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Mannequins in clothes shops

(30 Posts)
HeyNannyNanny Sun 02-Oct-16 20:27:28

Went shopping at Central London hellhole shopping centre today with DP.

Obviously it is not news that shop mannequins are way below the average size however it wasn't until today that we realised that they're massively pinned into the clothes.
Not just a little bit to make it a better fit, but almost doubled over to dramatically reduce the size.

Once we'd spotted it we couldn't unsee it and ended up playing spot the pins. Almost ever female mannequin was pinned in, yet not a single male one was. We're talking mannequins so thin (yet adult height) that they needed size 6 clothing dramatically reduced.

AIBU to think that this is appalling?
From a pure business perspective, how is this even a good tactic? Surely seeing clothes displayed realistically would sell more?

Like I say, I realise that impossible standards in the fashion industry is not a new thing and am probably BU for not noticing how thin the mannequins were before.

(Disclaimer: I'm not against any size or shape: I'm just pretty sure its impossible to be as thin as this!)

DerekSprechenZeDick Sun 02-Oct-16 20:28:54

They are just there to show off clothes, no looks at them and goes oh I wish I looked like that obvious fake version of a human

Sirzy Sun 02-Oct-16 20:29:59

I local, independent bra shop has realistic size mannequins - I would guess around a size 14? - and most of the things look much better on them than the smaller ones!

Sirzy Sun 02-Oct-16 20:30:38

But, it doesn't really show off the clothes does it as the shape of the garment has to be changed to fit on it!

Omgkitties Sun 02-Oct-16 20:30:47

That's crazy! I've never noticed that.

I often look At the mannequins in topshop and think they are so tiny and surely the clothes aren't actually that small. Well now I know haha.

HeyNannyNanny Sun 02-Oct-16 20:32:16

But it doesn't show off the clothes as that's not how they'd fit on a normal human being.

Omgkitties Sun 02-Oct-16 20:32:25

no looks at them and goes oh I wish I looked like that obvious fake version of a human

Well, teenage me always used to. I'd walk past mannequins and think wow, I wish my legs were that tiny/waist was that small/tummy that flat.

ConvincingLiar Sun 02-Oct-16 20:32:36

I think Debenhams has some bigger ones.

HeyNannyNanny Sun 02-Oct-16 20:34:23

convincingliar Debenhams is where we first noticed them.

BitchQueen90 Sun 02-Oct-16 20:37:27

I don't care about mannequins to be honest. I don't look at them as an expectation of what clothes will look like on me, I just look at them as being there to dress up the shop.

omgkitties some of the clothes in topshop ARE really teeny to be fair grin

WorraLiberty Sun 02-Oct-16 20:41:12

The thing is, that mannequin in the black trousers doesn't look outrageously thin or anything - just fairly normal.

If they were advertising size 8 leggings for example, they probably wouldn't have to use pins.

So it makes sense to have a smaller mannequin as standard, and just pin bigger clothes, because if they had a larger one, they'd never get the size 6/8/10 clothes on them.

HeyNannyNanny Sun 02-Oct-16 20:46:36

We checked the labels - they were size 6.

You can kinda see the size comparison in the skirt picture as I accidentally got my hand in the photo.

WorraLiberty Sun 02-Oct-16 20:49:29

How on earth did you manage to check the label on the tightly pinned black trousers, without getting thrown out? grin

Either way, it makes sense to stock smaller dolls and pin bigger clothes, rather than try to squeeze smaller clothes onto bigger dolls.

gamerwidow Sun 02-Oct-16 20:53:08

I would worry about the cut and quality of these clothes. If the only way to make them look good is to pin them up on a tiny mannequin then they are quite poorly designed.

PaulAnkaTheDog Sun 02-Oct-16 20:55:07

It's always been like this. It's nothing new. I'm not saying it's right but a clothes shop's job is to sell clothes, not boost individuals self esteem. Personally I think average sized mannequins are a better representation of how clothes would actually look on a human though!

mellowfartfulness Sun 02-Oct-16 20:56:59

Yeah, when I was a teenager I definitely compared myself to mannequins and felt shit. I don't now, but that's because I'm 32 with a lot more self-esteem and a greater understanding of what bodies are like! I don't suppose many shops are likely to adopt average sized mannequins, but teenage girls could really do without being shown an ideal everywhere they look that is literally impossible to achieve.

