When shopping for your wedding dress, the DRESS, you should start by familiarizing yourself with some basic silhouettes. This helps you identify some common wedding gown shapes. Different silhouettes can help highlight different areas of your body, as well as disguising others. Depending on your body shape, you may opt to go with a certain silhouette that best fits you.
The a-line silhouette is fitted on top and through the waist. It then flares out toward the hem, essentially creating an ‘A’ shape. Although seemingly basic, this silhouette creates a universally flattering wedding gown shape that works on most, if not all body types. This elegant cut of dress is timeless and a very popular style choice for brides. There is also a modified a-line that features wedding dresses that fit a little closer at the hips than the traditional a-line. This newer silhouette works well for a lot of brides that want to get closer to the mermaid shaped gowns but whom still like the ease, gentle flow and flare of an a-line gown.
The ballgown silhouette is perhaps the best-known, classic wedding gown shape. Also known as the princess cut, this wedding gown silhouette features a fitted bodice that leads into a full, voluminous skirt. This silhouette works on most body types, especially for brides that have a more pear-shaped lower half or a wider waistline. The contrast between the fitted bodice and the full skirt helps better define your waist. The full skirt is very forgiving for the lower body. A ballgown might be a little harder for petite or smaller framed brides because of its almost overwhelming shape. This timeless silhouette definitely brings to mind a more formal and elaborate wedding.
The sheath silhouette is a form-fitting shape that is also known as a column dress. This wedding dress closely fits the body, but doesn’t flare out like a mermaid or trumpet dress. The sheath gently hugs the body’s curves in a gentle flow, rather than a more fitted silhouette. This shape works better for more slender or petite brides. The straighter cut of the gown helps elongate the figure. This gown creates an elegant cut that tends the more simplistic side.
The mermaid silhouette gown is perhaps the most glamorous wedding dress shape. Like its namesake, the mermaid gown is sultry and closely fitted to the body. The gown is fitted through the waist and hips and flares dramatically right below the knees. This bridal gown really accentuates the curves of the body and amplifies an hourglass shape. This silhouette works best for curvier brides that want to show off their figure. For shorter brides, the mermaid gown should start flaring above the knees to best give the illusion of longer legs. The mermaid gown is also known as a fishtail gown and falls into the category of fit and flare dresses.
Much like the mermaid silhouette, the trumpet shape is fitted from bodice to hip and flares at the bottom. But unlike the mermaid, the trumpet starts flaring mid-thigh and has a more subtle flare. The fit and flare shape resembles a downward facing trumpet, hence its name. This silhouette is great for brides that want to accentuate their curves, but would like a little more comfort than what a closely fitted mermaid gown allows. Because the trumpet starts flaring out higher on your legs, it also gives the illusion of longer legs. The fitted top and flared skirt also help accentuate the waist.
The five silhouettes above represent some of the more basic wedding gown shapes. They cover a wide range of body types. Although it is a good idea to start your wedding dress shopping with an idea of what silhouette looks good on your body, do not skip out on trying different shapes. Many times, we are so use to wearing certain silhouettes that we miss out on some other ones that also look amazing on our body. A photo of a dress or a dress on a hanger looks very different on the body. Be open to trying on different options to best narrow down to the right look for you. You might be pleasantly surprised by the different options that work well for your body shape.
Connie Tao Designs
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