How to display clothing

Updated April 17, 2017

Clothing displays in retail stores should be attractive and easily accessible to customers. There is nothing worse for a customer than trying to sort through a pile of disorganised clothes on a shelf or rack. The best way to display clothing in a store will depend on the customers you aim to attract, the limits of the store's square footage and the clothing for sale.

Purchase clothing racks and shelves. Get vertical racks with two arms on opposite sides of the upper rack, and round racks. The vertical racks will be used for displays of new clothing near the front of the store. Round racks are used for clearance items near the back of the store. Shelving is used to display folded items. If specific clothing does not come with hangers, purchase those also.

Organise clothing by size from smallest to largest, and by colour. This not only makes it easier for the customer to find what she is looking to purchase, but also makes it easier to count inventory. Get familiar with the colour wheel and display complementing colours alongside one another.

Display clothes as complete outfits. On a vertical rack, hang shirts or sweaters on one arm and matching trousers or skirts on the other. The front shirt or sweater on the rack can be displayed with a necklace or scarf around the top of the hanger. The front pant or skirt can include a belt. This encourages a customer to purchase not just a single item, but two or more matching items.

Place at least one sale item on a display near the front of the store to draw customers inside. Sale items are different from clearance items, which should be displayed in the back of the store. Sale items are those clothes that are still considered new product, but you are slightly discounting them for the purposes of luring customers into the store. Sale items should be clearly marked with the price and discount. Clearance items are those items that are old or from the previous season and are deeply discounted in order to expedite their sale from your inventory.

Dress mannequins for window displays and within the store with new items. Pay attention to the seasons and dress the mannequins appropriately. During winter months, highlight sweaters, trousers, long skirts, jackets and boots. In the spring, focus on tank tops, skirts and sandals.


Turn all hangers the same way on a rack. This gives the display a professional appearance and also makes it easier for customers to remove and return items to the rack. A general rule of thumb is that hangers should be spaced two finger widths apart. If there is petite or plus-size clothing for sale, display those items separately from other clothes to make finding them easier for customers.


Do not overstock the store. A crowded store is more likely to appear cluttered and can leave too much stock that will have to be put on clearance eventually.

Things You'll Need

  • Clothing racks
  • Hangers
  • Sign holders
  • Mannequins
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About the Author

Erika Sanders has been writing since 1997. She teaches writing at the Washington State Reformatory and edits the monthly newsletter for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a national nonprofit organization. She received her Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the Solstice Program at Pine Manor College in Boston.