Dress Silhouettes 101

I’ve always been enamored by the construction of a wedding gown and how much work goes into the overall design process.  Everything from the silhouette of the gown to the small, intricate details, and the use of carefully chosen fabrics make my heart sing.  Each designer is so unique that it’s almost impossible to not fall in love with at least one dress.

My favorite class in college was the History of Fashion Designers.  I loved it so much that for a split second there I considered going back to school to become a college professor so that I could teach the history of fashion and design to other students. ;) I loved learning about some of the most influential designers who shaped the fashions that are still found in society today.  Over the years, I’ve become fascinated with the history behind the wedding gown and what it symbolizes.  The wedding gown has come a long way and can practically be made into the color of the rainbow if your heart desires!

The selection of the gown is one of my most favorite pieces when planning a wedding.  Maybe it’s due to the fact that selling wedding gowns is how my love for the industry evolved.  Either way, it is such a beautiful moment that should be cherished.

Selecting a gown can be quite overwhelming especially if it’s your first time, so I’ve provided a simple description of the various gown silhouettes.

Ball Gown

Fitted bodice, flairs at the waist with a full skirt. Ideal for most body types and hides the lower part of your body so if you aren’t a fan of that part, then the ball gown might be for you. If you have a small waist, the ball gown will really show that feature.  Not the best for petites as the skirt can be overwhelming on a small frame.


Fitted bodice through the waist and flows out to the ground, resembling the outline of an “A”.  Flattering for most body types and most brides find this fit to be comfortable.

Modified A-Line

Fitted on the bodice and hips and gradually flares down to the hem, creating an “A” shape. The skirt is considered slightly modified in comparison to the traditional A-line dress because it hugs closer to the body/hips than a tradition A-line.  Flatters most body types and is a bit more fitted through the body/hips than a traditional A-line.

Mermaid or Fit and Flair

Fitted on the body all the way down from the bust to the knee.  This shape flares out close to the knee and looks great on slender, hourglass body types.  This silhouette will certainly show off your figure.


Narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem.  This shape looks great on petite body types.  Usually is a more relaxed fit, but will still show off some curves and loosely hug the outline of the body.