Retail Apparel 101: The Basic Foundations of Clothing Store Displays

Retail Display 101Get excited about opening your retail clothing store? Whether you’ve purchased a franchise, you’re curating a collection from various designers, or you’re selling your own designs, it’s a lot of fun to think about how you’ll put together outfits, choose the right dramatic lighting, and create the gorgeous displays that are going to entice shoppers galore.

Of course, you don’t want to get ahead of yourself. Your garments aren’t going to support themselves. You’ll need a variety of foundational pieces to put your wares on display, and there are many products to choose from. Before you get overwhelmed, here are just a few of the most common types of apparel display options to consider.

Mannequins and Clothing Forms

One of the best ways to display apparel is on a full-size mannequin or a jersey form. Everyone knows that clothing hangs differently on a body than it does on a hanger. Using mannequins, you can demonstrate how a garment might appear when worn, and you also have the opportunity to assemble an entire outfit, complete with accessories, to give shoppers an idea of how to style themselves from head to toe.

Clothing forms are often a more economical method to displaying how clothing will appear on a real person. These, however, tend not to feature the flexibility found with mannequins.

Racks and Hangers

These are the bread and butter of any retail clothing operation. Apparel Racks with hangers allow shoppers to quickly and easily peruse your wares and find the size that suits them. Consider how single rail, double rail, round, 2-way, 4-way, and other types of racks might fit into your retail space and what benefits and drawbacks are inherent to these different display options.

You’re likely to find that some combination of rack types will work best for the layout of your store. Don’t forget to consider different types of hangers and how they’ll work with your apparel, your display preferences, and the available space in your store.


Besides Apparel Racks, different types of shelving can work in retail clothing stores, such as freestanding gondola shelving, cubes, boutique étagères, and more. When choosing shelving, you must realize how much floor space and the size of shelving display units you can accommodate. Also, make sure the size of the shelving is properly suited to the size of your products.

Grid Wall Panels

Wall panels are an ideal way to make the most of vertical space in your store, especially if your location doesn’t feature a lot of square footage. These wall fixtures allow you to easily construct wall racks or shelving for apparel display at a variety of heights.

Display Cases

Display cases may or may not work for your apparel store. They’re often included as a way to showcase accessories like jewelry at the point of sale, and they are especially useful if you sell expensive jewelry or other high-end accessories. Many come with a locking mechanism so you can lock up small valuable items when the store is open.

Custom Pieces

If you just can’t seem to find the right displays for your retail clothing space, keep in mind that there are options to create different displays.  At Specialty Store Services we now have the new Di Simo Collection which gives you versatility and sophisticated look.  We have many great options from Outriggers to Display Tables to Floor Displays.  100’s of different displaying options.

If you are a customer or a soon to be customer of Specialty Store Services and would like more information on Apparel Fixtures and Supplies for your store, shop our website, Specialty Store Services, for all your retail store needs.  If you have a question that you would like answered immediately, you can Live Chat, or phone us at 800-999-0771.