The 5 Best Adjustable Dress Forms [Ranked]
Dress forms are great for precision sewing or functioning as a display piece.
Adjustable dress forms enable you to personalize the form so that you can precisely match your or someone else's body measurements, instead of relying on friends to try on garments for you (Source).
All of the dress forms we review below are height adjustable, and all of them except for the Only Mannequins have key or adjusting dials to modify the bust's dimensions (Source).
Adjusting the dress form is not always simple, however, but for the most part the dress forms we examine below enable you to modify the body dimensions of the bust, though it takes a little bit of elbow grease to get it working perfectly.
Our Top Pick: The Dritz Dress Form
The Dritz is an adjustable-height dress form that includes a pin hem marker, 9 adjusting wheels at the hips, waist and bust, as well as 2 auto-set dials for the waist and bust.
One professional seamstress that we spoke with said that this dress form is easy to adjust and easily spins and pins.
Overall, she says that it is really adjustable- you can adjust the height so that you can work on it in a lower position while sitting in a chair. You can even buy a mannequin head for some added realism.
It is also fairly lightweight so that you can maneuver it around your working space, picking it up and setting up on elevated areas to help you work on complicated hemming, meaning that you don't have to lay on the floor and potentially aggravate your knees.
Dritz Video Overview
It is also a relatively affordable model with an expanding neck, which is a feature that isn't often included in more economical dress form models.
On the downside, since it is made from plastic there are some long-term durability issues if you saddle it with a heavy workload.
Let's examine 5 of the best-selling options on the market today.
|Dress Forms||Our Rating||Price||Height Adjustable?||Adjusting Method|
|The Singer Adjustable Dress Form||4.0||$$||Yes||13 Key Adjustments|
|The Dritz Small Dress Form||4.2||$$||Yes||9 Adjusting Wheels|
|The Roxydisplay Adjustable Dress Form||3.7||$$||Yes||12 Adjusting Dials|
|The Only Mannequins White Female Dress Form||4.6||$||Yes||N/A|
|The Dritz Double Full Figure Dress Form||3.5||$$$||Yes||10 Adjusting Dials|
Dress Form DIY Ideas
If you want some DIY inspiration, check out some of these Instagram ideas:
The Five Best Adjustable Dress Forms
Ease of Use
This adjustable dress form offered by Singer is well-built, convenient and practical for any novice or professional dressmaker. Users love the quality of the material, but some do note that there is not enough padding. The Singer adjustable dress mannequin has a foam-backed fabric exterior for easy pinning, a four-leg stable metal base, a pin cushion with a key holder on the top, and a removable 360-degree hem guide.
It has 13 key adjustments (bust, waist, hips, neck and back) and you can change its height to match yours.
In general, users are satisfied with the Singer adjustable dress form, and they praise its functionality and convenience. A buyer comments that she has been sewing for years and this professional sewing mannequin has helped her improve and advance her skills. The reviewer also states that the dress form is well-made, functional and easy to spin around. A reviewer shared that she was skeptical at first, but it took her only 15 minutes to adjust it to the shape she wanted.
The purchaser advises that you should read the instructions and follow them to the letter if you want to achieve good results. However, some customers have complained that it’s difficult to adjust the form to the shape they needed and that everything –waist, hip, bust – needs to be adjusted proportionally.
Some also complain that the form would spring back to its original shapes after they had locked the adjustments and that the stand is wobbly and the adjustment dials – hard to turn.
The Singer Video Review
- easy to assemble and use
- adjustable size and height
- 4-leg metal base
- a pin cushion with a key holder
- two adjustment keys
- a removable hem guide
- thin padding
- dials are hard to turn
- difficult to adjust
- complaints that it’s wobbly and cheaply made
Ease of Use
This small adjustable dress mannequin offered by Dritz is inexpensive, well-design and useful. Users love the lightweight design and the price, but some do note that it’s not as stable as they wished. This small dress form has a size of 28 x 10.5 x 14.5 inches, nine adjusting wheels at the bust, waist and hips, two auto-set dials (bust and waist), an adjustable neck with pin cushion, a pin hem guide, and a green foam-backed nylon cover.
You can also easily adjust its height, so this is an excellent choice for anyone in need of a top rated dress form.
A user comments that the adjustment wheels move smoothly, and it’s easy to adjust this small dress form to any shape you want. The reviewer states that she would recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap dress form, especially if she is new to sewing. Another buyer shares that this small dress form is of great help to her as a professional seamstress since she can easily spin it around and pin various items to it.
The user also comments that it is very easy to assemble the mannequin, but mentions that it wobbles a little. Some other customers have complained that there is not enough padding and it’s hard to pin anything on the mannequin. Some also warn that there are no measurements written on the dials and that if you put a heavier dress on it, it will fall.
