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Going to get a manni... tips please

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Chatter - Anything and everything' started by polyesterchesters, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. polyesterchesters

    polyesterchesters Registered Guest

    I am at a point where I need a real manni or a dress form, the plastic half whatever you call it is so..... yuck.... space is limited and my husband is afraid of anything resembling a baby doll (don't tell him I told you).. but it must be done.
    Can I hear your manni buying tips? I think I want one with molded hair. I have had a man calling me telling me he has several different ones for sale. Are some easier to dress than others? What should I spend?
  2. artizania

    artizania Alumni +

    Try to get one where the pole stand goes into her foot or the back of the lower leg - not her bum! That way, she can model trousers/pants with no problem.

    As much as I love Madeline (my manni) I now wish I'd got one with some sort of shape to her arms, not both hanging down straight...........I'd prefer say one arm bent, the other straight.

    Personally I like the hair wig - and you can easily get others, so she can be blonde, brunette or whatever - and it is easier to display hats too.

    Good luck in your search - some of the others will be able to give you tips on where best to look - and then we all join in with suggestions for names! ;-)
  3. My husband gets creeped out not only by clowns but some older manniquins. I dunno why. I have the same half girl dilemma. i just got a slew of wonderful men's coats and I am having such a time!

    I have found that pinning, clipping, has worked for ladies items and esp the smaller sizes come out looking really good. Its just when you have an XL it starts to be such a pain.

    I have been looking into getting someting a little more substantial, but don't think i want to leap in on a whole manni. i have seen plain white ones, without heads but a dress form might be my next step....

    i want one that is a bit bigger along the bustline than my half girl and that has been the challenge. they are all 32-34 busts the ones i have been finding anyhow...
  4. Holy guacamole! Me too!!!!!!!!! Clowns totally creep me out, I hate them!! They are evil demons from hell!!!:mad::mad::mad::mad:

    I also have an unrealistic fear of balloons..... (that reminds me of the time my co-workers filled my office with a million balloons & hung photos of clowns everywhere when I was on vacation once....)

    On a non-psychotic note, please keep the manni tips coming. I have been thinking I need one too. Right now I use a dressmakers form which has it's pluses and minuses. I like the fact that I can make it bigger or small to fit the garment. But I hate the fact that, well, it's a dressmakers dummy and it's covered in slits (where it expands) and little wheels (to make it expand) The result is I have to edit every stinking photo and drop in the background in photoshop. It takes so much longer to list!

    I am thinking that I would like to get a proper, professional looking dress form. I think I am too impatient to dress a manni. What size dress form is best to buy?????

    Cheers ~ Maureen
  5. route66gal

    route66gal Registered Guest

    I love having a manni - but I have some tips I wish I'd known before I chose mine.

    First, yes, I'd go with the pole in the foot rather than the butt. That's what I have, and I can't even imagine what a pain it would be to have the pole in her butt.

    Next, I'd see if I could get something with a wood or chrome base rather than a glass base. I posted about this a while back - around the holes that hold the base, my glass base started to chip away, leaving little shards of glass all over the floor. NOT good. Thanks to some good suggestions, hubby made a great wood base to replace the glass one - so if you find a manni that you like with a glass base, I'd go ahead and just make a wood one and trash the glass one.

    Next, make sure her stance is something that you really like - you're stuck with it! I like mine a lot, but sometimes in pics she comes across as having a HUGE back. She has one foot forward, and sometimes she makes clothes look a bit lopsided. But all in all, I like her a lot :)

  6. well....if you photo against a backdrop of even a plain sheet or find a pleasant backdrop to photo against, you don't have to edit the background out. i started editing backgrounds out on accessories thinking it looked classier but have been tinkering back and forth. and if you change the background and its just a solid colored sheet, it takes less steps vs a busy background.
  7. Just my 2 cents but I prefer headless dressforms and mannequins. Check out vintagetextiles.com and you will see the look I prefer.
    I have a Wolfe dressform a full manni with molded hair (wigs creep me out) and a couple of headless manniquins. I very seldom use anything but the dressform.

  8. alonesolo

    alonesolo Guest

    Yes the pole in the foot is very important. I love having the different wigs. I can acheive a different look with different outfits. I would love a 30s or 40's wig.

    Stance should factor in. Make sure the legs aren't spread to far apart or you will have trouble with some skirts.

    I would have loved to find one with a metal base. but have the glass ( so far so good knock on wood)

    I also really wish I found one with a bent arm thats what I was going for. But no one had one when I was ready or in my price range when I was ready to purchase. ( and god when I got all that money together nothing was going to slow me down in making that purchase) But a bent arm can hold a purse. Make the outfit look good like a real sexy pose.

    Mine seems to look like she is falling backwards sometimes so the stance is the most important factor.
    If you are buying on ebay Check the feedback carefully there was one guy who would tell buyers he didn't get the payment and he had! But they went through a lot to prove it.

