You have found the perfect partner to spend the rest of your life with, and now you need to find the perfect dress for one of the most important days of your life so far!
But where do you even begin? If you are like many brides, you may have heard about different wedding dress styles but the exact silhouette remains a mystery.
Wedding fashions have evolved dramatically over the years but a few silhouettes have remained timeless. To look and feel your best at the wedding, it is important to understand these dress styles and determine what will both fit your vision and flatter your shape.
During your gown shopping appointment at the bridal boutique, your consultant will ask you what type or style of dress you are looking for. You may already have an idea but if you cannot properly describe the style, it might be difficult to find. If you do not make an effort in advance of your appointment, it is possible that you will feel overwhelmed and unable to clarify or make a decision!
The best bridal shops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and other major cities will have a wide range of options, chosen for you by knowledgeable consultants. Even in smaller cities that may have fewer options in-store, knowing and understanding the dress style you are after can help the consultant narrow down the dress options on hand, order the dress, or even help you work towards plans for a couture wedding gown.
The more you know about dress styles, the more you can contribute to this process!
To that end, we’ve put together this handy wedding dress style guide!
Top Wedding Dress Styles Defined
An A-line gown is named for the look of the skirt. It is fitted at the waist and flares from the natural waistline of the bodice toward the hem of the gown. The dress gives the appearance of an uppercase A.
The A-Line gown can be paired with any type of neckline and can fit in with any wedding venue or style. From an intimate backyard to an elegant ballroom, from boho to formal, the A-line is the perfect fit.
An A-Line wedding dress can be made in any type of fabric, so if you have your eye on a certain type of fabric, chances are you will be able to find an A-line gown made from it. Most A-Line gowns sweep the floor, but some tea-length dresses feature an A-line skirt.
This style of gown is ideal for any body type, especially for brides with a larger bust.
This wedding gown style is voluminous and is classically bridal. Imagine your very own Cinderella-at-the-ball moment.
The skirting on a ballgown style wedding dress is a much larger silhouette than the bodice and is usually achieved by layers of tulle or a crinoline. The dresses are made from fabrics like taffeta, satin, silk, and tulle. The bodice on a ballgown is typically fitted and generally understated so that the full volume skirt is the star of the show. You may see plain, beaded, or lace bodices and varying necklines.
Ballgown wedding dresses can be worn for any style of wedding and can look playful and flirty or elegant and timeless in photos.
This style is great on any body type but works particularly well for brides that need extra support in the bust. The fitted bodice and flowing skirt are great for accentuating curves. This style of wedding gown is romantic and dramatic; perfect for a bride that loves to make a statement.
A mermaid-style wedding gown is one of the most sophisticated and sexy silhouettes available to today’s bride.
This style of gown is very fitted through the bust, waist, and hips, all the way through to the knee (or lower) where it dramatically flares out in stunning style to create a mermaid “tail.” The mermaid gown is one of the most curve-hugging dresses and will either show off your curves or create curves just where you want them most.
The mermaid works perfectly with any neckline, and sleeves may be added. Although a mermaid wedding dress can be modernized, a mermaid style dress works really well for classic weddings with a few additions like lace or other adornments.
These wedding gowns may be made with lace, organza, or any other material you choose. They can be elaborately adorned with beading and pearls, or designed more simply while still creating a stunning look for your wedding day. A mermaid style can make it difficult to walk so they may be more suited to an indoor wedding with level floors.
This style works with any body type, but keep in mind that it is particularly restrictive due to the fitted bodice.
Trumpet style wedding gowns, similar to the mermaid style, are fitted through to the mid-thigh.
Trumpet style wedding gowns have a more gradual flare than a mermaid style, and this gradual flare may make it easier to walk around. A trumpet style bridal gown is great for a bride who wants to keep a sexy silhouette but also wants to dance and move freely.
A trumpet bridal gown is a great option for an outdoor wedding or venue like a barn. As with the mermaid gown, any fabric can be used to create this style and embellishments can be added to make your dress vision come to life.
This style is perfect for anybody.
Fit and flare
This style is similar to the trumpet and mermaid.
The fit and flare is one of the most universally flattering fits for wedding wear. Fit and flare can sometimes encompass mermaid and trumpet styles, and is characterized by a fitted body and flared hemline starting at the knee.
This dress style can be created in various fabrics, depending upon your wedding theme. You can choose any style of bodice or bust to wear, and incorporate fashion trends like backless gowns, lace details, and other embellishments.
This style of gown is perfect for showing off your curves but looks great on any body type.
The sheath wedding style is simple and elegant.
This style creates a light silhouette from decolletage to ankle, skimming your body without any defined lines or boning. This style is perfect for any style of wedding, and any venue.
The sheath gown is great for a bride that loves beautiful simplicity and understated elegance. You may find various fabrics used in the creation of a sheath dress, from lace overlays to simple silk. Necklines also vary between strapless, strap, off the shoulder, and more.
Sheath dresses are great on brides with curves because the absence of excess fabric creates a svelte line. This style also works well for brides with an athletic or willowy body type.
Shop with Confidence!
It is important to not limit yourself to one particular style of wedding dress. Come in with an idea in mind, if you can, but try to listen to your bridal consultant’s suggestions as well. If you have an open mind, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
Use the information contained within this post to narrow down your dress ideas and attend your first shopping appointment with confidence!
At Viero Bridal, we have knowledgeable and friendly consultants on hand to help you find the style and silhouette that will make you look incredible on your special day.
Visit a Viero Bridal wedding dress boutique in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles to see our latest designs in person!