Wedding dress shapes explained

wedding dress shapes explained

Don’t know the difference between a trumpet or a mermaid-style wedding dress? Here are the seven main wedding dress shapes and their definitions.


A-line dresses flare out from the hips and gradually widen towards the hem, essentially creating a silhouette which resembles the letter A.

Ball gown

A ball gown wedding dress features a full bell-shape skirt and fitted bodice. This dress shape is often achieved using multiple layers of tulle and fabric to create the fullness of the skirt.


A trumpet shaped wedding dress is fitted from the bust to the mid-thigh, with the skirt flaring outwards from the mid-thigh.


A sheath dress is one which follows your natural body shape. This means that it doesn’t have any extra fabric to create volume, however, it softly flares out a little towards the hem.


mermaid style wedding dress easy weddings

Image: Mori Lee

A mermaid or ‘fit-and-flare’ wedding dress is one which is extremely fitted and then flares out at the knees. This shape is often exaggerated with thick, flowing fabric cascading from the knees and expanding outwards.


An empire-style wedding dress is one which features a raised waistline that sits just under the bust. The fabric below the bust settles straight to the floor with soft volume.


A tea-length wedding dress is essentially a short wedding dress, with the hem usually finishing just above the ankles. A tea-length wedding dress is characterised by a cinched in waistline and flared ’50s style skirt, (which is essentially an exaggerated A-line silhouette.)

Now that you’ve decided what dress shape you like best, it’s time to choose a neckline…

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