How to dress my display mannequin ?
Most display mannequins wear small sizes between 34 and 36. Sometimes a size is more generous depending on the different labels. You sometimes have to try different sizes until you find the right one for your display mannequin. The decorated window mannequin should be attractive and should seduce your customer to buy the clothes presented on the mannequin. Therefore it's worthwhile to try different sizes and articles of clothing until you found the perfect styling for your mannequin.
But how to dress up a display mannequin?
Display mannequins are normally made of fibreglass and as a consequence they are quite stiff and not easy to dress.
The body of the mannequin is rather easy to dress. The mannequin can stay in an upright position and it's not necessary to lay it down. Pay attention that you always keep a foot on the stand of the mannequin. When you pull and wrench clothes over the head of the mannequin, it can easily fall, especially if you use the ankle fitting system of the mannequin. Ankle fitting is less stable than foot fitting as the gravity point of the mannequin is displaced.
It does not take too long to dress your mannequin with jackets, shirts and blouses. Sometimes you do not even have to take off the arms of your mannequin, it depends on their position. Still you should always take off the hands of the mannequin. If not, you risk damaging the mannequin or the clothes. You should always lay down the arms and the hands of your mannequin at a safe place, not too close to the mannequin you are dressing. You may stumble across them and injure them.
With blouses and shirts it sometimes happens that the arm of the mannequin gets blocked and you can't fix it. A bit of fabric might be clamped between the arm and the body of the window mannequin. Ask a colleague to help you. One stretches the fabric while the other fixes the arm on the mannequin.
A push-up for a display mannequin?
Sometimes a blouse or a top is less beautiful on a display mannequin than on a real person. Display mannequins have usually small breasts and a top might be less effective on your mannequin. In this case dress your mannequin with a bra and pad it with some foam or fabric rests. You can also use paper put never use old newspapers. Their printing ink could stain the mannequin and the clothes.
Difficult: Pants on window mannequins
Jeans and other pants are very popular for male, female and child mannequins. They are also a good solution if you want to hide smaller injuries on the legs of your dummy. Especially leather pants and slim jeans are very difficult to get on your mannequin. To underline the tightness you have to choose the right size for your window mannequin.
To get a trouser on a display mannequin, you have to loosen the mannequin from the stand. The lower part of the mannequin are quiet easy, it's more difficult when you reach the thighs and the hips of the display dummy. Once the jeans fit on the back of the mannequin it may happen that it's impossible to close it on the front. Try with your colleague. Sometimes it's easier if one grasps the legs of the mannequin while the other pulls the trousers upwards. If it still isn't possible to close the trousers, dress the body of the mannequin with a long shirt or top that covers the open jeans. Once you got the trousers on your mannequin, check that it really fits everywhere. To pull it in form, use the plants of your hands and never your nails. If the trousers are very tight you could damage the fabric.
Easy: decorate your display dummy with a dress
The easiest possibility to decorate your mannequin is to put on a dress. Still you will probably have to try different sizes to find the one that fits best for your mannequin. You might meet the same problem as with the blouses: the mannequin's breast could be too small and also its hips might not be large enough. Sometimes it's sufficient to tighten the dress with some needles on the backside. A skirt can be fixed with a small waist belt. If you often sell dresses, you should directly opt for a display mannequin with larger hips and breasts.
realistic female mannequins with evening dresses
If you are specialized on oversize clothes, choose bigger mannequins for your window. Your customer should identify with the mannequin and very slim female mannequins might deceive them. Today there is a large choice of big size mannequins. You may also choose a torso or a bust form in XXL. If you dress up your mannequin with nylons and a slip, you can pad them with some foam or bubble wrap. Never use scotch on the skin of the display dummy. You might injure the varnish when you remove it.
Finish the styling of your display mannequin with accessories
For a perfectly styled display dummy, don't forget the accessories: handbags, earrings, necklaces… Be careful with heavy necklaces, if they rub over the skin of the mannequin the varnish might be damaged. Some window mannequins have pierced ears. Verify before you buy your display mannequin. If your dummy does not have pierced ears, you can fix the earrings with some putty behind the mannequin's ear. Under a wig you won't see the putty. Don't try to pierce the ears yourself. You risk injuring the mannequin on its most visible parts, face and neck.
