Dress Designers
Wedding Dress Silhouettes

Wedding Dress Silhouettes

When looking for your perfect wedding dress you will come across many terms, such as trumpet or sheath. But what does it all mean? The following guide was put together by our team (bless them) to hopefully give you some guidance into the most common wedding dress silhouette types. This very general guide is mean't to simply explain the different silhouettes available. To find out exactly which silhouettes will suit your own body shape, your best bet is to visit your local bridal boutique for some one to one advice.

A Line Dress Silhouette

A Line

Probably the most popular wedding dress type as it suites most body shapes. The A Line dress has a fitted bodice extending through the waist which then flows to the ground in the shape of an A, hence the name.

The A Line is suitable for most body types.

Empire Dress Silhouette


The Empire Dress has a higher waistline then the A Line, usually just below the bust. Due to the high waist line the Empire dress creates the illusion of height.

The Empire Dress is most suited to petite body types with smaller busts.

Straight / Sheath Dress Silhouette

Straight / Sheath

The Sheath Dress has a narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem.

While ideal for smaller body types, the Sheath Dress Silhouette is not so good for pears and larger body shapes as it can be very unflattering.

Ballgown Dress Silhouette


The Ballgown has fitted boddice which flairs out from the waist into a very full skirt.

While ideal for most body types the Ballgown isn't really suited to smaller frames as they simply become lost.

Mermaid Dress Silhouette


The Mermaid dress has a fitted body from the waist to the knee. The dress then flairs out from the knee giving you the silhouette of a mermaid.

The Mermaid is ideal for petite and slender body shapes. Due to its fitted body though it's not suited to bigger sizes and apples.

Trumpet Dress Silhouette


The Trumpet dress is similar to the mermaid dress with the difference being instead of flaring from the knee, the Trumpet flairs from higer up the thigh.

The Trumpet is not suited to bigger sizes, pears and apples.

Tea Length Dress Silhouette

Tea Length

In Tea Length wedding dresses, the skirt falls between the knee and ankle. Perfect if you have great wedding shoes!

Tea length Wedding wedding dresses are suitable for most body types.

Short Dress Silhouette


In Short wedding dresses, the skirt falls above the knee. Short wedding dresses are perfect for destination weddings.

Short wedding dresses can be worn by most body shapes although they can prove unflattering to bigger body types.

Is that all you need to know?

Well no. While it's a good start, you may have noticed we have been very vague on what wedding dress silhouettes suite what body types. This is due to the fact the the silhouette style itself is very open to interpretation. The way individual dresses have been cut can make one dress very different to another.

Go With What Dress Types You Know

Wedding dresses arn't that different from normal dresses. While it's very conceivable that you have never owned a mermaid dress, if you know you don't look good in a tight figure hugging dresses, then the sheath, trumpet and mermaid is probably not for you. The same logic can obviously be applied when looking at the other aspects of your wedding dress, like the sleeve length, neck line and type of back you want your wedding dress to have. We are all beautiful, you just need to find the right silhouette to accentuate your beauty.

Dress Silhouette Examples

Here are a few dress silhouette examples from some of the top wedding dress manufacturers.

A Line Dress


Empire Dress


Sheath Dress

Sheath / Straight



Mermaid Dress


Trumpet Dress


Tea Length Dress

Tea Length

Short Dress