Guides

Wedding Silhouettes 101

Get ready ladies, your crash course in wedding dress silhouettes has arrived.

We know it's a jungle out there, trying to weed through which silhouette is which - and more importantly, which one is best for you. Today we are breaking down some of the top bridal silhouettes, with some of our favorites trending gowns. Get clear once and for all which silhouette is which - and find out what cut might be the best choice for you!

Ballgown:

Let's start out with the ever so popular ballgown. A ballgown cut is fitted at the bodice with a dramatic full skirt. Think Cinderella here ladies!

Who is it for: Definitely for brides looking to make a big statement on their wedding day. This is the most dramatic of all of the bridal silhouettes!

What body types does it flatter: Ballgowns flatter most body types, and they are exceptionally good at hiding large hips. Yet, ballgowns are also great for ladies with narrow hips, as the style can give you more of a curvy look! Have a full bust? A ballgown can help give you an hourglass look. And what bride doesn't love a fitted waist, followed by a flared skirt? SO flattering!

What to watch out for: Our petite brides out there can get swallowed up in the volume of a ballgown silhouette. So if you are on the more petite side, make sure you don't go TOO big with your ballgown style!

Here are some of our favorites:

01. Modern Cinderella

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

Cinderella would be proud of this modern princess ready ballgown.

02. Illusion Ballgown

Gracy Accad
Gracy Accad

Gracy Accad brings us a stunning ballgown featuring illusion tulle neckline and sleeves for a one-of-a-kind look.

03. Strapless Tulle

Isabelle Armstrong
Isabelle Armstrong

Our next ballgown silhouette is a strapless tulle wedding gown from Isabelle Armstrong that is absolutely dreamy!

04. Contemporary Sculpture

Viktor Rolf
Viktor Rolf

Everything you love about a big, dramatic ballgown - with a contemporary, sculptural design.

05. Pink Princess

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

What's not to love about a pretty, pink princess ballgown? A classic cut wedding gown, with beautiful contemporary accents.

Mermaid:

Also referred to as a fishtail, a mermaid silhouette is form fitting through the bodice and hips and flares out below the knee. Mermaid styles of sophisticated and sultry!

Who is it for: Mermaid gowns are for ladies looking to show off everything their mama gave them. This cut is curvy, form fitting, and so sexy!

What body types does it flatter: Since a mermaid cut hugs all your natural curves, it is great for brides with hourglass figures.

What to watch out for: If you are a bride that isn't looking for a tight, form fitting style, or wants to soften some of your curves, you may want to opt for another silhouette.

Here are some of our favorites:

01. Lace Mermaid

Vera Wang
Vera Wang

Vera Wang brings us a macrame lace mermaid that has vintage inspiration with contemporary drama.

02. Structured Mermaid

Isabelle Armstrong
Isabelle Armstrong

A sleek, sophisticated mermaid gown that is fitted through to the knee, and then flares out into a fishtail design.

03. Stretch Crepe & Tulle Mermaid

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

Everything a bride could want in a mermaid silhouette. Hourglass hugging bodice and dramatic tulle skirt base. Sexy, dramatic, yet feminine and sophisticated.

04. Mermaid Corset

Galia Lahav
Galia Lahav

A corset styled mermaid that is fitted to the knee and then flares out into a stunning embroidered fishtail design.

05. Romantic Mermaid

Vera Wang
Vera Wang

Vera Wang brings us a mermaid style that has all of the drama you dream of when thinking of wearing this silhouette on your big day. Fitted through the bodice and hips, and a dramatic ruffled fishtail from the knees down.

Fit and Flare

A fit and flare gown is is fitted through the bodice and hips, and then flares out to the hemline. Fit and flares are flattering and classic.

Who is it for: Perfect for that bride that wants to find that perfect mix of being form fitted, while also being classic and comfortable. Fit and flares give you that body hugging feel through the top, yet flattering comfort and mobility through the bottom of the dress.

