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Gown Silhouettes

When beginning their wedding dress journey, many brides struggle with deciding which shape is right for them… or even just knowing what their options are! 

Below are some of the most common silhouette shapes for gowns:

  1. A-line

  2. Ballgown 

  3. Fit to Flare 

  4. Column 

  5. Empire 

  6. Mermaid 

So… what do all these terms mean? Let’s examine one shape at a time. 

A-Line: A favorite for many women, this style is great for brides who want their romantic, fairytale moment without all the volume and drama of a ballgown. A-line gowns are fitted in the bodice through your natural waist and then flare out softly to create an "A" shape. 

Ballgown: Ball gowns are fitted through your natural waist or your hip, and then flare out dramatically for that true hourglass, princess look. Picture a true Cinderella dress with a train that wows, and you have your classic ball gown. 

Fit to Flare: If you know that you want a dress that shows more of your frame, fit to flare may  be for you! Like the name, it is fitted through the bust, waist, and hip to highlight the bride’s natural shape. After hugging the hip, the gown flows before usually having a pleat or seam where the skirt will flare back out. 

Column: These are figure-hugging garments that have a long and slim silhouette. This type of dress is designed to flatter your body's natural curves and bring out the best in you. Essentially, it will highlight your natural waist and hip, then simply drop straight and gently after the hip.

Empire: The dress has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance, and a gathered skirt which is long and loosely fitting but skims the body rather than being supported by voluminous petticoats. Think – “Bridgerton”.

Mermaid:  A mermaid fit dress is a type of fit-and-flare dress that is fitted even below the knee and flares out like a mermaid's tail. The style is characterized by a fitted silhouette that hugs the body from the chest down to the knees or mid-thighs, where the skirt flares out dramatically. Mermaid dresses are often made in stiffer fabrics like lace and satin, and sometimes even crepe.

Try to be open to trying many different silhouettes, as you never know what style might surprise you! 


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