Bridal gown shapes and silhouettes are one of the first things you can focus on when shopping for your dream dress. Part of feeling amazing in your gown is directly related to the shape and silhouette of the dress and we are here to help! With several shapes and styles to choose from, it can at times be a little overwhelming to know which is best for you. But not to fear, that’s what we’re here for!
Below you’ll find the different shapes and silhouettes of bridal gowns and also some tips on what might look best on your own body shape. Most importantly however, it will all come down to how you feel in the dress. If it makes you feel amazing, you’re good to go girl! It may sound cheesy, but it’s quite a magical feeling!
Shapes & Silhouettes
The Ballgown –
This shape is considered to be the most traditional and the name almost speaks for itself. A classic shape with nods to gowns for royals and high-borns throughout history. You would be the “belle of the ball.” The gown can also be characterized as a much fuller skirt than any other shape and can sometimes be quite heavy due to having so much fabric. The bodice of the dress will usually be corseted or have strong boning to help hold the dress up. Ballgowns can be strapless or have some sort of strap.
This silhouette is a great choice for almost any body shape, but can look especially great on any pear, triangle or apple shape. The fullness of the skirt helps to balance out your own body shape. Plus, it’s usually pretty comfortable and if there’s any day to feel like Cinderella, it would be your wedding day!
The A-Line –
This a silhouette that if you love the flow of a full skirt like the ballgown, but don’t want the “poof”, we suggest going with an a-line dress. Flowy, comfortable, gorgeous, and did we mention comfortable? This shape is great for an outdoor wedding as it allows for easy movement, lots of dancing and a carefree feel!
This shape is again great for many body types, but evens out a triangular shape and can accentuate a natural waist on a lean figure. Such a graceful look!
The Modified-A –
This shape is not usually found everywhere, but can be a great choice for a bride wanting the comfort and flow of an a-line or ballgown, but still wants their body to show a bit more. Fitted through both the high hip and low hip, it flows immediately out of the low hip to give lots of movement. It can also elongate the body to make you look taller.
This shape is great for triangle and hourglass body types. We love how this style gives a little bit of flirt and sass to the personality of the gown!
The Sheath/Column –
This shape is currently seen in many slip dress style wedding dresses. Only slightly fitted around the waist, the skirt of the gown is structured to go straight down, hence the name, column.
We particularly love this style dress for a petite bride as it really elongates the body and is incredibly graceful. It’s also great for an hourglass bride who doesn’t want to show off too much of her curves. It again lengthens the body with certain sophistication and elegance.
The Fit & Flare –
The fit & flare is super popular style. It can be considered a win win for a bride as it is still fitted enough to both elongate the body, show off your shape and still give your legs room for movement – ie. a girl’s gotta dance the night away on her wedding day! This shape and silhouette is extremely close to a modified a-line and a trumpet style. Kind of the mid-way between the two. Most of our Made With Love dresses can be considered fit & flares for reference.
Personally, we feel like this shape looks amazing on everyone! It’s easy to wear, gives off just enough sexy vibes and allows for you to still be the belle of the ball without all the poof!
The Trumpet –
The trumpet shape is very fitted. It is fitted all along the high and low hip and follows down to about mid-thigh. At this point, it will give off a very pronounced flare. While this will restrict full movement of your legs, it is an absolutely gorgeous shape and is known to show the woman’s body in all her glory. (As will a mermaid shape! More below.)
A trumpet silhouette will look best on tall and slender brides, hourglass glass brides and pear shapes. It will accentuate your lower half as a pear shape body type, but like they say “if you’ve got it, flaunt it!”
The Mermaid –
Our last shape is the mermaid. Sometimes this shape can be referred to as fishtail too, but mermaid sounds so fairytale! This style of dress will most definitely restrict movement and is actually easier to walk in in heels. Depending on the flare of the skirt, which instead of having a poof come right out of the waist like a ballgown, the poof will come out right above the knees. This is a classic wedding dress shape and one that is super flattering!
The mermaid is also great for the same shapes as the trumpet. But as with any of the shapes and silhouettes listed here, whatever you feel the best in is the way to go!
We hope this list helps you and gives you a good foundation to start with when you begin looking for your perfect dress! We have all styles and can’t wait for you to see them!