A tattoo for your display mannequin?
A tattoo can change the style of your window mannequin. Specialists' shops sell water-soluble stickers for this purpose. You can remove them with a damp cloth or a rubber. It's better to test them under the foot of the mannequin. Wait several days and have a look at the sticker. Then try to remove it. At least this way you don't risk damaging the mannequin on a more visible part of the body because the dummy will always be presented on its feet.
Choose the right shoes for your window mannequin
The mannequin's outfit will be more realistic with shoes. Mannequins are sold with foot or ankle fitting. Most of the mannequins have both fittings. If the mannequin is equipped with foot fitting only, you'll have to pierce the shoes with a drill machine. But the shoes can't be sold afterwards. It's the better solution if the mannequins should wear tight jeans at the same time, because the ankle fitting won't fit under the trousers. In this case you can also cut the trousers to insert the ankle fitting. Boots are more difficult. Only a few window mannequins are sold with a special boot fitting. Elsewise you'd have to cut the boots with a cutter at the height of the ankle fitting's insert.
display mannequin with ankle fitting and boots
If two of your mannequin should wear the same boots, choose two mannequins with a different supporting leg. So, at least only one pair of boots needs to be cut. You may also opt for a seated mannequin. Seated mannequins aren't fixed on a stand so there's no problem with shoes. Choose the boot a bit bigger than necessary. It will be easier to get them on the mannequin. Dress your mannequin with socks and nylons to protect the varnish from zippers and buckles.
seated mannequin with socks and boots
How to get shoes on a display mannequin?
Never try to put on shoes on a standing manning. Always lay down the mannequin before you get the shoes on. You'd destabilize the mannequin at its gravity point and the dummy will overbalance and fall. Don't trust the stand. It only keeps the mannequin upright as long as you don't touch it. It's better to lay the mannequin down to get the shoes on. When you buy a female mannequin, consider the height of the heels. American display mannequins often have integrated heels.
male mannequins with removable and female mannequin with integrated heels
For those mannequins you cannot use shoes. Some male and female mannequins have removable heels. You can keep them if you decorate the mannequin barefoot or remove them if you want dress the mannequin with shoes.
Which hairstyle for the female mannequins?
A wig can completely change the outer appearance of a mannequin, just like a professional make up. You'll realize that a specific wig may become one mannequin but not another. Just like with humans, a cut or a color is not becoming everybody. The wig should go together with the clothes you put on the window mannequin but also with the mannequin's make up.
There are hundreds of different wigs available on the internet and in specialist's shops. For display mannequins it's not necessary to buy expensive wigs made of natural hair. Artificial hair is okay for a mannequin, especially as mannequins usually don't sweat underneath. Today you can buy artificial wigs that look absolutely natural on a display mannequin and furthermore they are much easier to maintain. You only have to keep the wig free of dust. Some fabricants deliver a special hair care product with the wig for the mannequin. But if you don't use hairspray or other styling products it's not even necessary to wash them. Unless you want a mannequin with dreadlocks, use conditioner and try to avoid shampoo. The hair might get felty. Artificial hair does not support heat, so don't blow-dry your mannequin's hair.
Washing and brushing your mannequin's wig too often might make it loose its hair. So go easy on brushing and each time when you get your mannequin dressed, put the wig aside on a hat presenter for example.
Stylised display mannequins with sculpted hair
If you don't want to bother with hair care, buy a stylised window mannequin. They already have sculpted hair and don't need any maintenance to be perfectly styled. And if you change your opinion you can still decorate them with a wig. Most wigs are fixed with an elastic band and you can easily cover the mannequin's sculpted hair like this. Many fabricants consider this aspect and the sculpted hair of many stylised mannequins can be covered by a wig. Some even sell mannequins with a removable ponytail. Still you better choose a wig with long hair. Short wigs might not cover all of the mannequin's sculpted hair.
The only problem with stylised mannequins is that they always look the same. But if you change your mannequin's outfit regularly, this won't bother your clients.
Abstract mannequins are even less complicated. They are mannequins with a so called egg head or with highly abstract facial features. Today more and more often you see abstract mannequins with wigs. The contrast between the mannequin's abstract features and the wig is very interesting. And a mannequin's with egg head can be covered with a wig without any problem.