Wedding Dress Shape

A Guide to What Suits Your Shape – the 6 Dress Silhouettes Defined

Your wedding day is the one day where you are the star of your own show, where all eyes are on you! It is the one unique event in your life which is filled with monumental significance – a day where you wish to look and feel more beautiful than ever.

You will instantly know when you find ‘The One’ for you – as soon as you try it on you will feel elegant, beautiful and special all at once!

But don’t take anyone else’s word for it, we at Timeless Bridalwear will assist you through the process of finding your dream dress for less.With us you will discover that experience and feeling of wonderment and excitement for yourself.

At Timeless Bridalwear we will do our very best to assist you finding ‘The One’, however you will find it helpful if you are aware of your shape and know what styles enhance and flatter your body shape. The trick is to draw attention to the most flattering areas and minimise attention where it’s not wanted!

Finding your dream dress can, be a pressurised experience, so before embarking on your hunt for your dream dress, it does pay to have done a little bit of research into what kind of bridal vision you anticipate. This will ensure your experience can be transformed into an exciting, pleasurable and fun time.

Fundamentally  there are 6 types of wedding gown style silhouettes :


Empire Silhouette

The Empire Line Gown

Empire style is defined by the raised waistline which sits just below the bust from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem. Skimming over the hips and tummy area, this silhouette is  perfect for pear-shaped brides. While the empire dress fits well on most body types, it is especially suited for brides with a smaller bust since it draws attention to the neckline and creates definition. Added accents and fabric embellishments, such as capped sleeves or delicate bead work, will help to draw attention to your chest and neckline, and therefore create the illusion of a fuller bust. In contrast, this cut can also work to conceal a large bust by controlling and minimizing the size of the bust due to the traditionally square neckline of the empire dress. The design of the empire dress is perfect for covering other unwanted body features such as a long torso, short legs, or a pear shaped figure. Since the dress flows from the bust line, it can easily leave these areas undefined. Note that the silhouette of the empire gown suits pregnant brides since the fluidity of the dress can accommodate a growing belly.


A-line Silhouette

The A-Line Gown 

This style is fitted at the bodice and flows out to the ground with an unbroken line (resembling the outline of an ‘A’!) Due to its classic and simple style, the A-line dress is appropriate for any occasion, from a quiet backyard gathering, to a traditional church ceremony.  A great shape for all figures, in particular those with a larger bust. The full skirt of the A-line can also hide a larger lower body, or create the illusion of curves on a narrow frame. Since the A-line dress is so versatile, simple modifications to the neckline, waistline, or fabric can accentuate your best features and hide those your not so fond of!

Ball Gown Wedding Dresses 2

Ballgown Silhouette


The Ballgown 

The ball gown style has a fitted bodice and a dramatic full skirt. While this style can accommodate most body types, the ball gown is ideal for slender or pear-shaped figures as the full skirt helps to accentuate the waist and hide the lower body. If you have a large bust, this style will help to create the hourglass look since it emphasizes the waistline due to the fitted bodice and natural or dropped waist.

A point to consider : The volume of the ball gown can create false and unwanted illusions. Be careful if you are on the shorter side since you may not have the height to balance the size of the skirt.


Trumpet Silhouette

The Trumpet – The skirt on this wedding gown style flares out just below the hips, creating a semi-full skirt (shaped like the bell of a trumpet) without extra volume and bulk. It is often confused with the mermaid style as they are quite similar only is not quite as fitted as the mermaid silhouette.


Sheath Silhouette

The Sheath Gown

This style fits very closely to the contours of the body from head-to-toe (also known as column style) Similar to the mermaid style, the sheath dress is best worn by lean figures, both short and tall. The elongating nature of this design will help petite brides appear taller. However, the column dress does not allow much room for hiding problem areas, such as a larger lower body. It can conceal minor flaws if you opt for a constructed style that will stay in place, but the slip style will be unforgiving. Also, boxy figures that do not have natural curves may consider accenting the waistline with a separate bodice or sash to create the illusion of a defined waist.

Mermaid Silhouette

Mermaid Silhouette

The Mermaid 

The mermaid silhouette contours to the body from the chest to the knee (or lower), then flares out to the hem. More fitted than the trumpet,  this is a very sexy look that highlights every curve so you must be confident and comfortable in your skin to pull off this look. The mermaid cut is not for everyone. This daring design is best worn by slender figures, both short and tall and it is not particularly well suited for those brides with fuller figures. However, if you are on the voluptuous side and want to accentuate your curves, this is the perfect dress for you. The most important thing to keep in mind when considering a Mermaid style dress is whether or not you will feel comfortable wearing it on your big day. You may have a flawless figure perfect for this type of dress, but if you do not feel confident in it, it is not worth choosing.  


We feel overall, the most important thing is to not limit your preference. We will encourage you to try different wedding dress styles to see which suits your unique shape the best.

Regardless of your choice of wedding dress, on the day you will look stunning because if feeling confident your happiness will always radiate through!

You can browse a snippet of our current discount designer gowns here

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