Ready to kit your store out with the highest-quality mannequins that money can buy? Even if you are looking for cheap mannequins for sale, you’ll still be faced with a never-ending range of options that can seem quite overwhelming. If you are not sure which type of mannequins you need, read our handy guide to mannequin types, so you know what will work best for your retail space.
Mannequins come in many shapes and forms. Perhaps, most obviously, you’ll choose your mannequin based on the types of clothes you sell. For example, you’ll require a child mannequin if you are a retailer of children’s clothes. If you sell women’s clothes, you’ll probably require a female form, and for menswear, you’ll want a male mannequin. But there are so many other considerations. Let’s look at some of the most popular styles.
1. Full Body Mannequins
A full-body mannequin is exactly what it sounds like. Your mannequin will have a head, arms, hands, legs, and feet. These are popular in high-street stores. They provide an excellent opportunity to cross-sell items and recommend matching items. Choosing a mannequin with head, allows you to display accessories to complement an outfit, like hats, glasses, and bandanas.
These mannequins can be made to feel as though they are part of the retail employee team. Dress them up and add a wig to make them more realistic. Some full-body mannequins come complete with facial features and sculpted hair detail, adding to this appeal.
However, if you specialize in online sales, a full-body realistic mannequin might not be your best option. As Reselling Revealed has said: “If you do manage to avoid their increased cost they come with another problem: you have to dress the part you aren’t using. It’s unappealing to see a shirt on a half-naked mannequin.”
2. Mannequin Parts
At the other end of the mannequin spectrum, you have mannequin parts. Again, these come in various shapes, sizes, and styles. They allow you to focus on one specific part of the body. These are particularly useful if you are selling jewellery or accessories. You can buy mannequin legs to show off shoes, socks, or anklets, or mannequin arms for gloves, bracelets, and rings. A mannequin head is ideal for sports shops that want to display their baseball caps, while a torso mannequin might be best if you only sell t-shirts or necklaces.
An antidote to the realistic mannequin, many stores prefer a blanker canvas for their clothing displays, so they do not distract from the sales opportunity. These tend to be faceless mannequins, with no unique bodily features and no muscular definition. They come in a range of colours – this is an opportunity to get creative with your model! They are often used for sports mannequins, as they can be purchased in a range of different positions, to show items for various games.
Abstract mannequins can be quite tall, which is great for stores with high ceilings and lots of space. However, if you want to display your wares on a shorter torso, you might like to consider headless mannequins. These are more versatile than other mannequins, as they do not need to represent any gender or style – the clothes tell the whole story. With no head to distract from your goods, you may be able to encourage higher sales of your star items.
Whether your store caters for a plus-size audience, or you simply want to challenge the notion that fashion is for stick-thin models, plus-size mannequins are an inclusive option. They allow people of all shapes and sizes to assess how clothing might look on their bodies before deciding to try it on for themselves.
6. Pregnant Mannequins
Ideal for maternity retail spaces, pregnant mannequins can help expectant mothers-to-be select clothing that feels comfortable and looks good. Unlike plus-size mannequins, these designs focus on the swollen stomach of the pregnant person, allowing you to show exactly how items will drape on the body.
Standard mannequins don’t tend to have many moveable parts, but if you want to get creative with your displays, a flexible mannequin will allow you to move your model into different poses to keep your customers interested in what you have to offer.
Your shop window is a unique marketing opportunity that helps you to grab passing trade. If you are clever enough with this space, you can encourage people to visit your store just to see what you have done next with your window. Flexible mannequins are the best option, in this case, adding drama to your storefront. If you are stuck on theme ideas, you could try sporting poses, film scenes, or outdoor activities, as suggested by The Retail Factory.
A ghost mannequin, or invisible mannequin bust, is not the best option for a retail space, although some businesses have made it work. These are better for online businesses looking to take photos of their garments that look good and encourage shoppers to buy even when they are unable to touch or try on the clothes.
Most have removable parts. These ensure that you cannot see the mannequin at all when it is dressed – only the clothes are visible, but the mannequin gives them shape so that customers can see how they might look when they wear them. Online shoppers tend to have a much shorter attention span than in-store browsers, so using a ghost mannequin to display the clothes ensures they are not distracted and maintain full focus on the garments.
