Wedding Ideas

A primer to different wedding dress styles

Posted At : February 19, 2017 2:44 PM   |  Posted By : Bridal Network   |  Views: 574
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We aren't exaggerating when we say that wedding dress shopping is one of the most important and challenging wedding planning tasks for a bride. Your wedding dress is the defining factor of your wedding day look and you must choose it carefully.

Most brides are unfamiliar with the confusing world of wedding fashion. Hence, Best for Bride suggests that you do your research before you set foot in a bridal shop.

Join us as we look at the right approach to wedding dress shopping and help you navigate your way to the perfect wedding gown.

Wedding dress silhouettes

"Silhouette" refers to the shape that your body achieves when you wear a certain dress style. It is the defining factor of any dress and hence the perfect starting point to begin your research on wedding dresses.

Here are the typical wedding dress silhouettes you will come across.

Ball gown

Ball gowns have a fitted bodice and a dramatic, voluminous skirt. The skirt looks buoyant and fluffy and is the statement factor of the entire dress. Although ball gowns look great on most body types, avoid it if you are petite or curvy.


The classic A-line silhouette is fashioned like the letter "A." A-line dresses have a fitted bodice that continues into a full skirt beyond the hips. This style flatters most body types and is a safe choice for all brides.


Trumpet silhouettes are straight all the way down from the bodice to the hips. The flared skirt starts at mid-thigh and extends to full length, forming a trumpet-like shape. This style looks good on slender women but should be avoided by straight body types and brides with fuller figures.


The mermaid silhouette is very similar to the trumpet. However, the skirt flares outwards only at the knees, and hence is more dramatic. It looks amazing on hourglass body types but should be avoided by brides with a bulky mid-sections and hips.

Fit and flare

This wedding dress silhouette has a fitted bodice and a layered skirt that begins at the waistline. The skirt is layered to add bulk to the lower half.


This classy and elegant silhouette falls straight, following the natural body curves from top to bottom. It creates the illusion of a curvy figure if you have a straight body type.

Wedding dresses by body type

Now that you are familiar with the different wedding dress silhouettes, the next step is finding dresses that flatter your figure. To do this, you should first identify your body type and extend your search to silhouettes that are recommended for your natural shape.

Here are the different body types and the recommended dress silhouettes for each of them.


If you are apple-shaped, your upper body comprising of the shoulder and bust will be broader than the lower body. To balance out your figure, the trick is to choose silhouettes that add bulk to your lower half.

Recommended dress styles: A-line dresses and ball gowns


Pear-shaped women have a thicker waistline and lower body, while the upper body is smaller in comparison. The best silhouettes for this body type will highlight the slender proportions of the upper half while concealing a thicker abdomen area and hips.

Recommended dress styles: Ball gown and A-line dresses


This body type has balanced top and bottom halves and a defined waistline. Hourglass women can carry off most wedding dress silhouettes. However, they look best in dresses that emphasize their slender waistline and show off natural curves.

Recommended dress styles: Mermaid, Fit and flare, sheath


Women with straight body types have similar proportions in the top and bottom halves and the waistline is not very evident. Choose dresses that create the illusion of curves if you have a straight body type.

Recommended dress styles: Ball gown, sheath and A-line.

So, you are now aware of the type of wedding dress silhouettes that are suitable for your specific body type. Limit your wedding dress search to just these styles and it will turn out to be a lot easier.

Now, moving on to the shopping part, here are some pointers to keep in mind.

  • Fix your dress budget first and locate boutiques that carry dresses in this price range. Ensure that they have good reviews, so you are guaranteed a good shopping experience.
  • Although you may have an idea of what you want, it never hurts to try other styles. Trust your bridal consultant and try her suggestions. You may end up loving a dress you never expected to.
  • Take your time to make your decision. Buy a dress only if you are convinced it is right.

Although wedding dress shopping is challenging, proper planning can take the mystery out of the process. So, it never hurts to be prepared. For more in-depth explanations of wedding dress silhouettes and how to choose them based on body type, visit this detailed guide at Best for Bride and learn all that you need to handle this task with ease.

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