What is the mannequin effect?

Photographing your garments on a mannequin allows potential customers to see how they might look when worn. The ghost mannequin effect does this without any manmade body parts being visible, removing any distractions and celebrating the form of the item.

Why might you want to create the mannequin effect?

When it comes to photographing your garments for online display or merchandising products, you want them to look their absolute best. Even the most luxurious hangers can’t always create the shape that you want from a dress or shirt. They certainly won’t convey the quality of the item in a picture. You could lay your items out flat, but this removes any sense of movement and shape from the garment. You could also use real-life models, but these are a pricier option.

A ghost mannequin is a wonderful solution. You get the shape of a model in a cost-effective package! You can create the angles you want from your ghost mannequin photography, and you can go back, again and again, to retake pictures if they don’t live up to your expectations. Pay only once for the invisible mannequin and then it is yours to use with as many garments as you like.

How do you do invisible mannequin photography?

You don’t have to be an expert photographer to get great pictures of your garments using a mannequin. If you have been tempted to try, but don’t know how to create a ghost mannequin effect, then here are some top tips to get you started!

  • Prepare the area: To get the perfect pictures, you need to make sure you have set the scene. You’ll probably want a plain white background in a well-lit area. Make sure you have everything you need to hand, including all the garments that you want to photograph, as well as the associated invisible ghost mannequin. Unless you are photographing lots of the same type of item, you’ll probably need a selection of mannequins, to show every garment at its best.
  • Plan how your garments will sit: When it comes to choosing a mannequin, you’ll want one that best suits your clothing. If your model is a size 10 and you only have size 16 clothes to hand, they will look baggy and messy on the mannequin. And if you have a lot of trousers to photograph but you only have top-half mannequins, you will also struggle. So, make sure you’ve got all the right things for all the right products and keep a selection of clips nearby so that you can tailor the item to better fit the mannequin. Ensure your mannequin is symmetrical and that any arms are pointing down. Steam or iron all clothes prior to the shoot and make sure there is nothing obstructing the items.
  • Take the photos: We recommend taking at least three or four pictures of each garment. One picture at the front and one at the back. You can also take pictures of the item on a flat foam sheet, which will help you when it comes to editing. And you should also take some shots inside out, again for editing purposes. Keep the camera at the same height as the garments, so that you photograph it straight on and not at an awkward angle.

Editing your invisible ghost mannequin photography

This is where the magic happens.

Upload your images into photoshop. With really good pictures, you won’t have too much editing to do, but it is definitely not a step you can miss out on.

The first thing you’ll need to do is double-click the background layer so that it can be edited. Place a new layer behind it and fill it in completely black. If your garment is black, change the background to white instead.

With the front layer selected, open the Magic Wand tool, and choose the option to select and mask. This should bring up the picture of your garment on a black background. Find the Select Subject option and click on it. This should provide an almost perfect outline of your garment. You can use the Refine Edge tool to tidy up the edges.

If you have any bis of mannequin showing, you can then choose the Quick Selection tool and click on Subtract. You can then click on the areas of the image that you would like to remove. It is easy to fix any mistakes. Simply click on Undo and reduce the size of the selection tool.

You can then finish off with the basic eraser tool.

Repeat all these steps with your other images of the same garment.

Once you have all your layers, you can put them together to fill any spaces left in the primary image. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to cut out the bits that you need to add to the original picture. This allows you to show any areas that may have been hidden by the mannequin. You can scale the selected area so that it fits in the required space neatly, making for a picture-perfect finish in your invisible mannequin photography.

If you really want to take your picture to the next level, you can play with the Warp tool, which helps foam flat images to better blend with mannequin photography. You can also add Shadow for a dramatic effect. You can even change the colour of the background if that will better suit your brand.

Are you looking for a female ghost mannequin for sale?

Valentino’s Displays have an incredible range of male and female mannequins, in a variety of sizes from baby and child, to adult. We have mannequins that pose and mannequin parts that are great for isolating items. If you can’t find exactly what you need, let us know! We love a challenge and will help you find the product that you are looking for.


Are curved hangers the best choice for my clothing?

There are many different types of clothes hangers on the market, but they are certainly not all created equal.

When it comes to choosing the best hangers for your retail unit or home wardrobe, the right ones can make all the difference to the longevity of your clothing and the aesthetics of your rail.

If you have been considering purchasing curved coat hangers, then there are a few things to think about.

What styles of clothing will you use your curved hangers for?

The curved clothes hanger is a little bit wasted on lighter items of clothing, such as t-shirts and summer dresses. While they will hang perfectly fine, these hangers are best used for tailored suits and jackets. You could also use them to hang knitwear and heavy evening gowns.

