Wedding Dress Styles
Get silhouette smart!
I am all about research and preparation. If I’m going to a new restaurant, I head to Yelp first to get the low down (of course, taking everything with a grain of salt – Yelp always has a few unnecessarily rough reviews)! If I’m driving somewhere new, hitting up Google Maps in advance helps me find the best route. Back in school, I used to relish in my perfectly organized and highlighted notes. So yeah, long story short, I’m a big nerd. Another time that dorkiness came in handy was when it came time to shop for my bridal gown. I had magazine cut outs (I shopped in 2010 PP – Pre-Pinterest) and my buzz words ready to go. For me those words were “mermaid”, “fit and flare”, and “texture.” Most brides, though, don’t come armed with my prior knowledge of all things bridal; I had already been working for Flair for a couple of years at that point. So, for today’s blog we’re going to do a brief overview of the main bridal gown silhouettes so that all of you can head into your appointments with your fit buzz words at the ready!
1) Mermaid – Much as its name implies, a mermaid gown tends to be very fitted through about the knee, then it flares out in a dramatic, tail-like fashion…just picture a pretty, not at all oceany tail. This is a good choice for the bride who is looking for a sexy, fitted style, and one who doesn’t mind a more restricting, tight feel.
This gown is probably not for: The bride who is self-conscious of her hips. A mermaid gown puts your hips on display, so be ready to rock them!
2) Fit and Flare – If you like the idea of a mermaid but want to take it down a notch, then a fit and flare gown may be your best bet. Sometimes called a trumpet gown, this style is also fitted with a flare at the bottom (hense the name), but unlike the mermaid the flare is a little less pronounced/dramatic and tends to hit below the knee.
This gown is probably not for: The bride looking for an uber fitted look/feel. Fit and flares are not designed to be skin-tight!
3) Ballgown – You know our girl Cinderalla? She wore a ballgown. So, if you want to create your own princess look you should take a cue from her! Ballgowns typically have a fitted top that sits at the natural waist and then poofs out in the fullest, most voluminous skirt on the bridal market.
This gown is probably not for: The shorter bride. Generally, the fuller the dress, the shorter they make you appear.
4) A-line – If you like the fullness that a ballgown has, but don’t want to take it quite that big, then you should definitely try an a-line gown. Similar to a ballgown, a-lines usually have a fitted top/waist and then a full skirt. A-lines, however, generally lack the layers upon layers of tulle underneath the skirt, which makes the skirt full but not nearly as much so as a ballgown.
This gown is probably not for: The bride looking to make a huge statement. A-line gowns tend to lean towards the more subdued side of the bridal gown spectrum.
5) Sheath – If simplicity is your game, then sheaths are for you! Straight, sleek and clean, these gowns typically come without the weighty trappings of other silhouettes. There is little volume in the skirt and generally no train, so if you’re looking for comfort above all else then you should definitely give these a try!
This gown is probably not for: The bride who wants to hide her tummy. Sheaths tend to cling to the body and almost always require a shaper underneath, so be ready for that!
Once you know your desired style/fit, it’s time to consider the length. Most brides these days are still opting for the traditional floor length, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique and modern, you can always go for a tea-length (typically mid-calf) or knee-length design.
What do you think?? Feel prepared to head into your gown appointments? It’s not as overwhelming as you may think, and if you go to a top-notch boutique (coughFLAIRcough) the consultants are always there to help! Happy shopping 🙂