Shopping for a wedding gown can be intimidating to be sure. Upon entering a bridal boutique brides-to-be are met with dozens if not hundreds of gowns to choose from. So where to start? One quick and easy way to narrow the field of eligible dresses is to select the dress silhouette (i.e.: the shape of the dress) that you prefer based on your personal taste and how flattering you find the cut. Below are descriptions and pictures of the most common silhouettes:
Shaped like the letter it is named for, this style is often found to be universally flattering, likely because the style is pretty basic. However don’t confuse “basic” with “boring”. The simple lines of this style – narrower at the waist with a skirt that widens softly – make it classically elegant, and nearly a fail-safe choice. When in doubt, start with the A-line.
Those who are after the ultimate princess dress will be drawn to this style. Narrow at the waist, the skirt immediately flounces out into a full skirt. However if you are petite I caution you to keep the flounce under control- you don’t want to get lost in it!
While Disney’s Little Mermaid wore a ball gown silhouette to her wedding (she was marrying a prince after all!) the style of this cut is named after her pre-human figure—it fits snugly at the hips and fits closely up to the knee where it flares out. A fluted style is similar although it is a bit less dramatic.
Similar to the mermaid silhouette with one exception – the sheath does not flare out. This cut looks particularly flattering on tall individuals.
Another option that will flatter many figures is the empire cut. Instead of at the waist, the skirt starts just below the bust, flowing straight to the floor Jane Austen style.
Once the wedding dress silhouette is decided upon, the road to finding the ultimate wedding gown will be that much smoother.