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Ball Gown Silhouette


The ball gown is the most formal and traditional wedding dress silhouette.

The classic ball gown silhouette displays a dramatically full skirt, offset by a tight bodice. The ball gown traditionally features a natural waistline, but can also feature different waistline styles (See "Waistline Variations of the Ball Gown").

These designer wedding dresses are often beautifully elaborate works of art, with layered tiers, delicate embroidery, and intricate beading. To add to their fairy tale look, many modern ball gowns are designed with bubble hems or pick-ups. (See "The Fairy Tale Princess Gown")

Fabric Used in Ball Gowns

The ball gown traditionally features a skirt made fully of tulle, or a tulle skirt under an overlay made of organza, silk, satin, or taffeta. Other materials may also be used, but the use of tulle helps the skirt keep its full, dramatic shape.

A great example of a classic Ball Gown silhouette, complete with Tulle skirt, is Mori Lee Bridal Gown 4705:
Casablanca 1932 Bridal Gown
Mori Lee Bridal Gown 4705

Benefits of the Ball Gown Silhouette:

The ball gown silhouette can be a very figure-flattering choice, as its full skirt is exceptionally forgiving of any lower body flaws.

Some of the best features of the ball gown silhouette include:

  • Can help define a wider waistline
  • Hides a heavier bottom
  • Fairytale princess look

Things to Consider:

While the ball gown can be a very forgiving silhouette, it isn’t always the most flattering choice for every figure. (But, as always, keep in mind, these are just general guidelines to keep in mind; you may try on a ball gown for yourself, and find that the “rules” don’t apply.)

  • May overwhelm a petite bride, further shortening their appearance
  • May further shorten a short torso
  • Not ideal for brides with a large bust
    • The fullness of the skirt may serve to make a bride with a full bust look big all over
  • May be too dramatic for brides who would prefer a more understated look

Variations of the Ball Gown

Just like any other art form, fashion is not governed by any set-in-stone rules. Thus, designers may vary their interpretation of the ball gown silhouette in any way they see fit. The following are some of the variations that are commonly seen.

The Lace Ball Gown

On its own, lace isn't able to hold the shape needed to create the full skirt of a ball gown, but with an underlay of netting and tulle, it creates a beautifully feminine ball gown.

Mori Lee 1612 is a beautiful example of a ball gown with a lace overlay:
Mori Lee 1612
Mori Lee 1612 Bridal Gown

Waistline Variations of the Ball Gown

Although ball gown wedding dresses traditionally feature a natural waistline, they can also designed with other waistline styles, adding to the unique beauty of each gown. (Read more about the Waistline, for help with determining which style is the most flattering choice for your own figure.)

Dropped Waist

A gorgeous example of a Ball Gown wedding dress featuring a Dropped Waistline is Casablanca Bridal Gown 1992:
Casablanca Bridal Gown 1992
Casablanca Bridal Gown 1992

Basque Waist

A stunning example of a Ball Gown wedding dress with a Basque Waist is Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown Loretta:
Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown Loretta
Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown Loretta

Other Interpretations of the Ball Gown Silhouette

The Fairy Tale Princess Gown

One of the many reasons brides love the ball gown silhouette, is its ability to make you look and feel like a beautiful princess, right out of your most fantastical wedding dreams.

Christina Wu Bridal Gown 15454 illustrates a perfect example of the Fairy Tale Princess Ball Gown:
Christina Wu Bridal Gown 15454
Christina Wu Bridal Gown 15454

Tiered Layers

Tiered layers of fabric are a great way to add even more breathtaking drama to Ball Gown wedding dresses.

Allure Bridal Gown 8862 is a fabulous example of a Ball Gown with fun, flirty, tiered layers of organza:
Allure Bridal Gown 8862
Allure Bridal Gown 8862


Shop bridal gowns at Wedding Shoppe Inc. today, to see more Ball Gown Wedding Dresses

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