Gown Silhouettes: What You Should Know Before You Shop

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Gown Silhouettes: What You Should Know Before You Shop

Shopping for a wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, so it’s understandable that most people don’t know the ins and outs of choosing one. One of the major things that you need to look for is something you might not have known about at all — the silhouette. The silhouette of a gown is the shape or the outline of the gown, and most people may not know exactly what they want to wear, but they’ll know the general shape that they like.

Ballgown

For most people, a ballgown is what they think of when they think of a wedding dress. Ballgowns feature a tight bodice top with a full skirt that flairs outwards. Ballgowns are a “classic” style that looks good on nearly anyone, which is why they are one of the most popular types of dress. They are a full type of dress that will add a lot of drama and flair, but they may not be the right choice for a bride who wants a more contemporary look. Ballgown dresses are particularly good for “pear-shaped” brides.

A-Line

A-line dresses are similar to ballgowns in that they have a fitted bodice as well, but while the ballgown flairs outwards in a bell-shaped fashion, an A-line dress has sleeker lines that form an uppercase “A” or triangle. A-line dresses, like ballgowns, are great for any body shape, and they have generally less material than a standard ballgown. A modified A-line dress will also fit snuggly at the hips.

A-line dresses are similar to ballgowns in that they have a fitted bodice as well, but while the ballgown flairs outwards in a bell-shaped fashion, an A-line dress has sleeker lines that form an uppercase "A" or triangle. Ballgowns feature a tight bodice top with a full skirt that flairs outwards. Ballgowns are a "classic" style that looks good on nearly anyone, which is why they are one of the most popular types of dress.

Trumpet

Trumpet dresses have a tightly fitted bodice and curve around the hips, flaring out into a skirt only just before the knees. The trumpet gives the curve-hugging appearance of a “mermaid” cut with the flared skirt of an A-line. Trumpet dresses are ideal for those who have a natural hourglass shape, but not ideal for those who have a pear shape or an apple shape.

Mermaid Dresses

Mermaid dresses are much like an exaggerated trumpet. They are form fitting until around the knees and flare out close to or below the knee, creating a small flair at the bottom and a curve-hugging profile above. Like trumpet dresses, mermaid dresses are perfect for those with an hourglass shape or generally petite brides.

Sheath Dresses

Sheath wedding dresses have become popular for those who want a more contemporary or modern look. A sheath dress is a narrow dress that flows straight down. On those who are hourglass shaped or who have a narrow frame, sheath dresses are extremely appealing.

So what’s the best shape for your body type? If you’re an hourglass shape, trumpet dresses, mermaid dresses, and A-line dresses will do the most to accentuate your curves. If you’re an apple shape, ballgown style dresses and A-line dresses will often look best on you. For pear shapes, ballgown dresses and a-lines are usually best. For more narrow figures, trumpet dresses, mermaid dresses, and sheath dresses may be most suitable. But, of course, the only way you can really tell is by trying them on!

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