What is a dress form? June 10 2016

What is a dress form?

For my first post I thought I’d start with the basics, what is a dress form? If you are here you probably already have an idea, BUT there is some confusion on the types of dress forms out there.

A dress form is a model of the human body which is used to design clothing on. Typically they are just from the neck down (no head) and covered with fabric such as linen. Usually you can get just the torso or the full body, which has legs and optional arms. These days there are a wide variety of dress forms, some made for clothing design, and some made specifically for display. If you are interested in getting a dress form for designing clothing on it is important that you get one that is made for that (such as the ones we sell) and not one that is meant only for display purposes. Dress forms are a great for tool for learning, as you will see dozens of them in every classroom at schools with a fashion department.

Another type of dress form on the market are those plastic adjustable forms you see in a lot of stores. I would try to avoid those if you are serious about fashion design. When I was in college I did not have a lot of money so I bought one to use in my apartment, and I was quite disappointed with it. The quality was a bit flimsy, it was not easy to adjust, it was unstable, and the shape wasn’t quite right. Maybe it was because I was use to using really nice dress forms in school, but it wasn’t something I would buy again.  

Buying a good dress form is an investment, but it is an investment that will last a long time if you take care of it. There are so many dress forms still in use that have been around for decades because of how well they have held up. Dress forms have been around for more than a century, and will continue to be a great tool for fashion designers for a long time.