HeyNannyNanny Sun 02-Oct-16 20:58:52

Worra - sneakily! Though they'd have a hard time kicking me out for looking at their clothes grin

nosyupnorth Sun 02-Oct-16 20:59:56

yabu to be annoyed by the pinning - a certain amount of pinning is necessary as they'll have to use larger clothes in proportion to the mannequins in order to get them on as mannequins limbs aren't as flexible/manoeuvrable as a real human's limbs, clothes will never fit mannequins like they would humans because of this

yanbu to be annoyed by the tiny sizes of mannequins - it's ridiculous

Fluffyears Sun 02-Oct-16 21:08:38

I've always noticed this and thought everyone knew about it. Am i just super observant? 😃

IonaNE Sun 02-Oct-16 21:22:23

I never even look at mannequins in stores. Maybe because I've never been tall and thin (thin yes but never tall), so nothing is going to look on me like it does on a mannequin. I see your point, OP, but does it matter much? Try on the clothes and you'll see how they look on you and you'll decide based on that anyway.

WhooooAmI24601 Sun 02-Oct-16 21:31:48

Ooh that makes me think, a few weeks ago I took the DCs into our local shopping centre to buy school uniform. M&S had some child-size mannequins dotted about and DS2 (5) took the opportunity to prance about shaking hands with them all saying "how do you do". He was onto his last one while I argued with DS1 about trousers and suddenly the head of the mannequin fell off onto his head and knocked him right over. DS1 and I almost choked to death laughing and DS2 is too terrified of mannequins to ever enter another M&S (he wasn't harmed, aside from light psychological scarring maybe).

The mannequins in Debenhams are sturdy-looking sizes. I like that.

CrotchetQuaverMinim Sun 02-Oct-16 21:39:02

I never really looked at the mannequins as if they were meant to represent real people, or real sizes, so that didn't irritate me, but it was the fact that they pinned everything back and changed its shape that annoyed me. I'd see something that looked nice on the mannequin, only to discover that if you actually got that combination of garments, they didn't layer up the way it was suggested, or the collar didn't lie open, or it wasn't a fitted waist, or wahtever - they clothes didn't look at all the way they did on the mannequins. I always wanted to write to the manufacturer and say 'if your clothes are supposed to look like that, then why not make them like that in the first place, and stop deceiving us?'

Now I mostly end up buying form places like White Stuff or Fat Face, which don't use as many mannequins (though similar problems sometimes occur with the models they use in the catalogues!).

DownWithThisSortaThing Sun 02-Oct-16 21:40:42

I've seen them trying to dress the mannequins before and it looked like a wrestling match with a plastic human grin so I presume they use larger sizes on a smaller mannequin to get them on, then pin the clothes to make them look like they fit.

You are right about the barbie proportions of some of the mannequins though. They are so unrealistic, no one looks like that. Even if they're a standard size 6, they're stretched out to be very very tall, so they look even thinner. It's awful.

Justwanttoweeinpeace Sun 02-Oct-16 21:43:28

The mannequins are basically there to give the shopper an idea about what the theme of the collection is. The designers / stylists put together a 'look', usually drawn up on models who are 7+ head heights. That's how the concept comes and the current visual merchandising trend is to have the mannequins reflect that.

The factories however have teeny tiny margins and no time to mess about so they hate to make special mannequin sized clothes. 170 of each piece for example, it's just a hassle. The brands don't really want to waste loads of money buying garments they can't actually sell either. No thanks. We'll stick to making 4/6 - 22+ (obvs varies from brand to brand)

So the Visual merchandisers have to make do with pinning garments.

Brands have tried 'realistic models' a few times but they never hike sales figures enough for it to be worth completely replacing all the mannequins (which cost a bomb.)

OlennasWimple Sun 02-Oct-16 21:45:37

I agree.

I also don't understand why mannequins need nipples

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