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Plus-sized mannequin trends

Plus-sized mannequin trends

Stores from downtown New York to England have begun a transition aimed at better representing what their clothes will look like on the everyday woman. For a long time now, many stores have used form bases or mannequins without a head and limbs as their standard for store displays. The Associated Press reported that in the past few decades, stores have been cutting down on their mannequins as an option to save money, but with the recent threat from online shopping, many businesses are turning back to the established mannequin as a way to bring people back in through their doors and away from the keyboard.

The changing culture

Everything from TV shows to soap commercials have begun endorsing a promotion of the normal-looking woman. Sizes and depictions that better represent the average body are being used as a way to promote confidence in one’s own appearance as well as give shoppers a better idea of what clothes will actually look like on them instead of the unrealistic proportions many current mannequins have.

An artist named Nickolay Lamm has begun a crowd-funded project to create a doll based off of the measurements of an average 19-year old American woman as another option to the popular Barbie doll. NBC News reported that the project has already fundraised its requested amount with ample time to spare in an overwhelming display of support.

According to a report by, the size of Barbie is impossible for a girl to emulate and makes it impossible to walk or carry anything, not to mention a load of health issues she would be suffering from.

Realistic mannequins

More and more mannequins will be sporting features like tattoos, body hair, thicker waists and back fat in an effort to better relate with their target audience. The British department store Debenhams has become the first in the entire country to replace its mannequins with size 16 figures in its 170 stores, according to The Guardian. Most of Britain’s clothing shops display mannequins of a size 8 or 10 despite the average size in the country for a woman being 16.

The Associated Press story said that luxury store Saks Fifth Avenue had primarily used blank mannequins for almost 10 years, but recently, the chain began featuring its lifeless models with more detail and realism.

On the change, Harry E. Cunningham, a senior vice president at Saks, told the Associated Press, “There’s this whole generation of shoppers that hadn’t seen realistic mannequins. We saw it as an opportunity.”

In a recent poll by the NPD Group, a marketing research firm, the results showed that 42 percent of customers say items on a mannequin influence their decision to purchase. The sway of the faceless models in your store position themselves right behind family and friends as stated by the vote.

Meaning for your store

Now what does this mean for your business? The trend heralds the shift in popular culture away from unattainable goals to the overall normalcy people witness in their day to day lives. It lowers the pressure put on your shoppers of all ages. The mannequins for sale have begun to reflect this change and provides you with the opportunity to exhibit your selection to shoppers in a way that encourages them to at least try clothing on. With curvy and realistic mannequins, no longer will customers look on and be daunted at filling improbable dimensions. If your models look more like everyday people, then everyday people can picture themselves looking more like your models.