The Dritz Video Review
- easy to assemble
- use and spin around
- nine adjustable wheels and two auto-set dial
- a hem guide
- thin padding
- no measurement on the disk
Ease of Use
If you are looking for a high-quality dress mannequin, you might take a look at this large adjustable red dress form by Roxydislplay. Users love the easy assembly process, but some do note that the padding is thin. This red dress form has 12 adjustment dials, a foam-backed fabric exterior to easily pin material, a hem guide, a basting attachment and its height can be changed to suit your needs.
You can adjust the size of the bust (40” – 45.5”), the waist (31.5”-37”), the hips ( 40”- 47”) and the neck ( 13.5”- 19”), so this could be an excellent choice for various sewing projects.
In general, users have a positive opinion regarding the Roxydisplay large adjustable red dress mannequin. A buyer comments that even though the base is made of plastic, it’s sturdy and it’s a piece of cake to assemble this dress dummy.
Another reviewer mentions that it’s perfect for her sewing project, especially sweatshirts and she is very pleased that she doesn’t need to try her garments constantly. She would recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality dress form. One customer has complained that it’s cheaply made and since there is not enough padding she has troubles pinning anything on the display form.
The reviewer also says that the adjustment dials don’t work as well as he expected.
- easy to use and assemble
- 12 adjustment dials
- a hem guide
- a basting attachment
- adjustable height
- thin padding
- troubles pinning items
- complaints of malfunctioning
Ease of Use
This white female dress form offered by Only Mannequins is stylish, well-constructed and an excellent choice for a display model. Users love the elegant look, but some do note that there is a terrible smell that’s not easy to get rid of. This white dress mannequin has a torso height of 27 inches, a shoulder to shoulder width of 14 inches, a 34-inch bust, a 26-inch waist and 35-inch hips.
Its height can be adjusted from 4 1/2 to 6 feet, and it has a thin foam layer for pinning.
Overall, users agree that this is a high-quality dress form, and they praise its design, usefulness, and stability. One buyer mentions that she chose this female dress is perfect for displaying her tops, shirts, and skirts and for photographing them. The reviewer also states that she’s very impressed and pleased with her purchase and she had no troubles to assemble the mannequin by herself.
Another buyer comments that this white female dress form is very light and comfortable to move around, she is worried that it might not be suitable for heavier items. A happy user shares that this mannequin dress form is very convenient for her and it helps her plan her outfits for the day. However, some customers have complained that the actual measurements are different from the one listed by the seller and that it’s not adjustable and they had to add more padding to achieve the desired form.
Some also complained that this white dress mannequin is cheaply made and won’t last very long.
Assembling The Only Mannequins Form Video
- good for displaying products
- adjustable height
- complaints of smell
- size might be slightly off
- not adjustable
- thin padding
- too light
Ease of Use
If you don’t want to try on dresses all the time, you might consider this full figure dress form offered by Dritz. Users love that it’s easy to adjust it, but some note that the dials get stuck from time to time. The Dritz dress mannequin has a sturdy tripod base that can be folded for storage, a foam-backed nylon cover, an adjustable neck with pin cushion and a pin hem marker.
The adjustments can be made in increments, and the adjustment wheels can be turned easily with one hand. Overall, this is a figure dress form of good quality, but it has several shortcomings, too.
A happy user shares that she is exceptionally pleased with the Dritz large dress form because she can try different looks, and pin and mark with ease when she needs. The reviewer also states that it’s a child’s play to set-up, adjust and move this dress mannequin, and she would recommend it without a second thought.
Another buyer mentions that as look as you turn the adjustment wheels gently and patiently, you should have no problems to achieve the shape you want. However, some customers have complained that this dress mannequin is cheaply made and has unstable construction. A user also complains that this mannequin has an awkward shape and that even with extra padding she couldn’t adjust it as she wanted. The reviewer also says that the actual color is dark red instead of purple.
The Dritz Unboxing Video
- easy to use
- folding tripod base
- a hem marker
- easy to assemble
- slightly wobbly
- awkward shape
- dials might get stuck
One of our favorite adjustable address forms is the Singer DF251- it provides 13 different adjustments in the hips, bust, waist, back and neck helping to provide a perfect fit.
As well, its height adjustability enables you to easily customize it to your own height specifications quickly. The fabric exterior is foam-packed so you can simply pin skirts, patterns, dresses and tops to it.
The base is constructed of four legs to provide extra stability and durability as you work. Excellent for precision sewing or functioning as a display piece the Singer DF251 is a valuable resource for professional garment makers as well as dedicated hobbyists. Users have provided mixed reviews for this adjustable dress form, however.
