With so many styles and fabrics to choose from, finding your best wedding dress silhouette can be more difficult for some brides than anticipated. Especially when you’re torn between what you’d like to accentuate and what dress fits with your vision. Not to mention the anxiety that can come with trying on a wedding dress for the first time.
At Grace + Ivory, we’re all about wearing the dress that makes you feel your best (despite what your more conservative mother or rebellious little sister may think!) “Wedding dress silhouettes for your body type” charts aside, we think it’s ultimately up to you. Just like bridal sample sizing, these charts are not one size fits all…and there’s better ways to determine what dress shape is perfect for your wedding day vision. So leave the chart behind and take it from our team, which wedding dress silhouette is best for you and your vision?
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Ballgown
Categorized by a fitted bodice to the natural waist and a skirt with some “poof,” a ballgown is usually ideal for our brides looking for a more traditional or princess look. It’s like we say to our brides, it’s the dress you’ve got to try at least once…even if only for the fun of it (Go on and give it a twirl!). We’ve found a lot of our petite brides feel swallowed by too much tulle while our plus-size brides often love the waist definition a ballgown gives. But again, that’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself no matter your body type!
Our Gemma Gown breaks the stereotype that all ballgowns are unmanageable and heavy! Gemma features the lightest tulle for that “float down the aisle,” kind of look.
To figure out if you’re a ballgown bride ask yourself these four questions…
- Do you love a dramatic skirt that passes your twirl test?
- Are you not afraid to take up space? (Absolutely not!)
- Is your venue more grand or romantic?
- Does a ballgown make you feel your most confident?
Wedding Dress Silhouette: A-Line
Categorized by a fitted bodice and lighter skirt that flows from the natural waist, an A-line wedding dress silhouette is ideal for our brides who want an effortless dress that plays into her romantic side. Bear in mind that the look of an A-line dress will depend heavily on the fabric. Crepe A-lines tend to fit with a modern wedding vision, while a chiffon A-line will give you that airy garden party look.
Although A-lines vary from style-to-style, it’s one of the silhouettes most brides feel confident in! It accents the waist without the poof of a ballgown, while still giving you plenty of shape and room to dance the night away.
Our Lacy dress features a light and airy chiffon skirt, ideal for a bride who’s choreographed a few lifts and dips into the first dance!
To decide if you’re an A-line bride ask yourself these four questions…
- Is the dance-ability of your wedding dress a priority?
- Do you want a dress that accents your waistline?
- Is your venue more modern or ethereal?
- Does an A-line dress make you feel your most confident?
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Fit-N-Flare
Fitted through the waist and hips, a fit-n-flare wedding dress silhouette is ideal for a bride that is looking to elongate her frame and show off her shape. A fit-n-flare dress is more subtle than a traditional mermaid gown and often provides more mobility. Without layers of crinoline and tulle, a fit-n-flare dress can actually be fairly comfortable! Especially if you opt for an all-over crepe or material with a bit of stretch.
Our Tabitha dress breaks the stereotype that all fitted dresses are “un-danceable” and uncomfortable! Tabitha is made with a luxe Italian crepe that clings but doesn’t constrict.
To decide if you’re a fit-n-flare bride ask yourself these four questions…
- Do you want a dress that shows off your shape?
- Would you classify yourself as a more modern bride?
- Do you usually gravitate towards more fitted silhouettes in your everyday wear?
- Does a fit-n-flare dress make you feel your most confident?
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Sheath
Categorized by a skirt that falls straight from your natural waist, a sheath silhouette is ideal for a bride who wants to show off her shape in a more subtle, minimalist design. If you’ve pinned a few “slip dress,” looks to your wedding day Pinterest board, it’s safe to say you’ve already decided on sheath dress. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try on at least one dress of every silhouette type because you truly never know until you see each shape on your body. After all, you’ve probably never had to shop for a wedding dress before!
Our Tessa Dress proves not all sheath style wedding dresses are slip dresses…go more sweet than sultry with this rooftop favorite sheath!
To decide if you’re a sheath bride ask yourself these four questions…
- Do you want a dress that is simple but chic?
- Do you love the fit of a fit-n-flare but hate the flare?
- Is your venue giving rooftop or loft vibes?
- Does a sheath dress make you feel your most confident?
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Hybrid
Sometimes it’s hard to narrow it down to only one silhouette type when most wedding dresses you try on will be so beautiful! Luckily if you can’t choose between the shape of a fitted gown or the flirty skirt on an A-line, hybrid dresses do exist (this isn’t your grandmother’s wedding dress!).
Sometimes a fitted gown alone can make us feel self-conscious even though we know we look amazing (iykyk!). Something as simple as an added layer of tulle can make all the difference in our confidence. Plus give you that twirl photo on your shoot wish list!
Our Ava dress truly is your holy grail dress if you can’t decide on just one silhouette type…I mean, just look at that fun skirt!
To decide if you’re a hybrid dress bride ask yourself these four questions…
- Do you want a dress that accents your shape without compromising some tulle?
- Are you looking to wow your guests with something they’ve never seen?
- Do you tend to fluctuate between different dress styles in your everyday wear?
- Does a hybrid dress make you feel your most confident?
What To Keep In Mind While Shopping For Your Wedding Dress
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, try on at least one dress of every silhouette type! Don’t be afraid to step out of the drivers seat and let your bridal consultant or shopping squad pick out a dress for you. Your bridal consultant is listening to every detail you like and dislike to get you closer to the “YES” dress.
Fabric types can play a huge role in how you feel in a dress, so don’t throw the whole vision away if the first fitted dress you try on is not the one. Perhaps all-over lace wasn’t your thing and you’ll feel your most bridal in crepe!
Above all, you should search for the wedding dress that feels the most like you. Stepping out in a dress that’s so opposite of who you are can have you feel like you’re just playing dress-up. It can sound cliché but this tip is huge in helping you ground yourself while shopping and ensure that you feel as you should…like the bride!