Best ways to use model forms

Let’s face it. Hangers simply do not do justice to clothes. In order to fully appreciate the lines of a garment, it’s best viewed on a dressmaker form or mannequin (or, more familiarly, manny).

Displaying clothes on mannequins is not only aesthetically pleasing; it can boost a store’s bottom line. In some cases, dressed mannequins within a display have proven to boost sales up to 70 percent. That’s because they are eye-catching, especially when compared with clothes hung on racks.

Dressing a form, however, is more involved than simply slinging the fabric in place. It’s part art, part science.

To prepare for the task, wear gloves. At the very least, remove jewelry to avoid scratching the mannequin’s paint.

First, you’ve got to determine what type of mannequin or form you’ll be using. Mannequins come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, if you’re only displaying a shirt or jacket, you could use a torso mannequin.

Once you’ve decided on the type of mannequin, that’s when the fun begins. So where do you start?

According to retail experts, first make sure the clothing is wrinkle-free. A professional steamer does the trick.

If price tags are visible, remove them. Reattach them in a less conspicuous place on the garment.

Make sure that the clothing is the right size for the mannequin. As with a real person, too-big clothing will not hang properly, and too-small clothing will cause the material to pull and strain.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to actually dress the mannequin:

1. If possible, separate the mannequin at the waist.

2. Dress the bottom half first.

3. Wait to zip or button until all clothing is on the mannequin.

4. To put on pants, turn the bottom half of the mannequin upside down. Then stand it on the base.

5. To dress the torso, attach it to the lower half but without arms.

6. Thread the arms through each sleeve and attach to the torso.

7. Carefully attach the fragile hands.

Lastly, don’t forget to accessorize. Think of the whole ensemble, just as you would if you were dressing yourself. Remember, it’s the little details that can make a big difference.



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