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Silhouette


Merriam-Webster defines silhouette as "the outline of an object seen, or as if seen, against the light." (Think of traditional profile portraits done in silhouette.)

silhouette


This same concept can be applied to the definition of "silhouette," as it pertains to fashion terminology. Just as one might gather from the general definition of the word, a gown's silhouette refers to the basic outline created by the overall shape of the dress.

Wedding Dress Silhouettes

There are a few general wedding dress silhouette definitions which can be used to categorize the majority of wedding dresses.

Keep in mind, however, that fashion is art, so not every dress will necessarily land exactly within the "bounds" of one particular silhouette's definition.

Formal Wedding Dresses


Informal Wedding Dresses (in order of ascending length)


Formal Versus Informal Wedding Dresses

Some wedding dresses are considered formal styles, while other styles are considered informal wedding dresses. So what's the difference between formal wedding dresses and informal wedding dresses?

In days gone by, it all used to be so simple: if a dress was shorter than floor length, it was considered informal, and that was that. These days, however, some floor length dresses are considered informal; so how are we to differentiate formal versus informal wedding dresses now?

Trains! No, not the kind of train that runs along tracks, providing transportation for hobos; but wedding dress trains, the kind of train that extends a gown's skirt, trailing behind the bride, as she gracefully glides down the aisle to meet her prince groom. (See "Train" to learn more about the various lengths and styles of wedding dress trains.)

To make a long story short, bridal gowns are considered formal, when they feature a train longer than sweep length. Generally, the longer the train, the more formal the style. If a wedding dress has no train, or has a very short train that just barely sweeps the floor (hence sweep train), it is considered an informal wedding dress.

Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

As you search for the perfect wedding dress, it is often easiest to start by choosing one or two of your favorite silhouettes. By doing so, you can greatly narrow down what might otherwise seem like an overwhelming amount of choices; making the search for your wedding dress that much easier (not to mention, more fun!)

If you are looking at bridal gowns for the very first time, by all means, consider trying on at least one dress in every silhouette that interests you. By doing so, you can get a better feel for which silhouettes are the most flattering to your figure, so you can dress your best for your body shape.

Wedding Dress Silhouettes:


The A-line Wedding Dress Silhouette

(For more information on this universally figure-flattering silhouette, see: A-line Silhouette)

A beautiful example of the silhouette of an A-line wedding dress is Mori Lee 4704:
Mori Lee A-line wedding dress
Mori Lee Bridal Gown 4704


Ball Gown Wedding Dresses

(For more information, see the full definition of the
Ball Gown Silhouette)

A great example of the silhouette of ball gown wedding dresses is Mori Lee 4705:
Casablanca 1932 Bridal Gown
Mori Lee Bridal Gown 4705


Empire Line Dresses

(For more information, see the full explanation and definition of the Empire Silhouette>)

Maggie Sottero Ireland is a great example of the silhouette of empire line dresses with a sheath skirt:
Maggie Sottero Ireland
Maggie Sottero Ireland Bridal Gown


Casablanca B038 is a great example of the silhouette of empire line dresses with an A-line skirt:
Casablanca Empire Line Dresses
Casablanca Bridal Gown B038


Fit and Flare Wedding Dresses

(For more information, see the full explanation and definition of the Fit and Flare Silhouette)

A great example of fit and flare wedding dresses is Maggie Sottero Brooke:
Maggie Sottero fit and flare wedding dresses
Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown Brooke


Mermaid Style Wedding Dresses

(For more information, see the full definition and pictures of the Mermaid Silhouette)

Allure 8717 is a great example of the silhouette of mermaid wedding dresses:
Allure mermaid wedding dresses
Allure Bridal Gown 8717


Sheath Wedding Dresses

(For more information, see the full explanation and definition of the Sheath Silhouette)

Mori Lee 6503 is a great example of the straight, form-fitting lines displayed in the silhouette of sheath wedding dresses:
Mori Lee sheath wedding dresses
Mori Lee Bridal Gown 6503


Trumpet Wedding Gowns

(For more information, see the full definition of the Trumpet Silhouette)

A great example of the silhouette of trumpet wedding gowns is Mori Lee 1057:
Mori Lee trumpet wedding gowns
Mori Lee Bridal Gown 1057


Cocktail Length Dresses

(For more information about cocktail length dresses and how they can fit your wedding style, see the full definition of Cocktail Length)

Allure 951 is a fun and playful example of pretty cocktail length dresses for your wedding (they make great reception dresses, too!):
Allure cocktail length dresses
Allure Bridal Gown 951


Knee Length Wedding Dresses

(For more information on knee length wedding dresses, see: Knee Length)

Moonlight Bridal Gown T446 is a great example of knee length wedding dresses:
knee length wedding dresses
Moonlight Bridal Gown T446


Tea Length Wedding Dresses

(For more information on tea length wedding dresses, see: Tea Length)

Maggie Sottero Isadora Ann perfectly represents the style of tea length wedding dresses:
Maggie Sottero Isadora Ann
Maggie Sottero Isadora Ann Bridal Gown


High Low Dresses

(For more information on high low dresses, see High Low Silhouette)

Watters and Watters Uliana is simultaneously elegant and trendy - the perfect example of a high low dress for your wedding ceremony:
high low hem dresses
Watters and Watters Bridal Gown Uliana


Ballerina Length Wedding Dresses

(For more information on the ballerina length silhouette, see: Ballerina Length)

Allure 8803 is a delightful example of ballerina length wedding dresses:

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