Wedding Dress Silhouettes 

Wedding Dress Silhouettes 

When it comes to wedding dresses, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Bridal gowns come in an array of shapes and silhouettes, all which feature their own distinct personality and sense of style. It doesn’t matter if you’d prefer an over-the-top princess look or prefer something sleek and sophisticated – there’s sure to be a wedding dress silhouettes that brings your wedding day vision to life and flatters your body type in the process.

 

Sheath Wedding Dresses

Characteristics

Wedding Dress Silhouettes infographic

Sheath wedding dresses are lightweight dresses with no horizontal seam at the waistline. Instead, they usually feature long, vertical princess seams that extend from the bust all the way to the skirt. These types of dresses show off a woman’s figure and make her look incredibly sleek.

 

Overall Appearance

 

This type of wedding dress silhouettes is ideal for any woman with an effortless elegance. They have a slightly vintage-inspired sense of style thanks to their clean lines and uninterrupted silhouette. Where other types of wedding dresses can look juvenile, sheath dresses maintain a look that is refined, sophisticated, and statuesque.

 

Looks Best On…

Slender or Athletic Body Types

 

Sheath dresses look the best on women who are tall, slender, or athletic. This is due to the fact that there is no inherent structure or defined waistline on gowns with this silhouette. Sheath dresses tend to show everything – which unfortunately means they will highlight any perceived “imperfection” that you may have as well. Women with larger busts or fuller figures will also find that wearing supportive undergarments is difficult under delicate sheath dresses.

 

How To Style It

 

Sheath dresses maintain a vintage-inspired elegance that is quietly sophisticated. They look best when paired with simple vintage earrings or a pendant necklace. Style your hair in a loose updo so that your hair doesn’t interrupt the lines created by the gown’s slimming seams.

 

 

Empire Waist Wedding Dresses

Characteristics

 

Empire waist wedding dresses feature a horizontal seam that sits directly below the bustline. This emphasizes a woman’s breasts while also lengthening the lines of her body. The fitted bodices on these types of dresses often are accompanied by square or V-shaped necklines as well as delicate cap sleeves.

 

Overall Appearance

 

Romantic, whimsical, and delicate, empire waist bridal gowns have a unique point of view. Their shape references the Regency Period – a time in the early 1800s where fashion was inspired by the effortless silhouettes worn by women during the Greek and Roman era. Incredibly ladylike, there is something also very bohemian about this silhouette that appeals to women with a free-spirited sense of style.

 

Looks Best On…

Athletic or Pear-Shaped Body Types

 

Empire wedding dresses soften athletic body types, which tend to be straighter and more square. Similarly, pear shaped women will appreciate the way that this type of dress emphasizes their bust without simultaneously highlighting their hips.

 

How To Style It

 

There are two distinct ways to style this type of bridal gown. The first is to reference the regality of the Regency Era. For this type of look, opt for a jeweled crown or hairpiece, vintage-inspired jewelry, and a curled up-do. If you would prefer to keep your look simple and bohemian, stay away from too much sparkle. A flower crown or floral accents in a half-updo will make you feel like a fairy princess.

 

 

A-Line Wedding Dresses

 

Characteristics

 

As the name suggests, A-line wedding dresses have a full skirt that resembles the shape of a capital letter “A.” This type of silhouette has a horizontal seam that is designed to showcase a woman’s natural waistline. They closely resemble a ballgown, but tend to be less structured and voluminous.

 

Overall Appearance

 

A-line dresses are ideal for brides who want to maintain a classy appearance without any of the fuss. Lightweight and easy to wear, A-line wedding dresses have a certain sense of timelessness. With that said, they are also effortless and ideal for brides who want to enjoy their wedding day to its fullest.

 

Looks Best On…

Busty, Hourglass, or Pear-Shaped Body Types

 

A-line dresses are a staple in the bridal world for a reason. Virtually any woman with any body type can find an A-line dress that complements her figure. The soft slope of the skirt is ideal for women with pear-shaped figures who don’t want to draw extra attention to their hips. Similarly, busty women will appreciate the way that this silhouette balances their proportions both above and below their waistline.

 

How To Style It

 

A-line dresses perfectly toe the line between simple and dramatic. Keep the accessories minimalistic (a necklace or earrings, but probably not both) and select a romantic hair piece to elevate your up-do. If you decide to wear a veil, make sure it is simple and only features a single layer of sheer material.

