Ladies, when shopping keep in mind silhouettes. These are the shapes of the wedding dress you are looking for.
The ball gown is your Princess dream dress characterized by a tighter upper body and a full skirt. Ball gowns tend to have corset types on top with a large amount of fabric to create the skirt.
Pros: Can hide large hips and legs
Cons: Dancing might be hard ladies!
Empire gowns are reminiscent of neo-classical times. Characterized by a high waistline, the dress tucks in right under the bust, bringing attention to the chest and emphasizing it more. The bottom skirt is non-fitting and flows over the hips down the floor.
Pros: Makes pear shapes look slimmer, hides belly and thighs quite well/ Adds length to the body
Cons: Emphasizes your bust so try to avoid this if you are trying to minimize appearance of chest size
A-Line or Princess Gown
A-line dresses are characterized by an unmarked waistline with vertical seams which flow down your body. These seams flare out into an A shape.
Pros: Flattering to figures which are heavier in the middle, most suitable for all types, hides hips, emphasizes waist
Cons: Narrow hips that want to be emphasized might need to wear a hooped petticoat
The sheath gown has lines which follow the lines of your body. The dress is one of the most form fitting for brides looking for an elongating look. The hem of this dress is not flared out.
Pros: Makes shorter brides look taller, Tall/Slim Brides look elegant
Cons: Brides looking to cover flaws might need to wear Spanx for this one!
Mermaid gowns contour the curves of your body and flow out at the knees. They are trumpet-like in figure and are quickly gaining style.
Pros: Makes petite women look taller and tall/ slim shapes have added curves and femininity
Cons: Looking to hide anything? Probably not your cup of tea, it is considered one of the most “unforgiving” wedding dresses
Generally the A-line and empire type suit most body types whereas the mermaid and sheath dresses are for women who are a little bit more comfortable with their body type.
Terms to Know
Shopping for a dress can be hard. Here are some fabric terms you should become familiar with and used to hearing.
This is a popular fabric for brides because it exudes elegance and formality. It can be touched up with some lace and has such a great sheen. For the most luxurious satin, go for a Duchesse Satin which doesn’t wrinkle as much as Acetate Satins or Silk Satins. The most common satin is polyester satin which is less expensive but beware of thin polyester satins which are more prone to being shiny, this can give off a less luxurious and cheaper look. Dresses that are draped down your hips are great with satin.
Silk Taffeta is a great, “crisp, full bodied fabric” which usually looks more textured and adds a bit more weight to your dress. It is described as “ornate and elegant” with a strong shine to it. This type of fabric will make that rustling noise as you walk and adds a great formality to your wedding event. Taffeta is commonly used in ruffles and detail in your wedding dress.
Silk Shantung & Silk Dupionis
These two silks differ in the weight of the yarn used as well as the expenses of having one. Silk Shantung uses the heavier yarn and has a “higher luster” and “radiance” than that of Silk Dupionis. The Silk Shantung is weaved with the ribbed effect and is considered a rough silk due to the slubs which are woven into the material. However this silk is still fine to the touch and does not feel rough. Silk dupioni resists wrinkles well has a high shimmer effect. The benefits of this silk lay in the fact that it takes dye well, it can be creased to create a formal look and you can use both sides of it. However, this silk does not take stretching well and tends to unravel.
Looking for a fabric that takes detail well? Organza is your best bet, making anything from bead work to lace feel light. Organza can also add body and structure as well.
Chiffon is soft, sheer and seemingly transparent fabric. This fabric usually needs to be lined with another fabric to give it substance but chiffon is a timeless fabric and adds a wonderful romanticism.
Tulle is very light and is typically used in bridal veils and to create a lightweight effect. The fabric originates from either nylon or lace and is also used to create full-bodied skirts.
Velvet has come into the light now ladies! This is the fabric most commonly used in the colder months. It has the potential to create intricate, soft patterns on a dress and provides a luxurious, soft feel.
Crepe has a heavier, elegant drape. It is usually lined with silk and has a matte texture to it.
Lace is soft and romantic. It creates a decorative, detailed feel. You can choose from several different laces which can border a dress or even create a bodice.