Let’s talk about wedding dress silhouettes! Understanding the differences in wedding dresses can be like learning a new language! With thousands of dresses to choose from and lots of new terminology, starting the search for your dream dress can feel a little bit overwhelming – so, we are here to help!

We want each of our brides to feel confident in her dress search, even if she doesn’t know exactly what her style preferences are, so that we can best serve and come alongside her in her journey. We also believe that, though there are certain shapes and necklines that can help flatter a specific body type, every bride’s perfect dress is the one that makes her feel the most beautiful, and that is what we are here to find! So, read along as we break down the different wedding dress silhouettes, or shapes, and why we love each of them!

Mermaid

A sultry, glamorous look, the mermaid silhouette hugs tightly throughout the bodice and dramatically flares out at the knee (hence the mermaid-tail effect!). This shape is typically paired with structure inside the gown to ensure you feel snug and secure as you walk down the aisle. The skirt can be embellished with tulle, ruffles, or sparkle and can come in many different styles! Maggie Sottero has a gorgeous array of mermaid dresses that are sure to stun on your big day!

Fit-and-Flare

Also known as “trumpet”, this shape is characterized by its fitted bodice which gently flares out at the mid-thigh into a slightly more flowy skirt. This shape shows off the bride’s figure, hugging her curves and providing subtle shape, while remaining comfortable and loose in the legs so that you can feel free to dance the night away! Some of our favorite fit-and-flare gowns come from our designer, Lillian West, and many of them are even lined with jersey, keeping your gown stretchy and oh-so comfortable. Many of our brides even say these dresses feel like wearing pajamas!

Sheath

In between fitted and flowy, this modern, elegant silhouette is a simple way to show off some of your shape without too much drama. Fabric on sheath gowns delicately graces your curves without tightly hugging, providing gentle shape while also remaining somewhat loose and romantic. This shape elongates and slims and looks especially lovely in simple, silk fabrics! Our favorite sheath gowns come from the newest Maggie Sottero collection and are perfectly on-trend!

A-line

Flowy, flirty, and oh-so romantic, a-line gowns form the shape of an “A” with a fitted bodice up to the waistline which then flows out into a twirly skirt. A-line skirts are often made from tulle, English net, or organza, and provide the opportunity for endless personalization and detail. Slimmer than a ballgown, these dresses are light-as-air and are the most universally flattering wedding dress silhouette. Our favorite A-line dresses come from the Lillian West Collection and are perfect in any setting, from a mountain elopement to a garden soiree!

Ball gown

The classic princess shape, ball gowns are characterized by their fitted bodice into the waistline and flare out into a voluminous skirt for a true fairytale look. The amount of “fluff” in a ballgown skirt can vary, as it is layers of crinoline that add the volume, and can also be added or removed in alterations to customize your look. Justin Alexander designs classically elegant ballgowns that are sure to make your wedding day dreams come to life!

Now that you’re a pro at wedding wedding dress silhouettes, you can begin your search with a little bit of knowledge on what your dream dress looks like! The next step is to book your Bridal Appointment where you can let us know all about what kind of wedding dress you’re looking for. At your 2-hour appointment in your very own Private Bridal Suite, your master stylist will guide you through shopping our 6+ closets of over 300 wedding dresses to find the one! We would love to help you say yes to your dress – you can book your very own appointment here!

XO,

AGB

Hawaii wedding elopement