She Wore What? The Dress- Part 1: Styles

As a girl, thinking about wedding dresses makes me excited. I love fashion and what is more exquisite or breathtaking than a wedding dress? Yes, bridal trends change just like regular fashion trends but there are staples that will never go out of style. Lace, ballgown, strapless, I could go on.

Mallory & Will- September 8, 2012
Mallory & Will- September 8, 2012

If you never gave fashion much thought, remember this:

Nothing will make a dress look better than proper fit and being comfortable.

There is often a lot to consider, and a MILLION terms to describe a dress, when you go shopping and say yes to a dress. In this first part, I am going to talk about the style or shape of a dress. Later we will talk about necklines, fabric and accessories.

First you need to have an idea of what your body type is. For women they generally come in 4 different body types: Apple, Pear, Hourglass, Rectangle. Dress styles fit these body types differently. I came across this image on Wedding + Photography Design website and think it’s a create visual to show this.

body types

Ok let’s get into the dresses!

Standard Styles:

dress types

Photo originally from Dress in Love

Ballgown– This is the most classic style, with a full skirt and fitted bodice. This flatters brides that are wanting to hide larger hips or thighs.

A-line/Princess– This flatters most brides. This has a seamless and gentle flare into the skirt from a fitted bodice, looking like an “A”.

Empire– This style has a short bodice, coming in right under the bust-line and falls to a smaller skirt. This often fits best on brides will smaller busts or an undefined waist.

Sheath– This is similar to empire, a long, narrow line, accentuating every curve. This is best on fit brides with a smaller bust or on shorter brides and there is no defined waist to break the line of the body.

Mermaid– This style is very form fitting and flaring at the knee. This is best on a bride with an hour glass shape, as it hugs all curves.

Additionally, there are these two:

Fit & Flare– Some might confused this with mermaid. This is a newer style that fits the body and then flares at the hip.

Drop Waist– This is when the flare, similar to fit & flare starts higher, at the hip bone.

There are also a TON of variations on these styles. In the end, you will know when you put the dress on that it’s was the one for you. It’s a feeling you get. It might be the first one or the hundredth but you’ll know. I hope that I helped sort out some the million terms that are used for wedding dresses and this is just the beginning.


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