    Oh and you will have so much fun you will find your self collecting hats gloves shirts skirts etc just for your manni. I kid you not mine has her own dresser! And she has a lot of hats wigs ( oh halloween is great for buying cheap wigs ) etc.
  9. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    I have several mannis (Tori should respond to this post since she has
    what must be a whole roomful now).

    The one I use the most has one arm bent at the elbow and her
    hand (when she's clothed) looks like it is on one hip. Her legs are relatively close together which is important if you are trying to display
    a wiggle, straight or pencil skirt.

    Agree with the others on the pole in the foot. I also like the versatility of
    changing the wigs for different hairstyles and eras. Wigs can usually be found very cheaply at thrift stores and yard sales.

    For period fashions, I prefer using a dressform, since so many
    mannis (even the vintage ones) are too modern looking and can really throw the look of a victorian garment off.

    Someone posted a link not long ago of some mannis on ebay that were
    quite nice and not expensive - will see if I can find it. Also check out
    supply surplus stores in your area.

    Have fun looking for one, and also when you get one, let us see!

  10. Good suggestions! A dress form seems to be most people's logical next step from the hanging half form. They're less expensive, easier to dress, and give you really uniform shots. I just don't like trying to make sleeves makes sense on or trying to pin pants to a form.

    On mannies... ...agree with all on close-together legs, one arm bent enough to hold a purse, pole in the foot, and metal base. They're not too hard to knock down on accident and they chip easily. I'm glad I have a heavy base.

    I'll add two things... I wish I'd considered height more carefully. Mine's 5' 9" tall, and then standing on her 'tippy toes.' Vintage skirt & dress lengths look distorted on her. Even modern, full gowns can easily look tea length on her. Also, some mannies have feet that can actually go into real shoes. Mine has one normally sized and shaped foot and one abominable snowman foot (the one that goes on to the pole). Had I examined feet closely, I would have chosen one with two, realistic feet, so I could use the lower part of her body, legs, and feet for modeling shoes and boots.

  11. Go back to the post in Q&A where Tori is asking about the damask dress...she posted a photo of her mannis partying.

    Hey BTW....i just bought a man!

    Well...actually no

    ...i bought a cloth covered male form on a stand..about 40" chest. ...it doesn't have the definition of muscles, etc like the half forms i have seen but even better because since it looks more like a female form without the curves, all i have to do is put a stuffed bra on it and it can double quite nicely for larger sized and XL ladies garments which my poor half girl doesn't do justice to :)
  12. You guys rock! Thanks for all the posts!!!

    :D Maureen
  13. alonesolo

    alonesolo Guest

    Another thing I forgot was I checked the measurements. Making sure that the waist was small enough for those small waisted dresses and such. Yeah its more pinning to do when something is large but I would rather pin than to have a manni that wouldn't fit most of the smaller size clothes I bring home.

    And I have to be careful what I say here. Solena ( thats my manni) keeps looking over my shoulder to see what bad things I say about her. Like I heard a Hhhrrrrmmmmppphhhhh when she read about the bent arm.
  14. I used to have a nice French form, but her shoulders were like bloody linebackers!! Couldn't get most dresses onto her! So watch those measurements too!

    My "Headless Marie" manni is great, but her stance with two hands on the hips makes some items strained in the bustline. I really would like to get one with at least one arm straight.

    Let us know who you buy!! And she will need a name of course.
  15. who was it that had sold the manni, and had all the photos of the new manni arriving and then the new girl gettting into a fight with her and then having to sell the old manni?? I remember seeing it from someone on the VCA board like a year plus ago...but could be someone here. I wish i could remember. I just couldn't stop laughing about it at the time..

    And Bonnie "headless Marie's" stance really looks perfect on for example the Lip Service dress you sold and a lot of those come hither numbers. But i can see wanting an alternative for some outfits.
  16. marlyandmorry

    marlyandmorry Registered Guest

    I was in need of a manni for quite awhile when I first started.... I waited quite awhile....I looked and looked and looked...

    As it goes, Tish was stored in a basement of a wedding apparel boutique and turned out to be vinty from the 60's. The owner of the wedding boutique was the daughter of the lady who owned my mannequin. She had a ladies store when she was a young woman....

    What can I suggest??? Well a couple of pointers....

    My mannequin needs a cover up job as the plaster is flaking here and there, be careful with the hands and fingers as they can break easily.

    My mannequin is a nice size, she is not too bony or skinny...She fits about a 7-8, any clothing smaller than that and Ebayers get the front view only.....

    My mannequin has removable hands and arms....This can be a good thing or a bad thing...On days you are in a hurry, well it is cursing time....The thing about having removable arms is that they are inserted and locked in. I find this to be a great feature so you don't lose appendages mid stream. They can take the weight as well, lets say if you wanted to drape a fur over the manni's arm, the feature of having the arm locked in allows you to do this...

    Find a manni with some curves otherwise you will be having to buy her bras and stuffing them with paper...That's one thing I can say about Tish, she has some nice curves and is easy to display the garments...The boobs are not too big and not too small, just right...

    Also great if you are displaying a cape, often the arms just get in the way, take the arms and hands off and voila!!

