A common question we get from brides, especially those who come in and aren't sure where to start on their journey to find the perfect wedding dress, is the difference between each silhouette. It's a totally valid question: after all, some silhouettes only have minor differences from one another that make a big impact on the shape of the dress. To help brides have a better idea of silhouettes, we've wrote a helpful description of each and what we love about each shape.
The A-line silhouette has been around for years—your grandmother probably wore this silhouette at her own wedding, and it's remained a staple in bridal design for good reason. A-line dresses are fitted through the bodice, and flare out from the waist into a full skirt. The start of the skirt slims your waist and is flattering on everyone, making it an extremely popular choice among brides. The A-line silhouette is a timeless classic, and can be adapted for every bride's style, from chic modern simplicity to all-over lace boho to fluffy princess-like charm.
Much like an A-line silhouette, the ball gown is fitted to the waist, then the skirt begins. The key difference is the fullness of the skirt—whereas an A-line flares gently, a ball gown brings a bit more drama. This shape is perfect for brides who love the princess-like bridal look, as most designs have large, airy skirts that give the illusion of floating as you walk. Ball gown wedding dresses are perfect for brides who like to make a statement while looking feminine and elegant.
Sheath silhouettes are similar to both the A-line and ball gown from the waist up, but the similarities end there. Unlike the flowing, full skirts of those silhouettes, sheath dresses simply continue straight down past the hip rather than flaring out. This silhouette can be simple and uncomplicated, or it can carry gorgeously intricate designs like this Sottero and Midgley dress. This understated shape makes this silhouette incredibly versatile, and perfect for brides who don't want a full skirt but are a bit wary of the fitted bodices of other silhouettes.
Fit and Flare
Fit and flare wedding dresses have had a huge surge of popularity in recent years, and it's easy to see why. This silhouette is fitted through the hips, and the skirt does not begin until mid-way down the thigh. The fitted bodice and flared skirt combine to create gorgeous curves, highlighting the bride's figure and making a dramatic statement. Often, the skirt ends in a gorgeous train, which can be everything from a romantic lace look to something on the more modern side like this Sophia Tolli wedding dress. Figure flattering and stunning, fit and flare dresses are perfect for all brides, from women looking for laid-back, bohemian styles to women seeking bold, chic statement gowns.
Similar to the fit and flare, mermaid dresses are fitted through the hips. The key difference is where the skirt starts—on a mermaid dress, the skirt begins slightly lower at the knee, but flares just as much. This usually means the skirt has a more dramatic shape and is more structured than a fit and flare. With a mermaid dress, you get all of the figure flattering curves of a fit and flare, but with a bit more drama. The change is very subtle, but noticeable. This shape is perfect for brides who love the look of a fit and flare but want to make a bit more of a statement.