In an initiative designed to reduce returns due to wrong sizing and bad styling, The Oracle shopping centre in Reading is replacing plastic mannequins with real people.

The 'Yummy Dummies' will act as visual aids in place of loved ones, accompanying shoppers who can't tell a woman's size 10 from a 12 or are dumbfounded by men's waist measurements.

The real-life models of varying size and stature will be available for booking on Monday December 23 at the centre, allowing shoppers to scour the stores with their own personal human mannequin who matches up to the person they are buying for.

It is hoped this will help eliminate Christmas blushes by preventing ill fitting and bad looking gifts on Christmas Day.

Shoppers will escort their 'Yummy Dummy' into stores to try on potential outfits, so whether it's getting the right sized shirt from Topman or something fittingly special from La Senza, Reading shoppers will have the ultimate 'try before you buy' service.

Sam French, Marketing Manager at The Oracle commented, "Our usual shop mannequins are great for showcasing clothes, but there's nothing worse than getting a gift wrong at Christmas, so we wanted to give our customers the best possible chance to get it right first time.

"This move shows that one size really doesn't fit all and we look forward to seeing people shopping with their mannequins".

The Yummy Dummies can be booked via and are available on Monday December 23 from 12:00 – 18:00