This style of hanger was created with bulkier items of clothing in mind, helping to support the structure of the garment.

How much space do you have on your rail?

If space is at a premium, curved coat hangers are going to take up a lot more space than a flat clothes hanger. The way the hanger curves makes it deeper than a traditional style hanger. While this is great for more expensive, heavier garments, giving them plenty of space to breathe, it does mean your rail will fill up fast.

If space allows, it might be best to have a rail dedicated to items that need to hang on curved hangers. Then you can keep all your flat hangers on another rail where you can really make the most of the space.

How much money do you have to spend?

The difference is small, but curved hangers tend to be slightly more expensive than flat hangers. If you only need one or two, then it might make sense to pay the extra. However, if you need to stock a few rails worth of clothing, you might prefer a different option. Of course, if you do need lots of curved coat hangers, Valentino’s Displays is the store that offers the best value for money, as well as wholesale discounts!

Other things to know about the curved clothes hanger

The reason why curved hangers are so popular for bulkier garments is that they help to preserve the shape of each item. The hanger curves in the same way as our shoulders, so that your clothes will maintain the perfect fit with every wear. This also helps to keep the clothes looking their best for longer, as there will be less wear and tear.

When it comes to issues such as bump marks in the fabric, this is less of a problem with a curved clothes hanger. Of course, this also depends on the materials used to make the hanger.

Wooden clothes hangers give a smart, finish and tend to last longest, but they do also take up quite a lot of space on the rail. Rubber coated hangers will help protect the integrity of the garment material very well and are a little more slimline. In the end, it comes down to personal preference.

Want something a bit different?

At Valentino’s Displays, we can make your curved hangers to a variety of different specifications. Whether you have a specific colour, material or width, let us know and we will create it for you. We can even personalise hangers to suit your store.

Curved hangers are great in the right circumstances, with no other shape catering to your knitwear and suit jackets in the same way.


Can I stop my clothes slipping off their hangers?

There is nothing more frustrating than searching through your wardrobe for your favourite clothing item. Only to find it in a crumpled mess at the bottom of the closet. If you are a boutique owner, you will no doubt feel frustrated every time a customer brushes past a rail and all the clothes fall to the floor. If these are problems that you have been having, then it might be time to invest in some non slip hangers.

Making your own non slip coat hangers

If you are not ready to invest in non-slip clothes hangers, you might like to give your own a crafty boost. You can stop silky t-shirts and strappy vest tops from sliding down the hanger arms with a few clever tricks.

The most well-known option is to wrap an elastic band around each end of the hanger. This creates a barrier that ensures clothes stay hanging neatly on their rail. You could also use pipe cleaners with the same effect.

Another option is to dig out your hot glue gun. Place a couple of glue dots on the upper side of the hanger arm for a more aesthetically pleasing barrier. Make sure they are properly dry before hanging your clothes, or you might find they stay on the hanger permanently!

A wide range of non slip hangers for sale

If you own a clothing store, these do-it-yourself tips might not evoke the professional image that you require. In this case, you may need to ensure your hangers are non slip when you buy them. At Valentino’s Displays, we have a huge range of hangers, including non slip jacket hangers, non slip trouser hangers and non-slip baby hangers. Whatever you require for your retail outlet – you’ll find it in our online store.

How do non slip hangers keep clothes off the floor?

These non slip hangers are made with a variety of different materials, but all aim to do the same thing. They create friction so that your clothes are unable to shift out of place. Some have small indents that are ideal for thin straps to sit in. Not only does this stop your clothes from falling off, but it also means you can place them in a way that ensures they are presented at their best, and they won’t move when customers walk past.

If you use these non slip coat hangers in your own wardrobe, it will help keep the space tidy and neat. You can then use the floor of your wardrobe for other items – may be shoes, bags or folded garments.

The best place to buy slim non slip coat hangers

When it comes to saving space on your rail, you have two options. You can either remove half of the garments so that you can spread out your pieces in a neat and tidy way, or you can choose slimline hangers. If you have a boutique with a lot of stock, removing some items might not be an option. In this case, you’ll need hangers that are both slimline and non-slip!

Contact Valentino’s Displays for all your hanger requirements!

Luckily, Valentino’s Displays has a wide range of slim non slip coat hangers. In fact, you’ll find every possible type of hanger in stock in our online store. Whether you need non slip trouser hangers or hangers for your strappy dresses, shirts or knitwear, you can take your pick from wooden designs, plastic, chrome and many other options in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Our prices are unbeatable! Rest assured that you’ll be getting the very best value for money while keeping your clothes on their hangers!


