Different styles of Bridal Gowns

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Bridal gown styles change and evolve with the trends. There are an array of  styles that adds to the excitement of bridal gown shopping. It is quite natural for the brides to get confused and overwhelmed by the different styles in a bridal shop. Let us discuss six classic gowns which are the considered the most popular styles of all time.

A-line gowns resemble the letter -‘A’ as it features a tight bodice with a flared skirt that flows out to the bottom of the hem. This is one of the most popular and versatile style favored by women of all body shapes . This is one of the most popular and comfortable silhouettes a bride can choose for her wedding day. It is a timeless bridal shape that never goes out of style.This shape is perfect for any body shape, specially those who have a pear shaped body as the flare of the skirt takes away the attention from the lower part of the body. The common fabrics used are satin, chiffon, taffeta and it can be adorned with the with overlay of tulle or laces

The Ball Gown

Ball gowns always feature a fitted bodice, defined waistline and full skirt. It is  called princess gown and is similar to A-line style as it has a fitted bodice and a voluminous full skirt. The skirt usually skims the floor with hoops or petticoats to get the required fullness. Many layers of tulle petticoats are put underneath the skirt to get the desired volume.This style is suitable for all the body shapes particularly women who are more slender and are pear shaped . The corset style ball gown can work for a fuller bust by placing emphasis at the waist. Most common types of fabrics used for this style of gown are satin or taffeta with tulle or lace overlay.

The Sheath Gown

This shape is similar to the column shape with no defined lines and falls straight to the floor. .This slim shape of a sheath dress is perfect for brides with a petite figure. It is simple, classy and elegant. The sheath silhouette follows your natural body shape from top to toe. The sheath gown is great for hourglass figures. The most common fabrics used are silk, satin and lace.

The Empire Line Gown

The empire style, is a high-waist dress cut beneath the bust with a long, free-fitting skirt. By high waist it means that the waistline is raised just below the bust and the dress flows right from under the bust to the hem.

This shape is perfect for brides who are a bit conscious about their waist or hips. Due to the nature of empire cut the attention is drawn towards the décolleté and the neckline. Perfect for all body types specially the apple and rectangular body shapes. The empire is also not as restricting as a ball gown or an A-line, allowing more freedom of movement.this silhouette is  perfect for pear-shaped brides. Attention can be made more on the chest and neckline as it hides the lower part of the body with its high raised waistline and flared skirt. This type of design is also worn by pregnant brides and the most common fabrics used are tulle, chiffon, georgette etc

The Mermaid Gown

The mermaid, is a beautiful style that is fitted on top, accentuates your curves and flares out from the knees down. These flares are achieved using godets, to give fullness or by adding vertical panels on a princess line. This is an amazing silhouette and is best pulled off by hourglass figures both short and tall and the fabrics most commonly used are lace, silk, georgette, satin, or sequined fabrics

The Trumpet Gown

A trumpet silhouette is similar to a mermaid style, but with a bit more room for comfort.The skirt on this wedding gown style flares from the mid thigh that resembles a trumpet.

Which style of gown is right for me?

Inorder to select the right silhouette, understanding your body shape is the most important step that should be taken into consideration.

Where body shape is concerned, there are four categories:

  • Hourglass
  • Pear (or triangle)
  • Apple
  • Athletic(Inverted Triangle)
  • Rectangle 

To recognize which of these you belong to take the following measurements.

  • Bust Measurement
  • Around the Bust
  • Shoulders
  • Waist
  • Hips

Now  compare each of these measurements against each other .

  • If your shoulders and hips measurements are nearly equal in size  and your waist measures smaller than both these measurements, you are an Hourglass.
  • When your hip measurement is larger than your bust and shoulder measurement then you are a pear or triangle.
  • If you have a large bust with narrow hips and a full midsection, then you are an apple. 
  • If your shoulder and bust measurements are much bigger than your hips, you are an inverted triangle or athletic.
  • When the measurements of your shoulders, hips and bust are of equal measurement, you are a Rectangle.

The majority of your work is done once you recognize your body shape! It is highly advised to approach a seamstress or someone who is experienced in taking the right measurements.

Once you have understood your body shape, It is now simple to find the wedding dress silhouette that best complements your positive attributes. For further reading refer to this post on detailed instructions on how to correctly identify your body type.

Wedding silhouette suggestion

Hourglass Body Shape

Hourglass body shape is naturally balanced on top and bottom halves of your body with a defined waist. In this case you may accentuate the waist by dressing proportionally the top and bottom of the body to make it look well balanced. The best choice ot show the curves of your body  is Mermaid  or trumpet style. 

Sheath is another great option as the cut flows through the natural curve of the body which is a perfect choice for hourglass shapes.

Pear Body Shape

Pear shaped body is heavier on the bottom and the main aspect in dressing these type of body shape is to take the focus  away from the wider hips by choosing gowns that flare from waist line to hide the heavier bottom.

You may choose to wear a Ball gown as the puffy skirt hides the heavy bottom and balances it to your bust and waist.

A-Line gowns are another great choices as it is quite similar to the ball gown. A-line gowns flare from the waist and hides the bottom with the skirt.


Apple Body shape

Apple body shape has a fuller chest with  with less curves in the lower part of your body. Inorder to balance the  proportion  , it is necessary to add a bit of bulk to the lower part of the body.

In this case it is advised to go for A-line dresses as the slim hips and legs get hidden under the flare of the A-line skirt.

Another style that looks perfect for this particular body shape is Ball gown. Lots of layering goes under the ball gown that makes the bottom half look proportionate to the top part of your body.

Inverted Triangle Body shape

Inverted triangle body shape has a broad shoulder as compared to the narrow hips. In this case it is advised to look for gowns that flare from the waist or hips.

Shift dresses and A-line dresses are a great choices for this type of body shapes. 

Rectangle Body shape

 When you have a straight shape your top and bottom halves have similar proportion. In this case it is necessary to create an illusion of a defined waist. 

For this type of body shape, ball gowns and A-line gowns would be a great choice due to the flare nature of the skirt from the waist.