Undressing the mannequin

Since I have started working again, I noticed that some of my clothing is too shabby to wear to the office.  I don’t enjoy clothes shopping but I trudged to the mall to look for new blouses to update my professional appearance.

I spent hours in several major department stores and and was disappointed in the available selection. I’ll admit that I’m fussy about style and color even though I have no fashion sense.  I arrived at the final store empty-handed and saw a blouse that I wanted – displayed on a mannequin.  I checked the nearby racks and wasn’t surprised that I couldn’t find the blouse in size “Small.”   So I looked at the tag on the blouse that the mannequin was wearing and saw that the blouse was the right size.

I wanted to try it on but I wondered how I was going to get the blouse off the mannequin without making a spectacle of myself.  It wasn’t a full mannequin – just a form of the upper body – no legs, arms or head.  It would have taken me a few seconds to slip the blouse over the top of the mannequin but then I would be left with a nude mannequin.  Although I could have dressed the mannequin with another blouse from the rack, I thought it might be inappropriate to undress the mannequin in the middle of the store.

Three nude mannequins

Three nude mannequins
Image borrowed from blog.megannielsen.com

I approached a couple of saleswomen and began with the words, “I know you’re going to think this is an odd request but…” before asking if they would undress the mannequin so I could try on the blouse.  They looked uncomfortable as well with the thought of undressing the mannequin.  One of the saleswomen called the manager on the phone to find out how she could honor my request.

During the time they were trying to determine the best way to undress the mannequin, I tried on a similar blouse with a different pattern and decided I didn’t like the style after all.  The saleswoman appeared relieved that I no longer had an interest in the blouse.

I have friends who would have stripped that mannequin without thinking about it.   It just didn’t seem proper for me to undress the mannequin but I don’t know why I felt this way.  I thought it was interesting that the store employees were also hesitant about undressing the mannequin.

Later, I googled “undressing a mannequin” and read posts from former retail employees who noted that undressing a mannequin is performed outside the view of customers and it is never acceptable to have a nude mannequin on display.

I laugh about the incident when I think about it.  I enjoyed the following YouTube video of a customer undressing a mannequin.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Undressing the mannequin

  1. suzie81 says:

    Haha! Really enjoyed this – I know exactly what you mean. It always seems really innapropriate to undress mannequins in stores, but i’m not sure why?

  2. Ranju says:

    Interesting article. Sometimes when I walk by our commercial streets early morning, I see the shops opening & the shop keepers standing right in front of those shops & dressing the nude mannequins. I have always despised the act. I personally believe that feeling awkward about undressing (or dressing) a mannequin is normal. It shows that we respect the human body & even a model for that matter.
    Specially being a woman, we give importance to modesty a lot. Mannequin displays the beauty of a woman’s body which isn’t right to be put to display. It’s something divine. And undressing a mannequin publicly definitely is in an indirect manner a disrespect to women (or men or the entire human body for that matter).
    I don’t know if what I think is wrong from others perspective. But according to the Indian & the woman in me, I feel this is the reason. 🙂
    Nice write up

  3. I used to work for Anthropologie. No one who worked there would have even given pause at your request. I’m sorry you had such an awkward experience. That’s just poor customer service.

  4. Rest assured, you had not. Moreover, my mother-in-law recently had the sales associate at BabyGap remove a t-shirt from a mannequin because my two-year-old like it. The woman didn’t blink, nor should she have. *You* are the customer, the reason the store exists. The merchandise is there because they want you to buy it. Whatever facilitates that is perfectly acceptable. You were in the right to ask. The saleswoman was not correct in her response.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s