How to Dress a Mannequin

How to Dress a Mannequin

Posted on 21, March, 2016

Last Modified on 01, March, 2023

If you’ve ever attempted to dress a mannequin, you know how challenging it can be. At first you figure it’ll be a piece of cake - just slide the jeans up the legs and throw a long sleeve shirt on top. But wait, the jeans don’t just ‘slide up’ the legs like you imagined, actually they’re kind of stuck at the calves. And that long sleeve shirt, well it’s just in a wrinkled mess around the mannequin’s shoulders because you can’t figure out how to get the arms in the sleeves. This is exactly what happened to me when I first tried dressing a mannequin for a Displays2go product shoot. What was supposed to be a no-sweat afternoon on my part quickly turned into a puzzle of arms and legs that I am not embarrassed to say took me a long time to solve. So, in an effort to save you the headache and make your retail life a little easier, I’ve decided to bestow upon you all my now-expert mannequin dressing skills. Enjoy!


Putting Pants on a Mannequin
  • Remove the mannequin from its base
  • Either lay the form on the ground or use an assistant to hold it up
  • Remove the detachable leg
  • Slide pants partway up the detached leg
  • With the detached leg in the pants, start to slide pants onto the still-attached leg
  • Reattach the detached mannequin leg once the pants are mostly on both legs
  • Pull pants up all the way and button
  • Return the mannequin to its base


  • Remove both arms from the mannequin and place to the side
  • Slide t-shirt over the head and shoulders of the mannequin
  • Roll up t-shirt sleeves and reattach mannequin arms through the t-shirt arm holes

Long Sleeve Shirts

Long Sleeve Shirt on a Mannequin
  • Remove both arms from the mannequin and place to the side
  • Slide the long sleeve shirt over the head and shoulders of the mannequin
  • Put mannequin arms through the collar of the shirt - hand end first - and slide the arms down through the sleeves of the shirt
  • Reattach arms


  • Remove both arms from the mannequin and place to the side
  • Slide dress over the mannequin’s head and pull down over shoulders, torso, and hips
  • Reattach the mannequin arms


Dressing a Mannequin in Layers
  • Remove both arms from the mannequin and place to the side
  • Slide the first layer onto the mannequin and pull on over the shoulders and torso
  • Add the second layer right over the first layer, in the same fashion as you added the first layer
  • If the layers have long sleeve shirts, pull the arms of first layer through the arms of the second layer
  • Reattach mannequin arms by sliding them through the collar of the bottom shirt - hand end first - and sliding the arm down the sleeve of the shirt

Bonus Styling Tips

  • Use full body mannequins to mix and match apparel and show how your clothes can go together. This helps to inspire your customers to buy more.
  • Add accessories! Hats, necklaces, bracelets, scarves & belts all help to complete the outfit and add realism to the look.
  • Use binder clips to get the clothes to fit right. Pins can also be helpful for more delicate adjustments, just make sure they won't damage the clothing!
Binder Clips for Mannequin Styling
A Wig & Hat on a Mannequin

While there is some variance in all mannequins and how they are put together, most feature a similar assembly to the ones depicted here. If you would like to share your mannequin's style with us, upload your photos to our Inspiration Page!

Adding to cart...