When choosing the perfect dress form, any fashion designer, costume designer or clothing retailer will tell you it is a painstaking process. But truthfully there really isn't any one perfect dress form. So okay, Wolf forms are pretty close to perfection, but not everyone can afford this particular brand and a lot of times you want a varietal of forms in addition to owning the highly covetable Wolf dress form.
When it comes to designing, your dress form needs to be a professional, pinnable form with human measurements. Anything less will ruin the integrity of your design. But when it comes to retail and visual display, the type of dress form you use is totally up to you! But be aware, it is a part of your visual aesthetic...choosing how you display what you are selling is a huge part of the story you are trying to tell.
I must admit, I am obsessed with dress forms! My personal favorites are older model full body Wolf forms. I love the hunt of finding the perfect one almost as much as I love finding vintage clothes. However, since they can get pricey, my perfect dress form must also be affordable. I will dig a discarded Wolf out of the garbage if I have to; and I have! Now I am the proud owner of a 1978 model! I once owned a 1963 model, but sadly I lost it in storage. I will never put valuables in storage again; I even lost old family photos and tons of vintage. I would rather be featured on an episode of hoarders than put anything in storage; but I digress.
Lately I’ve discovered how much I love body forms with articulating arms (body forms are meant for displaying clothes and not recommended for sewing). Forms with articulating arms are pretty amazing! The look is so industrial/robotic/little wooden doll. When you add articulating arms, they give the form a cool element of expression. I also like the use of a detachable egghead when necessary for coats and hoods and such.
I’m currently saving up for my dream dress forms, the aforementioned full body Wolf and a museum quality body form with articulating arms. I’ve recently opened my etsy shop and I am using a half body form with wooden base. These forms are strictly recommended for display purposes as measurements are completely unrealistic (think Barbie). If you are a designer, don’t ever buy a body form, invest in a professional dress form from Wolf or Royal. If you are simply looking for a great way to display clothing, go ahead and purchase a cheaper model body form, prices range from $50 – 200 dollars…plus body forms make clothing look great!
*please note said "trashed" form was found sitting on top of a dumpster full of discarded supplies from the set design and costume design departments at the Metropolitan Opera House, NOT a dumpster full of NYC's finest garbage! :)