    I would suggest that the mannequin be equipped with a stand.

    I would also suggest that if there is a pole that it be up the leg....Tish has a stand and the whole nine yards but the pole is up her butt so she won't and can't wear pants at all!!!!

    The reason being is that the steel pole will damage the garment...So you end up having to take her off the stand and precariously lean her against something, run to the camera, hoping and praying she don't fall over and hurt herself....

    Mannequins are bulky bulky so make sure you have designated a corner of the room especially for them. If you are severely strapped for room, get a dress form instead....Mannequins take up a lot of space...(believe it or not)

    I've seen a lot of mannequins for sale, some I would just leave in the dust as their faces are so stern and some are just plain wicked looking.

    Remember this is an investment for the future, wait it out until you find a manni just right for you, one with a beautiful face....Not one which is frowning or looks like she is terribly angry at someone as she's yours for the rest of your Ebay career!!!

  17. Hi all!

    Sorry for this long *ss post...

    I must respond to this thread and as Sue said above I do have a roomful of vintage mannequins, in fact they are starting to take over my whole house! But you gotta love em! And I need more!

    I started out with a hanger then upgraded to a dress form, then I bought a headless armless manni but I hated that because I didn't like the fact that it had no arms or legs so the search began for a full bodied mannequin.

    Paulina arrived about 2 years ago and she is modern and was the most expensive out of them all ($265.00) but a lot of the vintage clothing I sold would not fit her because she was to big! So I started searching for a vintage manni because after all I WAS selling vintage clothing and I figured a vintage manni would be perfect to get the job done right.

    I now own 6 mannequins, all are full bodied with the exception of Sandy whose legs stopped growing when they reached her knees....I also have the headless armless manni who is now just displayed as art. The dress form was sold in a garage sale.

    Here they are.....

    Group shot of Adam ($75.00), Lilly ($100.00), Sandy ($40.00) and Paulina ($265.00).
    <img src="http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/30030714/Images/A%20Group.JPG">

    Next we have my favorite Grace ($140.00) and Eve ($80.00).

    <img src="http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/30030714/Images/A%20Grace.jpg"><img src="http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/30030714/Images/A%20Eve.jpg">

    Lilly is my newest addition and I absolutely love her, she is a sitting down manni, here she is posed with Adam...She's dressed in a 1930's Gown and Adam is in a 1920's Tuxedo, LOL he's shirtless though.

    <img src="http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/30030714/Images/A%20Adam%20n%20Lilly.JPG">

    They even participate in VFG group functions like Operation Petticoat!

    <img src="http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/30030714/Images/Troops%201.jpg">

    I am going to go against the grain here and say that I like the gals with the butt poles better then the foot rod and I have some good reasons why, one is that with a foot pole you can't put shoes on them unless you ruin a pair by drilling a hole in the shoe, then your stuck with only using the same boring shoes all the time, and two they usually have a nicer stance and pose but that is my opinion, also all of mine that have butt poles also have a calf or ankle rod but mine are missing the smaller rods. Susan sent me one but I have to make a base for it to fit in.
    I have never had a problem dressing Grace in pants and getting her to stand without a pole, I just stand her up against the tall rod and take pictures...

    Example of her standing against the pole wearing a pair of pants, it's all about creativity...
    <img src="http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/30030714/Images/Valentino%20Silk%20Suit%20B.jpg">

    I prefer wigs over molded hair and like Sue said they can be found very cheaply at thrift or yard sales however I prefer to buy them new off eBay from this one seller who has awesome wigs for around $25-$30 bucks which to me is worth it because the better your model looks the more money your going to make.

    My sales have sky rocketed since I started using full bodied mannis with hair and making them look like a million bucks even though some have broken or missing fingers. :cool:

    Chris, it was Angelwalker <b> who had sold the manni, and had all the photos of the new manni arriving and then the new girl gettting into a fight with her and then having to sell the old manni</b>

    All of my vintage mannequins cost me no more than $140.00 and the reason I have so many is because I really love them all and like some of you who have things they collect, well I collect vintage mannequins and my husband really enjoys them as much as I do. It's a blast when friends come over and check them all out as they do make great conversational pieces as well. Hell we all sit in the bar and drink with them!

    I swear were not crazy....and we do have another reason for collecting them all, we have wanted to open a bar for a long time now and all of these mannequins will have a huge part in this bar... :)
    I wish you good luck on your quest to find the right mannequin and remember you have to buy what will work best for you.
  18. artisannes

    artisannes VFG Member

    I have actually written a feature on purchasing manni's - go to the home page of the vfg site - go to features - click on tips for sellers then find the Hello Dolly feature :)

  19. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Alumni +

    Be sure you get a relaxed, neutral pose. And I also emphasize the need to get one that isn't too tall.

    Personallly, I go with the dress form type. I had 3 mannis years ago and finally sold them all off as the weight and storage of them was driving me crazy. And the poses were too modern.

  20. What a great article Anne! Thanks for letting us know.

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