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Wedding Dress Styles: Go-To Guide on Everything Wedding Dress

You are now engaged and probably starting to plan your wedding. You probably have a lot of questions, like when’s the best time to buy a wedding dress or what would be the right fit for me.  Although this is an exciting time, it’s important to know that you will find a crazy amount of dress options. You’ll need to think of different silhouettes, necklines, and waistlines that will fit your body type, time of year, and any other accommodations you may need this dress to fit.

Classic Wedding Dress Silhouettes, Necklines, and Waistlines

I know, this may already be making your head spin, but don’t freak! This guide will explain the top 5 most popular necklines, waistlines, and silhouettes that are great options for your future wedding dress.

Silhouettes

A-Line

Just like the name, this dress starts more narrow at the top and extends out as it goes down, resembling the outline of an uppercase A. This silhouette is super versatile and looks great on almost every body type.

An A-line dress is a bit more modest and traditional, so if you’re looking for something more revealing or sexy, you might want to choose a different silhouette.  

Mermaid

This silhouette is perfect for someone who wants to look a little more glamorous. The dress will fit closer to the body from the top half of the dress and then flares out below the knee; typically with huge bunches of tulle.

If you have a slimmer or hourglass figure, this dress would be perfect to show off your body shape.  

For more curvy body shapes or women who don’t want anything too restricting, you might want to choose something else. 

mermaid wedding dress silhouette

Ballgown

This is the most common and popular style of silhouette for wedding dresses. This dress has a fitted bodice and goes straight into a full, flared, and often poofy skirt.

You’ll feel beautiful in this dress if you have a more pear-shaped body because the bodice will nip you in the waist, and the full skirt will give the allusion of an hourglass figure. If you have a fuller chest, this dress will also perfectly balance you out.

If you’re shorter and slim, this dress might not be the best for you, as it could swallow you in all the fabric.

Sheath

AKA a column dress, this silhouette fits closer to the body, yet has little to no definition in the waist. The bottom doesn’t flare out and follows the natural body line.

If you’re a shorter bride, this dress may make you appear a bit taller and also really flatters women who are more tall and slender.

If you’ve got a super curvy body, this silhouette may not be for you. Since there is little shape to this dress, you might want to opt for something that will emphasize your natural curves.

Trumpet

A trumpet silhouette is similar to that of a mermaid style dress, yet there are some differences. This dress will fit closely until the mid hip and gradually flares out towards the bottom and is less harsh compared to the mermaid silhouette.

If you’re a curvier bride, this dress will beautifully accentuate your figure. It’s form-fitting, yet still easy to dance and get around in.  

This dress might not be for you if you want something flowier and not super tight. If you have a rounder tummy, this silhouette also might not be the most flattering.

Necklines

V-Neck

This neckline simply dips down into a V shape. This neckline is very flattering for many women with small to medium chest sizes.

Those who are bustier may want to shy away from this neckline to avoid having too much chest showing unless that’s what you’re going for.

Sweetheart

This neckline is very popular among all brides. The neckline is shaped like the top half of a heart and is commonly strapless.

This neckline is also universally flattering for all chest sizes. Bigger chested women commonly choose this neckline to accentuate their bust. 

sweetheart neckline

High-Neck

This neckline is similar to a mock or turtleneck shirt. This neckline is common for more modest wedding dresses but can also be translated as more fashionable and edgy.

A high neckline may be better for brides who have smaller chests, as a high neckline could make bigger chested girls busts look bigger.

Halter

This neckline has straps that wrap around the neck. This neckline is great for brides would want to show off their shoulders.

Halter necklines can look universally flattering on any chest size.

Strapless

A strapless neckline is exactly how it sounds, there are no straps. This is another neckline that will show off your shoulders and bust because no straps will be in the way.

You may love this neckline if you want to show off a beautiful necklace.

Waistlines

Empire

This has a slightly raised waistline that sits right below the bust. From the waistline, the dress flows all the way down to the hem. This waistline is typically associated with A-line silhouettes.

An empire waistline would look flattering on almost all body types since it flows right over the stomach, hips, and legs.

Princess

A princess waistline is typically accompanied with an A-line silhouette, as well, with vertical seams going down the front.

This waistline can be flattering for hourglass figures, as it comes in at the waist and the vertical seams create an elongating effect.

Basque

This waistline presents a lower V or U shape in the bodice of the dress. This waistline is usually paired with a ballgown dress as the rest of the dress flares out into a full skirt.

Many body types will find this waistline to be very flattering. 

basquewaistline

Dropped

This waistline is that is dropped below the natural waistline towards the mid-hip.

Again, this waistline is flattering on most body types, especially on hourglass and pear figures.

Natural

A natural waistline is similar to the dropped but hits a little higher at the natural hip line between the lower rib cage and hips.

 

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