One problem people have is that the different body landmarks do not easily adjust independently of one another. For example, if you try to increase the bust by several inches, what will happen is that the hips and waist will also increase by the same amount.
This is the nature of the dress form- while it is very solid, the trade-off is this static construction. Overall, users say that the padding really grips onto pins while you work with your garments, and that the form's surface has enough traction so that your garments don't slide off, but it's not too sticky either.
Another reviewer that we spoke to says that it was easy to assemble, and a fairly practical way to make garment alterations and to do pinning, but it was not easy to make adjustments to it outside of the standard hourglass shape. They had been using it to make Chinese dresses for an ethnic holiday celebration.
Setting the body size was difficult because the adjustments have to be done in increments from the top of the dress form to the bottom so that the sizing mechanisms don't snap back. Another reviewer commented that if your body is not an hourglass figure, the dress form really struggles to maintain the shape.
This particular user has more of a pear-shaped figure and it was a real difficulty to adapt the dress form to that shape.
Another sewer who has been practicing for over 30 years was excited to receive the Singer DF251 dress form, saying that it was lightweight, simply spins around for complete accessibility, though like other reviewers said it took some elbow grease to get it adjusted to the size that she wanted.
Overall, after extended use, she has decided that it is best for draping and designing, not as much for measuring out the perfect fit of garments. The way she uses it, is to use the dress form as general guidance and then do more specific alterations to the finished product.
The Dritz dress form was another option that we examined.
Some criticisms emerged from the reviewers we spoke with who complained that the skirt marker isn't quite long enough for fall skirts for wedding gowns.
The dress form is pretty flat-chested. There is not a way to adjusted to a specific height-if you want to adjusted to 5'4".
You will basically have to guess or measure it yourself with a tape measurer; the dress form has multiple dials and most of the users thought that it would be better if they were less dials that had the ability to operate multiple openings with included readable dimensions on the dial.
Other users also thought it made sense to have locking wheels so that it would be easier to maneuver the dress form torso around the work space rather than having to lift and set it down again.
Another dress maker recommended getting inspiration from trendy online boutiques to get the most out of these dress forms.
Assembling The Dritz
Another reviewer that we spoke with said that she had built her own dress form herself using duct tape. While this worked alright for a little bit of time, it wasn't sturdy and eventually she decided to upgrade to a professional-quality dress form. Even though, since she was trying to make palazzo pants, it wasn't ideal for the lower portions.
She says that the Dritz took around 20 minutes to get it set up and adjusted to her size. She commends how lightweight, but sturdy, the Dritz dress form is, making it easy to turn with a handy hem marker and simple height adjustability.
The Roxydisplay dress form was another adjustable dress form we examined. It has 12 adjustment dials, a form-backed fabric exterior for pinning, and works well for display purposes as well as sewing projects. Users that we spoke with provide fairly positive overall feedback for this dress form saying that it is sturdy, easy to assemble, and that the adjustment dials will get you the size you want to work with.
Another buyer said that it was perfect for their crocheting work, enabling them to measure out simple sweaters without having to repeatedly try them on themselves, also enabling buyers to design on it.
Only Mannequin Feedback
The Only Mannequins dress form is a little bit different in that while it is height adjustable you cannot actually modify the dimensions of the body. The medium comes in a 34 inch, 26 inch, 35 inch formulation and sits on a black wood tripod stand that is adjustable.
One buyer that we spoke with says that she purchased it in order to help them sell their extensive wardrobe. It was a great way to display all of their dresses, skirts and tops, though not the pants because it doesn't have separate legs.
Another reviewer said that it was an ideal purchase for photographing and displaying clothing- easy to put together, which was great for his online Etsy store.
How To Make Your Own Dress Form
The double full figured Dritz dress form was yet another option.
One reviewer we spoke to says that while it is not a professional-quality product, as most professional dress forms are generally single-size exclusively, and usually much more expensive, this dress form provides a great deal of flexibility as well as convenience for casual seamstresses.
Buyers say that it is easy to adjust the size, usually provides a solid fit for the different people who work with it, and that it is convenient to perform multiple fittings instead of relying on friends with different body shapes.
On the downside, some purchasers complained that the tape measurement for the waist easily came off. Others say that the plastic construction felt a little bit flimsy and that if you are not gentle with it buyers get the sense that it could break. As well, the reviewers say that it is not super easy to pin on it, specifically when the seams are in the gaps.
One advantage of this dress form has is that unlike many others it comes in different sizes, including a large. If you are in the market for a dress form, take a look at our reviews, and carefully scrutinize the sizing and ease of adjustability to ensure that you purchase a dress form that is the best for your requirements.