What can I use instead of a mannequin?

Creating a great retail shopping experience for your customers is essential if you want to attract them through the door and keep them coming back. Many fashion retailers operate on a tight budget, especially small boutiques.

The good news is that using a little imagination can go a long way in creating an amazing visual display for your shop.

The time-honoured way of displaying those hot new fashion items would, of course, be to use a professional mannequin. Unfortunately, these can be quite costly especially if you want more than one in your shop to create something like a window display.

Here we look at some more affordable alternatives that you can use in your store. We suggest that you use a mix of display ideas, always looking at the world from your customers’ point of view. You’ll be surprised what can be achieved!

Displays don’t have to use traditional mannequins. There are plenty of options from dress forms and ghost mannequins to shopping baskets and dump bins that work. Combined or in isolation, they offer you the chance to build spaces that catch the eye and sell more items.

1. Partial mannequins

Depending on what you sell in your store, you might not want to invest everything you have in a whole mannequin. Not to worry, you can also get quality partial mannequins at a fraction of the price.

For example, if you deal in colourful socks to stockings, a foot and ankle form that you can display in your windows or on the counter is a great solution. If you sell bracelets or rings, a mannequin of the hand and wrist will suffice and will add dynamism to your store.

2. Professional dress forms

The most obvious and widely used alternative to the store mannequin is the dress form. You may well see these in businesses such as dressmakers and tailors. They’re usually a headless dummy which the tailor can use to create a jacket or dress.

These also tend to be set on wheels so can be moved to different parts of your store as and when needed. Another benefit is that you can get dress forms in different designs and colours to match your branding. They’re ideal for showing off dresses, blouses and shirts (you can even get some that are perfect for showing off pants).

These types of display can be used almost anywhere instore, even in window areas where passersby can see them. Because they’re mobile, you have plenty of different options that certainly match anything you can do with a traditional mannequin.

3. Ghost mannequins

Ghost mannequins are displays that fit inside the clothes giving you an almost ‘invisible man’ effect. If you’re searching for a more professional touch in-store, these give you a lot of different options. Ghost mannequins come with detachable body parts and are great if you’re also selling online and want to create images for your products.

You can see more of the item you’re displaying with a ghost mannequin, such as the collar labels. What many store owners like about this sort of display is that it gives them a clean look that easily aligns with their brand. There’s also more flexibility with the visuals than you get with a traditional mannequin.

4. Shopping baskets or dump bins

You shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of shopping baskets or dump bins in your store. The great thing about these is that they can be used to display a wide range of products and give you the chance to create several multi-level areas that drive interest.

Shopping baskets and dump bins are often used for sale items but they’re also perfect for new clothing products that you have in store. They can be branded or have colourful designs, encouraging people to step forward and take a much closer look.

Because you have items that are loose in the basket or bin, of course, customers are more likely to pick them up. People love to rummage, it’s in our DNA. Shopping baskets and dump bins also don’t have to be on the floor or a counter. They can be attached to the walls to create intriguing little areas for your store.

5. Coat hangers

Coat hangers when arranged properly can certainly drive interest and make an amazing display for your fashion store. There is a range of different coat hanger designs that you can use in-store. Costumers, for example, have more shape and add dimension to your clothing displays.

You can also use coat hangers practically anywhere in your shop. They don’t just have to hang from rails. A little imagination here can go a long, long way. What about hanging your new, amazing branded clothing from the ceiling?

The challenge with using coat hangers is how to make your display look dynamic and not cluttered. This can take a little time and effort but it’s certainly cheaper than many other options.

6. Clothes rails

The same challenge arises with clothes rails. Some business owners make the mistake of trying to get as many clothes as they can onto them. The customers then have to fight to see what an item is and get it out to have a closer look.

Clothes rails come in different shapes and sizes from circular to rectangular and everything in between. Our advice is to reduce the clutter on your rails and go for more eye-catching displays. Like coat hangers, clothes rails are a relatively cheap investment and, once organised in-store, they can be extremely engaging.

Why buy from Valentino’s?

If you are searching for alternatives to mannequins, we stock a wide variety of clothes rails, hangers, tailor’s dummies, baskets and drop bins. We have everything your retail store needs to help it stand out.

At Valentino’s Displays, we understand that many retailers operate to tight budgets. That’s why we work hard to supply high-quality products at a great price. We’re able to deliver anywhere in the UK all with a no-quibble 14-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

mannequin alternatives