What body type does it flatter: Fit and flares are perfect for brides looking to show off their hourglass silhouette, while still having enough room in the legs to easily walk around and dance! A fit and flare can show off the curves of a curvy bride, without being too tight. It can always give a bit more of an hourglass appearance to a more petite bride!

What to watch out for: Fit and flares are going to be the least hip hugging between the mermaid, trumpet, and itself. So for brides that are really craving that tight style - consider a mermaid or trumpet. That being said, a fit and flare may be easier to move about in compared to a mermaid or trumpet.

Here are some of our favorites:

01. Sleek Fit & Flare

Jenny Yoo
Jenny Yoo

Jenny Yoo gives us the perfect fit and flare style with this sleek strapless gown. Lightly form fitted through the bodice and hips, and softly flaring out down to the floor.

02. Fit & Flare Elegance

Jenny Yoo
Jenny Yoo

Soft, elegant, and effortlessly sophisticated. This fit and flare shows off a touch of the bride's hourglass figure, while being oh-so flattering.

03. Contemporary Fit & Flare

Allison Webb
Allison Webb

A subtle, contemporary fit and flare gown that is lightly fitted through the bodice and hips, and flares out slightly down to the floor. We love the black oversized bow accent and dramatic chapel train!

04. Girly Fit & Flare

Hayley Paige
Hayley Paige

Our girly girl brides out there might like this next fit & flare style from Hayley Paige.

05. Glam Fit & Flare

Hayley Paige
Hayley Paige

This next fit & flare wedding gown shows that this style can be classic, while also being feminine and glamourous.

Trumpet

So I know the first question you are asking - what is the difference between a trumpet and a mermaid? A trumpet silhouette has more of a straight line bodice, opposed to the body-hugging silhouette of a mermaid design. Trumpet gowns flare out at the mid-thigh or knee, opposed to below the knee like a mermaid cut. Because of this, the flare out is more subtle, creating a bell or trumpet shape down to the hemline. Think of a trumpet as the half-way point between a fit and flare and mermaid. That being said, Trumpet and Mermaid are used interchangeably - and a dress can often times be labeled as either.

Who is it for: A trumpet silhouette is a figure flattering, yet sophisticated style. Perfect if you are looking to show off your curves a bit, while keeping things classy and clean.

What body types does it flatter: Just like with a mermaid cut, trumpet gowns are create for those hour glass figures. A trumpet may be an even better choice for a curvy bride, as it shows off those curves, without being too tight.

What to watch out for: If you are not looking to show off your shape - opt for a style like a ballgown. Or if you are looking for a very form fitted style, a mermaid may suit your tastes better.

Here are some of our favorites:

01. Off-the-Shoulder Trumpet

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

It is hard not to love this off the shoulder trumpet from Anne Barge. You can see that this trumpet kicks out a little higher up than a mermaid cut would - around the brides low thigh/knee, yet is more dramatic of a flare than a fit and flare cut.

02. Sophisticated Trumpet

Allison Webb
Allison Webb

Allison Webb brings us a sophisticated and structured trumpet gown that is chic and sophisticated. The base of this gown is further accented with a chapel length train.

03. Chic, Sophisticated Trumpet

Isabelle Armstrong
Isabelle Armstrong

This next gown from Isabella Armstrong boarders on Fit & Flare and Trumpet. Fitted through the bodice and hips, the skirt kicks out by the knees for a soft trumpet shaped finish.

04. Corset Trumpet

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

We just love this corset trumpet gown from Anne Barge. Clean, architecturally cut through the bodice and hips, and just the right touch of drama with the seamed trumpet skirt.

05. Lady-Like Trumpet

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

This sophisticated, lady-like trumpet is classy and feminine. Form fitted in just the right places, while also being so flattering.

