Getting ready to wedding dress shop but don’t know where to start? Lovely Bride is here to break down dress silhouettes.
Newly engaged babes, are you preparing to shop for your wedding dress but have no idea what you’re into? We at Team Lovely have got your back! Learning about silhouettes is a helpful way to narrow down wedding dress styles that you can envision yourself wearing on the big day.
Elements of a dress’s design such as fit or skirt shape can convey a certain bridal look or mood. Fitted, contoured gowns can be effortlessly sleek, or a little bit sexy. Flowy A-line gowns are romantic, while ballgowns are made for the bride who wants to look glamorous and regal. Voluminous skirts with many layers bring the drama while gowns with no layers can feel minimalistic and modern.
A bride’s fit and comfort preferences on their wedding day can also determine what silhouettes they gravitate to. Certain dress shapes may allow for less or more movement depending on where a dress is fitted or looser – in the bust, waist, hips, and thereon. Some might feel more secure in a fitted, structured gown, others might prefer a looser, slinkier fit. No choice is better over the other – comfort is different for everyone!
Plus, getting an idea of what silhouettes and styles you are inclined to will make the dress shopping experience easier and eliminate any doubts about the dress you ultimately say ‘yes’ to. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else does!
From glamorous ballgowns to chic sheath dresses, Lovely Bride offers a variety of wedding dress silhouettes for every bride. We stock the best designers with the most stylish gowns, including Louvienne, Alexandra Grecco, Sarah Seven, SAINT, Made With Love, Rue De Seine, and Alyne by Rita Vinieris. Once you’ve read up on each bridal silhouette, book an appointment to find your dream wedding dress at a Lovely Bride shop near you. Then, follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to stay in the know on all things Lovely.
Column gowns have a narrow shape and linear structure that flows straight down to the hem. They are modern and effortless, perfect for the sophisticated bride. Column gowns are very similar to sheath dresses (we’ll go into more detail about those next), but are often made of more structured fabrics and have no skirt flare. This silhouette is good for creating or accentuating height. Alexandra Grecco Viola (left) and Sarah Seven Daphne (right) are great examples of the column silhouette.
A sheath gown flows over the body curvature but is less narrow than a column silhouette. It has a snug, contoured fit that elongates the figure with slight flare and minimal or no layers. Sheaths are often made with a less structured fabric than column gowns. Like column gowns, sheaths are modern, comfortable, and look great with or without a train. We love our Louvienne Ayana (left) or NEWHITE Pado (right) for brides looking for sleek sheath styles.
The slip dress is designed to skim closely to the body. This style is perfect for a bride looking to highlight their figure and who prefers a chic, minimalist look. Slip gowns often have a bias cut and delicate straps, and may have small details like a cowl or draping to add some character. The cowl details on our Rue De Seine Wells (left) and Alexandra Grecco Harriet (right) suit the minimal bride.
Fit and Flare
Fit and flare gowns are fitted through the bust, waist, and hips, with a flared skirt. Their skirts flare out with less volume and severity as a mermaid or trumpet silhouette (more on that later), but are a soft and contemporary choice for brides who like a fitted look but don’t want restriction of movement. Louvienne Zuko John (left) and SAINT Emmett (right) represent this silhouette well with their fitted bodice and hip areas and soft flare in their skirts.
Mermaid or Trumpet
Mermaid and trumpet gowns are easily recognized due to their dramatic skirt flare. While they are very similar, there is a slight variation in the fit of the gown before the skirt flare that differentiates the two. Mermaid gowns are snugly contoured so they emphasize the waist and hips, as seen with Sarah Seven Cole (left – coming soon!). Trumpet gowns, on the other hand, have a straighter fit from the chest down and are less fitted in the hips before the skirt flare compared to mermaid gowns, as seen with Alyne Noella (right). Both silhouettes are perfect for brides who want to show off their curves and who seek a glamorous look for their big day.
The A-line silhouette is characterized by a flowy skirt that gradually flares out from the waist, creating the shape of an ‘A’, hence its name. They are one of the most flattering and comfortable silhouettes and have always been a top choice for brides. This silhouette looks great on every body shape and is perfect for the bride who wants to draw attention to their bust and waist. Louvienne Adler (left) is the perfect A-line gown for a playful yet modern look, while Rue De Seine Nevada (right) is great for the free-spirited bride.
The ballgown silhouette is characterized by a very fitted top with very full skirt. The difference between a ballgown versus an A-line gown is that ballgowns have major contrast between the contoured top and voluminous skirt, whereas A-line skirts are flowier. If the words ‘princess’, ‘fairytale’, ‘regal’, and ‘opulent’ are on your wedding moodboard, this silhouette is for you. Perfect for brides who like a vintage or traditional nod, ballgowns bring the drama, from Made With Love Florence (left) to SAINT Cole (right).