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The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Dress Silhouettes


There are two types of brides: the bride who knows the exact wedding look she wants, right down to the shoes, the veil and the underwear she’s wearing underneath, and the bride who hasn’t a clue what kind of wedding dress she’d like to wear.

Whichever camp you fall into, it can be helpful to know the correct wedding dress terminology before you start wedding dress shopping. Knowing the different wedding dress styles will help you communicate with your boutique assistant about what you like and don’t like and will likely help you in your quest for the dress.

Here, we’ve done you a solid by rounding up the most common wedding dress silhouettes. Happy shopping!

Ball Gown

The true ‘princess’ dress. The ball gown has a fitted bodice and a full skirt. Ideal for most body types but can be overwhelming on petites with very small frames.

Style 99144 from Justin Alexander Signature

Caron from Pronovias

Style 8083 from Demetrios 


Literally fitted through the body and flairs out mid-thigh. Ideal for brides looking to accentuate a small waist – think hourglass figures and petites.

Gideon from Maggie Sottero

Primrose from Enzoani


Sleek and sexy. Fitted on the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out close to the knee. Ideal for brides looking to show off their curves

Elizabetta from Rebecca Ingram

Style 4901 from Paloma Blanca


A narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem. Ideal for lean frames, and athletic body types. Also great for hourglasses who are looking to flaunt their curves

Style 21-P09 from Berta Privée

Carolyn from Prea James

Nikki from Maggie Sottero


Feminine and oh-so flattering, this style of gown cinches you at the waist, skims the waist, and flares out into a beautiful full skirt.

Jett from Essence of Australia

Alaina from Morilee

Style 2308 from Mikaella by Paloma Blanca 

Tea Length

The perfect choice for a vintage wedding, a tea-length gown has a hemline that falls above the ankle. They are elegant, girly and a little bit different – and best of all, they look just as good on a slim frame as a curvy one.

Lovestruck from Ivory & Co 

Emily from House Of Mooshki 

Veronique from Ivory & Co

Still on the hunt for your dream dress? Check out our Dress Finder to search by style, designer, fabric and more.

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