 

 

Ballgown Wedding Dresses 

Characteristics

 

Ballgown style dresses feature full skirts that are often made of soft fabrics like tulle or organza. Underneath the skirt’s overlay you’ll find multiple layers of stiff crinoline, which give the skirt its volume. This type of dress almost always features a defined horizontal seam that is designed to sit directly at a woman’s natural waistline, highlighting the smallest part of her body and separating the structured bodice from the billowing skirt below.

 

Overall Appearance

 

When most people think of a traditional wedding day look, they envision a ballgown. This timeless silhouette has been the most popular style of bridal gown since women first started wearing them in the Victorian Era. If you have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were a little girl, chances are you will feel right at home wearing a ballgown while walking down the aisle.

 

Looks Best On…

Full-Figured, Hourglass, Busty, or Pear-Shaped Body Types

 

Ballgown style wedding dresses flatter virtually everyone. Both full-figured and athletic women love the way that these types of dresses give them an instant hourglass figure. Women with either a large bust or larger hips will appreciate the way that this silhouette effortlessly balances their proportions. No matter your figure, you can pull off a ballgown style dress while feeling like a fairytale princess in the process.

 

How To Style It

 

When it comes to accessories, almost anything goes. If you are more of a minimalist, a sparkling pair of earrings is all you need. If you want to feel like royalty, the larger-than-life nature of these wedding dresses mean that a statement necklace or other jeweled accessories look perfectly appropriate. There is a certain sense of tradition that these dresses embody, so wearing a veil is also very flattering. Any veil that is finger-tip length or longer will disappear into the skirt and create a romantic wedding day look that will take everyone’s breath away.

 

 

Mermaid Wedding Dresses

Characteristics

 

Mermaid dresses have a distinct and dramatic sense of style. These types of bridal gowns pair a form-fitting bodice with a skirt that flares out beneath a woman’s natural waistline. Mermaid dresses differ only slightly from “Fit & Flare” or “Trumpet” wedding dresses. The latter features a more gradual, seamless transition between the bodice and the flared skirt. A true mermaid-style dress will include a horizontal seam that separates the bodice from the skirt, which is usually located at the mid-thigh.

 

Overall Appearance

 

Glamorous brides who want to be remembered for their wedding day look will feel spectacular in a mermaid style dress. Perfect for any woman who isn’t afraid of making a statement, these types of wedding dresses are fabulous and unforgettable.

 

Looks Best On…

Slender or Hourglass Body Types

 

Mermaid dresses are notoriously difficult to wear. Because they put the body’s curves completely on display, they are the most flattering on slender brides or full-figured brides with obvious hourglass figures. These dresses are also designed for brides who are on the taller side – petite brides will find that a horizontal seam at their thigh will make them appear shorter than they already are.

 

How To Style It

 

If you are wearing a mermaid wedding dress, it’s safe to say you are anything but subtle. If you want your curves to be the main event, simple accessories are a better choice. Just like ballgowns, however, these types of dresses have an over-the-top sense of style that also allows for large, dramatic pieces of jewelry. If you want to go extra glam with your look, pile on the sparkles wherever you see fit.

 

 

Tea-Length Wedding Dresses

Characteristics

 

While other dresses on this list were defined by their overall shape, tea-length wedding dresses are characterized by their length alone. A dress with a hemline that hits anywhere from the mid-calf to the ankle is considered a “tea length” style. This cropped length is usually only seen on wedding dresses that also have a fuller skirt, such as A-line or Ballgown dresses.

 

Overall Appearance

 

Tea-length dresses have a wonderfully retro point of view. This style of wedding dress first became popular in the 1950s and 1960s – when worn in the modern day, they’re a charming way to reference the past while also setting yourself apart.

 

Looks Best On…

Petite, Full-Figured, or Hourglass Body Types

 

Not everyone can pull off an ankle-length wedding dress. Tall, slender women will find that this length “shortens” them and plays with their proportions in an unflattering way. Petite or full figured brides, however, will discover that this type of dress is incredibly flattering. A retro dress with a full, tea-length skirt will highlight their best assets and emphasize their curvier figures in the best way possible.

 

How To Style It

 

Tea-length wedding dresses have a personality that is all their own. Play up their retro charm by adding darling accessories that also reference mid-century style. In your hair, a pill-box hat or a birdcage veil is an easy choice. Elbow-length or wrist-length gloves are also perfectly appropriate. And for your jewelry, don’t be afraid to stick to a simple strand of pearls.


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