Wedding Gowns 101: Learn the Silhouettes

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Congratulations! You’ve found the partner of your dreams – now it’s time to find the perfect dress.

Wedding gown shopping can seem overwhelming at first, but doing your research to know what styles, and terminology, to ask for when you walk through the door for that first appointment helps. Here’s a quick and easy guide to breakdown the various wedding gown silhouettes, and which body types are ideal for each style. 

silhouette glossary

Sketch credit: June Letters Studio

Ball Gown: The true “princess” dress. The ball gown has a fitted bodice and a full skirt. Ideal for most body types, but can be overwhelming on petites with very small frames.  

Check out 50+ Beautiful Wedding Ballgowns ► 

Sottero and Midgley Bardot
Sottero and Midgley – Bardot

Maggie Sottero Ball Gown
Maggie Sottero – Zinaida

A-Line: Slightly more flowy than a ball gown, A-lines have fitted bodices through the waist and cascade out towards the ground, resembling the outline of an uppercase “A.” Ideal for all body types.

Check out 50 Ultra-Elegant A-Line Wedding Dresses ►

Maggie Sottero A-Line Carmella Gown
Maggie Sottero – Carmela

Rebecca Ingram Astrid A-Line Gown

Rebecca Ingram – Astrid 

Trumpet/Fit-and-Flare: Literally “fit-and-flare:” fitted through the body and flairs out mid-thigh. This cut is between a modified a-line and a mermaid cut. Ideal for brides looking to accentuate a small waist. Think: hourglass figures and petites. 

Maggie Sottero Fit-and-Flare

Maggie Sottero – Abbie-Lynette

Sottero and Midgley Atherton

Sottero and Midgley  – Atherton

Mermaid: Sleek and sexy. Fitted on the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out close to the knee. Ideal for brides looking to show off their curves.

 Check out 50 Mermaid Dresses That’ll Make You Weak in the Knees ►

Sottero and Midgley Warner

Sottero and Midgley – Warner

Maggie Sottero Mermaid Gown

Maggie Sottero – Camden

Sheath/Column: A narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem. Ideal for lean frames, and athletic body types. Also great for hourglasses who are looking to flaunt their curves! 

Check out 40 Stunning Wedding Sheaths ►

Maggie Sottero Sheath
Maggie Sottero – Claudia-Dawn

Maggie Sottero Sheath

Maggie Sottero – Darshana 

Jumpsuit: A one-piece garment, with the bottom falling into either trousers or shorts. Great for all body types!

Maggie Sottero Jumpsuit
Maggie Sottero – Milan

Explore more gowns in every silhouette at

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