We all know that those beautiful dresses and stylish ready-to-wear clothing being presented in boutiques and trendy shops will not be fashioned completely without the help of a dress form or mannequin. The dress form is a must-have in any serious designer or dressmaker’s collection of tools. For additional info, read more about it in our helpful guide.
- What is a dress form?
Answer: Whether you are designing clothes, sewing or plain doing repairs on them, the dress form is always an essential unit. The dress form is a 3D model of a human torso used for fitting clothing which is being conceived or sewn. In order to clearly assess the drape and fit of the clothing as it would materialize on the human body, the clothing is placed on the dress form.
- What are the different kinds of dress forms?
Answer: Here are the standard types:
• Display – used to display clothing only
• Professional – designed for fitting, pinning and draping. Available in different sizes and shapes
• Bifurcated – dress form type designed with legs. Might also include arms
• Adjustable – can be modified for a more realistic approach in assessing clothing design/quality
- What is the difference between a dress form and a mannequin?
Answer: The dress form is usually designed to represent the torso of the human body, made with a harder interior and a fabric or foam exterior for pinning purposes. The mannequin is designed to be displayed in boutiques together with the clothing. Mannequins usually come with harder exteriors and represents the whole human body.
- What factors should I consider when looking for a dress form?
Answer: Always consider the type of dress form you need; you can refer to the types mentioned earlier. Consider the clothing you often create—do you tackle clothes for men, women or children? Take into account whether you want the dress form to be adjustable, the quality and amount of padding, the usability of the dress form and its pinning quality.
Our Top Picks
Dritz 20420 Sew-You Dressform with Tri-Pod Stand Adjustable Up to 63” Shoulder Height, Small, Opal Green
- Polyester cover with foam backing
- Includes 9 adjustment wheels
- Adjustable neck, back and height
- Pin hem marker
The Dritz Sew-You Dressform is very adjustable—the back, neck and height can be modified so you can clearly check out the fit and draping of your latest creation. The foundation of the dress form is strong and overall, is well-constructed, crafted from long-lasting quality materials. The item also comes with two auto-set dials plus adjustable wheels. See more in this review.
Female Jersey Dress Form with Base & Necktop. by Only Mannequins
- Easy to put together
- Natural wooden materials
- Adjustable tripod stand
For a dress form that is quite travel-friendly, you can try out this Female Jersey Dress Form by Only Mannequins. The whole dress form is a snap to assemble and comes with a sturdy base that is made from natural wood material. The jersey material has great quality and it makes for a nice dress form to present sinuous items like scarves and shawls. The item also includes instructions on how to put the dress form together. See this and more in this review.
Dress Form System, White, Large
- Great add-on for dress forms
- Works with any type of dress form
- Soft, life-like pads
- 100 percent pinnable pads
The Dress Form System from Fabulous Fit is a great accessory for your dress form in case it needs more adjustments. This is a set of soft pads with life-like characteristics which are designed to be stretched in order to conform with all sorts of dress forms, from different brands. The pads are completely pinnable and it also allows you to save money over more professional, costlier dress forms. Get more info in this review.
Professional Female Half Body Dress Form with Collapsible Shoulder and Arm (Size 6) by Roxy Display
- Collapsible shoulders
- Detachable steel bottom cage
- Cast-iron base
- Wheels with brakes
This Roxy Display Dress Form has an excellent built and design plus completely pinnable surface. It is a breeze to put together and includes a durable, hardwearing cast iron base. To adjust the height, the dress form comes with a lever mechanism that is simple to operate. Collapsible shoulders allow you to modify the dress form according to your liking. Get more insight in this review.
18 Inch Doll Clothes – Dress Mannequin | Sewing Form | Fits American Girl Dolls by Emily Rose Doll Clothes
- Designed for 18-inch dolls
- Tested for safety
- Comes with soft-body doll form
- Ideal for doll sewing and clothing display
For those who are into the doll crafting pursuit, this doll clothes dress mannequin from Emily Rose Doll Clothes may be of interest. Making clothes for dolls can be a challenge due to the size thus a dress form that mimics the shape of a doll is a must-have. It is also recommended as a display tool for presenting your merchandise. Get more info in this review.
SONGMICS Female Mannequin Torso Body Form with Adjustable Tripod Stand, Medium Size 6-8, 34″ 26″ 35″, for Clothing Dress Jewelry Display Photography White UMDF04WT
- 56-76 inch adjustable height
- Stretchy cotton jersey
- Wooden tripod stand
- Stainless-steel tube support
With the SONGMICS Female Mannequin Dress Form, you won’t have to trifle with tools while putting the whole thing together. The dress form is well-done, made from quality materials from its wood stand down to its durable stainless-steel support tube. It has an adjustable pole so it’s useful for presenting dresses or jewelry like necklaces. See more in this review.
Create the perfect dress with a little help from first-rate dress forms and mannequins. Check out reviews for recommendations.