A-Line

Next we have the most versatile and flattering silhouette of them all! An a-line wedding gown is fitted at the bodice and then flows out. An a-line has a less dramatic skirt than a ballgown and creates more of a subtle "A" shape as it flares out to the ground.

Who is it for: A-line gowns are classic and sophisticated. They will have you feeling like an absolute princess on your big day, without all of the dramatic volume of a ballgown.

What body types does it flatter: A-line gowns flatter everyone and every body. If you have a pear shaped figure, this is going to most likely be your best choice! An A-line will hug the natural curves of your bodice, while camouflaging your lower half in a soft, flattering way.

What to watch out for: If you are in search for a tighter, hip-hugging, hourglass accentuating wedding gown - then an A-line look will most likely not be for you. The soft lines and flattering flow of this gown is most likely not going to give you the sensual look you are searching for.

Here are some of our favorites:

01. Tiered A-Line

Francesca Miranda
Francesca Miranda

We love the tiered layers and the perfect "A" shape of this gorgeous A-line gown from Francesca Miranda.

02. Architectural A-Line

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

This next A-line cut silhouette is elegant with its clean architectural design. A style that is timeless and flattering.

03. Classy A-Line

Anne Barge
Anne Barge

A classy, sophisticated high neck A-line gown that is as stunning as it is flattering.

04. Feminine Ethereal

Costarellos
Costarellos

Next we have a feminine, ethereal A-line wedding gown style that is absolutely dreamy. This look is gorgeous, timeless, and will flatter any body type!

05. Romantic Lace

Costarellos
Costarellos

Get ready for your romantic fairytale garden wedding day with this next A-line silhouette gown. A soft, flattering style that is feminine and sophisticated.

Sheath

Lastly, we have one of our favorite cuts - the sheath. Sheath gowns - also know as column or slip dresses, will fall straight down from neckline to hem. These gowns are typically simple and elegant, with no extra fuss.

Who is it for: A sheath is perfect for a bride that is in search of a no-nonsense style. Sheaths are sleek and elegant, without the extra fluff. With a sheath - what you see is what you get. Sheaths are the dress of choice for beach or destination wedding days because they tend to be lighter and easy to pack!

What body types does it flatter: While sheaths are gorgeous and oh-so appealing, they definitely are not made for everyone. Since sheaths are cut straight down from the neckline to the hem, they aren't very good at hiding much. That being said, a sheath is going to be the best cut for showing off your natural body shape and curves. If you are looking to show off what mama gave you, then a sheath is a great choice.

What to watch out for: With a sheath, the fabric can make or break a style. Thicker fabric is going to be less form fitting, and may hide a bit more - while a lighter fabric is going to hug close to the body and leave very little to the imagination.

Here are some of our favorites:

01. Sleek Crepe Sheath

Jesus Peiro
Jesus Peiro

Jesus Peiro brings us a gorgeous sleek, sophisticated crepe sheath wedding gown. This is a sheath gown with a slightly heavier, more structured fabric that is going to be a bit more flattering on most brides!

02. Satin Sheath

Danielle Frankel
Danielle Frankel

A soft satin sheath gown that lies delicately against the natural curves of the bride.

03. Clean Column

Cushnie
Cushnie

A clean square neck column gown that drapes delicately down the natural curves of the bride.

04. Halter Sheath

Savannah Miller
Savannah Miller

We love the clean, chic design of this crepe column sheath wedding gown. A sophisticated, sexy silhouette that is sure to hug all of your natural curves.

05. Ethereal Sheath

Viktor Rolf
Viktor Rolf

Viktor Rolf shows how to wear a sheath silhouette in an edgy, and flattering way. This gown is cut straight down from neck to hem - but because of the layers of fabric, this sheath pulls away from the body for an ethereal, flattering fit.

By

Looking for your dream wedding dress?

Shop over 50,000 designer dresses up to 90% off on Stillwhite, the world's largest wedding dress marketplace.

Good news, Stillwhite is available in your country. Switch to www.stillwhite.com