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Wedding Dress Styles

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Here you are at  the Wedding Gown Shoppe, how exciting.  The Consultant asks you a very simple question, “So, what Style of dress are you interested in? ”  You stare back like a dear in headlights.

She rattles off A-line/Princess, Empire, Column, Ballgown, or Mermaid.

Your answer, “I don’t know.”

The style of your dress is the single most important factor in creating your overall look on your wedding day. What kind of statement do you want to make on that day?  The silhouette of your wedding dress is the first thing that everyone will see.  You want  make sure that your first impression is a memorable one.  So how do you choose?  There are five basic wedding dress styles: A-line/Princess, Empire, Mermaid/Fishtail, Ball Gown, and Column. Having a clear idea of what you want will save yourself (and the consultant) a lot of time and confusion. Trying on wedding gowns can become overwhelming!  Go to you appointment with a little bit of knowledge on styles of gowns. You can’t try every dress in the shoppe on (it will kill your consultant and they may not answer the phone next time you call).   So have an idea what you like!  However, the only way you can tell is by trying the gowns on!  You should have in mind the style you prefer but don’t limit yourself to one style alone.  You would be surprised at how different a dress can look on the hanger and then on you! So, let’s talk about styles.

Dress Styles: A-Line/Princess

The A-line dress is fitted around the bodice and flows out to the ground, basically it has the outline of an uppercase A, hence the name.   It flows from the bust to the hem with an unbroken line.   It is a classic and simple style, and it is appropriate for any occasion, from a quiet backyard gathering, to a traditional church ceremony.

The A-line dress is flattering on almost all body types. The long lines of the princess cut dress can create the illusion of height on a shorter body, as well as slim down a rounded figure. 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.

A-line wedding dress

The A-line dress a simple classic design.

Dress Styles: Empire

An empire dress is defined by the raised waistline that sits just below the bust, from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem. It is usually has a square neckline and wide set It  is primarily defined by the placement of the waistline, there are many other design options that contribute to the overall look of the dress.  Lighter fabrics work best on the empire design because they allow for the most movement and flow from the waistline.

While the empire dress fits well on most body types, it is especially suited for those 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.

Empire style Wedding gown

Empire Style Wedding Gown

Dress Styles: Column

The column dress has a narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem, also referred to as a sheath,.  This dress tends to hug the body and show any and all of your curves.  This dress is best worn by lean figures, both short and tall.   It will help petite brides appear taller but it does not allow much room for hiding problem areas, such as a larger lower body.  This can be a very sexy style but with the wrong body type it can be unforgiving.

Dress Styles: Ball Gown

The  fairy tale wedding a fitted bodice with a full skirt that can either be one piece or separates. The ball gown is most appropriate for large, traditional weddings where the dress will be consistent with the formality of the event.  Tthis style can accommodate most body types.   It  is ideal for slender or pear-shaped figures.   Tthe 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.  Be careful, ther is alot of volume if you are on the shorter side  you may not have the height to balance the size of the skirt. Also, instead of complimenting the figure of a full-breasted bride, the skirt could actually cause her to look larger.

Ball gown wedding dress

Ball Gown from Michelle's Bridal

Dress Styles: Mermaid

The mermaid  contours to the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out to the hem. This dress highlights the curves of a woman’s body.  The mermaid cut is not for everyone.  It is best worn by slender figures, both short and tall.   Since the mermaid dress is made to hug the body and show every curve, it is not well suited for those brides with full figures.  If want to accentuate your curves, this is the perfect dress for you.

Mermaid Style

Wedding Gown

Mermaid Style Gown Hugs your figure!

Well I hope this will help define things for you.  Next week we will talk about fitting your style of dress to the style of wedding you are having.

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