Prim and Propah: Average Size Mannequins... What's All the Fuss About?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Average Size Mannequins... What's All the Fuss About?

I was reading this article on Refinery29 this weekend regarding the hullabaloo surrounding some Swedish department store mannequins. You see, my friends, the mannequins are, get ready for it, average size. These mannequins are size 10-12, which is larger than your typical model/sample size, which ranges 2-4. I remember working at Martin + Osa and when we went to dress the mannequins for floor change, we would grab the smallest sizes that we carried (XS and Size 0) and still we had to use clips sometimes to get the clothes to look right on the super slim frames of the typical mannequin. To me, as someone who as always carried extra weight, even at my thinnest, I logically look at mannequins as just a way to showcase clothing in stores we all shop at even though they do not represent my size. Though I feel this way, I can understand that mannequins that do not represent reality can put unrealistic expectations on women to maintain a certain size to wear certain clothes, but then magazines, movie and television put those expectations on us anyways. So why has it been such a big deal that one Swedish department store, Åhléns, has displayed mannequins that more accurately represent the average woman? There are people who support the mannequins, there are people who say that this encourages obesity, there are people like me who agree with Liz Black... why didn't this happen ages ago?

The average woman wears a size 14. If there are women, size 6 and up, who aren't being represented in the stores they shop at, isn't that a problem? I know I am no skinny minnie but I certainly do spend my fair share at multiple different retailers. Wouldn't you think that a curvier mannequin, a petite mannequin, a medium height/build mannequin could find their way into our stores? Why not have mannequins of every size so that people feel like they are being catered to? I would have to think that if I felt that I were being catered to, I would be more likely to shop there. Again, I do not claim to take huge issue with thin mannequins but also don't really understand the "all one size" thing either... and so the "weight debate" or rather "mannequin size" debate wages on.

What do you think? Would you like to see a more realistic mannequin at your favorite store? 

via Refinery29

17 comments:

  1. I think I want to see more realistic mannequins indeed with the average size. It's hard to see the fit of clothing too when all that's displayed is a size 0. :) I've seen these photos and read the article too. Thumbs up for them I suppose. :)

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  2. I think that this is a much needed change in the industry - I'm usually in the 10-14 range (though there is a size 6 skirt in my closet that somehow, magically fits me...) and I usually find that when I walk into a store all the clothes look great on the mannequins, but that I don't really believe they'll still look good when scaled up a few sizes. Showing us average ladies what the clothes will look like on bodies similar to ours is sure to boost the try-on and purchase rates!


    Dev

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  3. Completely agree, why didn't this happen years ago? I mean, if the mannequin is already too small for the clothes, then how are us normal people supposed to feel when we wear them? I don't really understand retail in that sense. They aren't marketing toward the every day woman, they aren't making us feel good about the clothes they are selling, and why is dressing room lighting so bad! Shouldn't they try to make the experience better for us, not worse? And no, vanity sizing is NOT the way to make us feel better.

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  4. Yeah, I would like to see more of these size mannequins in our stores in the US.

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  5. I usually fall in that same size range so I am always a little refreshed when someone makes clothes in that range and I wholeheartedly agree that it's good to see how clothes would look on the average woman.

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  6. I totally agree! I hate trying on clothes at stores because it's such an uncomfortable experience. I think the industry needs to take a long, hard look at what would make the average woman feel better about themselves while shopping, mannequins, size ranges, fitting rooms and customer service.

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  7. Agree 100% Amanda! When you have to pin a size 0 on a mannequin to make it look like it fits properly, there is an issue.

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  9. I would I think it's a great idea. this way they don't have to use all those pins to make the clothes fit.

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  10. I think it's a great idea that would make consumers more likely to purchase apparel. I agree, that it's ridiculous when you have to pin the clothes to fit a size 0 mannequin, but it's also very misleading when a size 6 is shown a visual that is tailored for a size 0/2 consumer. This would also reduce a lot of the disappointment consumers experience when they get home and the piece "just didn't look right". Just as people get tired of seeing super thin models all the time, the same goes for mannequins - consumers like to see people like them wearing they clothes they want. I absolutely love the realism and am a huge fan of realistic mannequins!

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  11. Pinning clothes that are already an extra small or small sizes on a mannequin is mind blowing! That right there is a problem and unrealistic. It's 2013 and everyone deserves to be represented!!
    xo, Jackie
    www.stylemydreams.wordpress.com

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  12. I know it IS pretty mind blowing! At the time, I didn't really give it any thought but yeah, it's crazy.

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  13. My good friend Alicia, always putting in her two cents! ;-)

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  14. Haha that's one way to look at it.

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  15. Yeah I am always disappointed when I buys something in my size without trying it on in the store first. It's always tricky judging off of the mannequin in the store. Ultimately, I don't think things will change anytime soon in tons of stores but it's nice to see it changing somewhere.

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  16. I have been in a department store in a long time and don't usually pay attention to mannequins. I think the clothes should be displayed to appeal to more than one body type. I am petite but with a bigger chest. I do not expect a mannequin that looks like me but a petite mannequin/plus mannequin will give you an idea what the clothing is suppose to look like on those body types.

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  17. It's very refreshing to read a fashion blog discussing about more than what shoes you want to buy now, while I do enjoy the frivolous aspects of blogging I also like to read about the real issues in the fashion world. Keep up the great work!


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