea of how they'd look. And movable mannequins also allow you to create theatre in the display.
Interaction Between Mannequins
Mannequins are an extremely important aspect of the store's image. Brand, positioning and appeal and should be carefully considered in conjunction with the design. As a retailer you should try to differentiate the store from the competition, and using the right style of mannequin will assist a lot.