The most basic of all mannequin types in terms of how they look. The tailor’s dummy is not the best shop mannequin, as it doesn’t have the sleek finish that this space requires. However, if you are creating clothes for your store, it is ideal for helping you to shape and finish each piece. It adjusts to suit different sizes. You can confidently label the garments and a tailor’s dummy is a hard-wearing piece that will become an essential part of your clothing-creating process.
10. Face Mannequins
A face mannequin is a unique option for cosmetics stores that want to boost sales of certain products. Typically used by beauticians practising their art, they can also make a great marketing tool. Maybe choose one to sit by each cosmetics brand that you stock, so you can create a different beauty look from each one. Just be sure to let customers know which products you have used, maybe with a small placard nearby.
11. Other Mannequins
Mannequins aren’t just made to represent people. You can get them in all sorts of forms! If you have a business that sells dog collars, for example, you might like to select a dog mannequin to help sell your items. Of course, dog mannequins might be the most popular animal for retail use, but if you look hard enough, you will find creatures of all kinds, allowing you to create unique and interesting displays.
What are mannequins made of?
A range of materials can be used to create mannequins. Which one you choose will depend on your budget and the type of atmosphere you are trying to portray in your shop.
- Fibreglass tends to be the most popular material, offering a cost-effective way to sculpt the perfect look. This is a lightweight option too, which makes it easy for retailers to move their mannequins around their shops as required.
- Mannequins can also be made from wood, which is more durable, but also heavier and offers fewer style options.
- If you are looking for a truly unbreakable mannequin, PE plastic might be the option you want, as it is a little more lightweight than wood.
What colour mannequins can I buy?
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a full-body mannequin with sculpted hair and realistic features, or simply want a head mannequin for wigs, you can find them in almost any colour under the sun!
- White forms tend to be the most popular mannequin for sale, simply because they are a more neutral option than many other colours and won’t distract from the clothing. At the same time, they offer a modern style that complements most trends.
- Black mannequins are also popular in retail. As Fashion United suggests, “Black is the “eternal” colour in the fashion industry. And it will never go out of fashion.” So, when it comes to decorating your clothing empire, a sophisticated matt or glossy black mannequin looks great! The only problem might be when you want to display darker clothing – it won’t stand out so well against the model.
- Chrome mannequins are the shiniest models available! If your store aesthetic plays with light and mirrors, then these can make a super shiny addition to the look. They’ll certainly attract customers to your store window, but you’ll need to dress them in equally eye-catching clothing.
- Gold dress forms offer a luxury look that is perfect for high-end stores. If you intend to have a retail space that oozes class and sets the tone for expensive wares, then this could be the best option for you, showing your clothes off on a premium model.
- Bold colours can bring a fun aspect to your store and are particularly useful in childrenswear. If your brand is all about being bright and loud, then a vivid green, yellow, or red mannequin will help convey that to your target market. These mannequins tend to have a gloss finish and an abstract style and are the most striking option for any clothing business.
Do I really need mannequins?
If you are a new business or have limited funds for merchandising, you might be wondering if you can get away without purchasing any mannequins. Since they do not add to your profits directly, it can be easy to think of these as a luxury purchase that is nice to have, but not a necessity.
However, there is a lot of evidence to suggest otherwise. While mannequins may not have a direct impact on your takings, they do help boost sales and encourage new customers to visit your store. Gender Mannequins suggests that displaying your clothing on a mannequin could boost sales of certain items by 20-40% and uses Target as an example of how they have been used successfully.
Target now has mannequins in over 1400 of its 1800 stores and has noticed a rise in sales of the products on these displays. In fact, it credits the use of store fittings like these with the turnaround of the company’s fortunes.
So, of course, you can begin trading without mannequins. But if you want to have the most successful business possible, you’ll want to bring them in at some point.
Mannequins for sale at Valentino’s Displays
Now you know all the different types of mannequins and the style options available to you, you’ll probably want to get your hands on the best possible dress forms you can. The range at Valentino’s is unbeatable – we have every shape, size, and style you could possibly want.
From female abstract gloss mannequins to male sitting mannequins and baby mannequins, we’ve got it all. If you have searched the site and still can’t find what you’re looking for, or you just need a little help deciding, we will be happy to help. We can create custom designs or provide advice on which styles might work best for your business.
Mannequins in all forms are a staple part of retail furniture, so make sure you have some in your shop.