Types and Styles of Wedding Dresses

by Karen

Finding your perfect wedding dress can be a magical moment. And the journey to finding that One Dress is often just as exciting! Hopping from one bridal boutique to another, ruffling through endless rows of dresses in an array of different styles is one of the best parts of wedding planning.

But it can also be taxing if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for.

There’s a whole range of silhouettes and styles available for your body type. Between that and an unfamiliarity with the names of different fabrics, sleeve styles, and necklines, picking the right dress can seem overwhelming.

What if we told you it doesn’t have to be that hard?

Whether you want the elegance of a classic A-line or the drama of a poufy, ruffled wedding dress, this guide will help you find the One Dress that you’ll happily say yes to!


What are the Different Types of Wedding Dresses: Decoded

The bridal wear market was valued at $10.44 billion in 2021. And this number is only going to grow, with increased disposable income and a move toward the latest trends.

What does this mean for you? More options in styles, sizes, textures, and finishes!

While each wedding silhouette has its fair share of admirers, here are 7 types of wedding dress styles 2023 that have consistently been the top picks among brides.


A-line wedding gown style

A-line is a popular wedding gown style. It’s a slightly more flowy version of a ball gown. It has a fitted bodice cinched at the waist and gradually flares out over the hip to the hemline, resembling the capital letter “A”.

This silhouette is an excellent choice for those with pear-shaped bodies, as it takes attention away from the hips while leading the eyes to the waistline and bust.

It’s a classic style that works well with any neckline, fabric, or sleeve style to provide the most flattering fit for all body shapes and sizes. It’s also comfortable to move around in and can be paired with high heels to add more dimension.

Ball Gown

Ball gowns wedding styles

The ball gown is another classic silhouette that has dominated the wedding dress market for decades.

Featuring a fitted bodice and a fluffed-up full layered skirt, this is one style that’ll make you feel like royalty. It is best suited for traditional church or chapel weddings, although you can also wear it outdoors by dropping the train from the design.

This silhouette gives the appearance of a cinched waistline while camouflaging the hips. It looks best on taller frames as the volume of the skirt can look too large on petite or short people.


Sheath or column dress flows straight and narrow from the neckline

A sheath or column dress flows straight and narrow from the neckline to the hem. It has a body-hugging silhouette that looks effortlessly stunning on tall, slender figures, hourglass frames, and athletic body types.

Although those with big hips may want to avoid it as it can look uncomfortably tight or stretched out.

But if your heart’s set on this style, you can still tweak the design and materials to make it suit you better.

For instance, those with a more voluptuous figure can add an embellished belt to define the waist and soften the overall look. Or you may even opt for a side slit to draw attention toward your legs.


White empire style wedding dress

The empire style cinches the waist just below the bust to highlight the decollete. The rest of the dress is long and free-flowing to the hem.

It’s perfect for brides with apple or rectangular body shapes or those wanting to draw attention away from their waist and hips. Instead, it emphasizes the bust and lengthens the appearance of your legs.

This silhouette brings comfort to the fore, making it perfect for brides who look forward to claiming the dance floor!


Mermaid or fishtail wedding dress

A mermaid or fishtail wedding dress hugs the length of your body and flares out below the knee, creating an ethereal look while showing off your curves. But it must be made with the right fabric or it will highlight your body in all the wrong ways.

This silhouette can create the perfect hourglass shape on petite women and can be paired with shapewear to achieve that same effect on everybody else.

Expert tip: Pair it with a long train to take this look to the next level.


White tea-length dress for wedding party

The tea-length dress has a hemline that stops between the ankle and the knee. If you love embracing a vintage style, this is the dress for you!

It can also be paired with different styles, such as a fit-and-flare silhouette or a fitted dress.

This ankle-grazing silhouette is an unconventional choice but perfect for intimate, carefree celebrations.


White trumpet style wedding dress for wedding party

The trumpet style has a fit-and-flare silhouette that’s often mistaken for the mermaid cut — the difference is that the flare in a trumpet share begins mid-thigh. It is fitted through the chest and waist and flares below the thigh to create a dramatic effect.

It’s perfect for brides who want to accentuate their curves and is considered a particularly good fit for slender frames and hourglass figures.


How Do I Choose a Wedding Dress for My Body Type?

When picking a wedding dress for your big day, pick a style that draws attention to all the right places.

Not sure how to choose a wedding dress to best suit your proportions? We’ve compiled a short guide for wedding dress styles for body types that you may struggle with:

  • If you have an hourglass figure, lean toward the mermaid, sheath, or fit-and-flare silhouettes. A sweetheart or plunge neckline will also complement your proportions, and you can add a belt to enhance your tiny waist.
  • If you have an oval shape, look for dresses that flow through the midsection, such as A-line. Go for deeper necklines to draw attention to the bust.
  • If you have a pear shape, opt for A-line, empire, or ball gown silhouettes with lots of detailing around the neckline. They will balance your torso and bust, taking attention away from your bottom.
  • If you have a rectangle shape, sheath, A-line, or empire dresses are great choices. They will create an illusion of a more curvy figure, especially when paired with a sash or belt.
  • If you have a triangle shape, go for A-line or ball gown dresses. They’ll make your lower half appear narrower than it is.

Feel free to play around with different necklines and silhouettes to find a dress that makes you feel confident as you walk down the aisle.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the types of wedding gowns for plus-size brides?

Ball gowns, A-lines, or sheath dresses are some of the best wedding dress styles for plus size brides. They can show as much or as little skin as they want by trying different necklines and sleeve lengths to make the dress uniquely theirs.

What is the best fabric for wedding dresses?

Tulle and chiffon consistently rank as the best materials for wedding dresses. However, it wouldn’t hurt to explore polyester satin, organza, crepe, silk, georgette, or lace, depending on the type of wedding dress you want.

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