How to Choose the Right Mannequin: Comparison of Different Types
How to Choose the Right Mannequin for You
Here's a comparison - by type.
If you've always wanted a dressmaker's dummy to help you get that perfect fit, but not sure which one - this guide is for you :-)
When choosing an Adjustable Mannequin, most people's first question is:
"I'm a Size ___, which mannequin is right for me?"
This question has been answered by a separate guide. See Here.
Choosing a Mannequin Based on Measurements (Not Size)
Now that you know your measurement....
What about the Different TYPE of dummies?
There seem to be so many... so let's start by the main ones.
Our UK mannequins come in 3 main types: Lady Valet, Diana, and Celine. All of our dummies are adjustable.
The main difference between the three is the stand.
"Diana" has metal pole with light weight plastic stand - and she covers the widest size range. They are all red except Diana Petite - she comes in a dark charcoal.
I'm sure you will find one that suit you best!
"Celine" comes in three sizes and has a very sturdy office-chair type of stand with wheels - which you can leave out if you didn't need them.
"Lady Valet" has beautifully turned wooden stand in vintage style - in two sizes and two colours. She's VERY popular!
Which Stand is Better?
When budget isn't an issue, almost everyone choses Lady Valet for the wooden stand.
While Diana has basic plastic legs, she does have a very handy hem marker.
Celine has the hem marker too - as well as optional wheels.
The other difference is the adjustor design.
Adjustors are the gadgets between panels that makes the mannequin expand.
While we're on the subject of adjustor dials and wheels....
I know that you can find some cheaper 'no-brand' adjustable mannequins out there (most likely made in China, and not made by Adjustoform). They look VERY similar - so what makes those others so much cheaper?
The difference is in the quality of the adjustors.
Most people don't know this: Adjustoform UK has a patent on their own adjustors - that means no other manufacturers have the right to produce the same.
Instead, other companies substitute the adjustors with inferior parts (eg. you may have seen some adjustor that requires a key). Even if their torsos / stands seem quite ok, think twice about getting a cheap one - because the quality of adjustors actually make or break the whole dress form.
Since your purpose of getting a dressmaker's dummy is to adjust to fit you - having inferior parts is most likely to give you a disappointing experience. You probably wouldn't want that.
And that's why I chose not to stock the cheaper models. I believe in "Buy Well, Buy Once" because I want you to be happy :-)
Now, let's take a detour....
And look at how adjustable mannequins are made - and what makes them adjustable.
You know the old industrial type of dress forms (often filled with sawdust) - traditionally used in clothing manufacturing?
Those are robust and solid (like the one on right hand side), but NOT adjustable.
Because they were made in stock-standard size for mass producing garments, in stock-standard sizes. They were never designed for customised fitting.
So if you're finding it hard to buy clothes off the rack, make sure your dressmaker's dummy is an adjustable one!
To be adjustable - your dress forms need to be hollow.
Think of them like how Easter Eggs are made, if you will :-)
The torso is made in panels - with adjustors connecting the parts together.
That means as you increase the measurements, the adjustors push the panels away from each other, creating gaps, and making the overall torso bigger. Though the further you expand, the larger the gaps.
That's why it's a good idea to deliberately adjust the torso a bit smaller than your actual size, put your best fitting bra on her, then add padding to match your curves - because no two people have the same curves!
Once you're done, simply put a fitted t-shirt or skivvy on her, and you'll have a body double - in your curves -with no gaps. Voila!
What about the other types?
For the menfolks, they come in just one size in two designs - SupaFit Male & Mr Valet.
The differences are the stands, fabric colour and their measurements vary slightly too.
And there's also one for the littlies: SupaFit Junior comes in just the one size, covering age 6 - 10 years of age - approximately.
Then there's also Action Form - the budget version of Diana - from Adjustoform's own China factory.
I've tested the quality and was surprised that it is as good as Diana - but Action Form only comes in two sizes.
Now that you know the differences - which one would you choose?
Would you go for the basic plastic, or fancy wooden stand? Would you like yours with wheels?
Do you prefer a big round dials? Or more discreet wheels in the seams?
Any Questions - Please let me know :-)
Until Next Time - Happy Sewing!