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