Wedding Dresses

A Shape for Your Shape Cheat Sheet for Wedding Gown Shopping

Jenny Yoo Collection Inspiration:

Okay, so since we’re 10 days out from Valentine’s Day (and the unofficial conclusion of engagement season), we wanted to talk about dress shopping. Why? Well, because as soon as a bride-to-be has that new bling on her finger, it’s only a matter of time before she starts envisioning her next blingy buy - the dress - which, actually, may or may not have any bling about it.

Of course, you’ll know a new bride, when you see her go from double tapping some pretty gowns to starting a full-on snowball of bridal brand following. And yeah, while it might not be the best use of work time according to her bosses, we wouldn’t say it was a complete waste of time (if restricted to lunch hour research). The more informed a bride can be before she starts shopping for her dress, the better.

Sure, binge watching Say Yes to the Dress can get you there, but we suggest doing a bit more digging to ensure that once you stroll into your first salon appointment, you know exactly what to say to pack that dressing room with ALL the gowns you’re most likely to love. Your consultant should be your greatest advocate, but depending on the boutique, you never know what the backstory might be: who might need to make up sales for the month or quarter, which designers the boutique might be pushing (especially hard) for the time being, etc. So, it’s up to you to take control of the appointment and provide your fashion concierges with direction and confidence to steer their styling.

We’ve gone ahead and outlined 5 of the most popular silhouettes+styles for brides to consider for their big day. And a word of caution, if couture isn’t your thing - and no, it doesn’t have to be whatsoever, maybe just make sure you bring along a fashionista friend, sister, cousin, colleague, or mama to help you make heads or tails of it all. Mermaid moments and tiered trumpet skirts might not make sense to you, but if they do for one of your crew, then you’re solid!

Jenny Yoo Collection Fit and Flare Inspiration:

So, keep on reading for a snapshot of what you’ll encounter when you’re rifling through the racks at your first/next appointment.

OH! And yes, we said that you should be the one choosing your own adventure, but be certain you’re not getting too cynical, either. Everyone from your entourage to your dress dossier will be on your side, so for sure give them some credit and allowance to make recommendations - just don’t lose sight of what you want, what you know you’ll feel best in, and what feels most like you as the bride. 

P.S. As you’re starting to do your own research, take a peek at your favorite designers’ websites, almost ALL of them have their own style guides to aid your search! And a lot also have their own quizzes, which not only take body types into account, but also individual preferences, wedding styles (and overall aisle aesthetic blueprints), and formality. So, definitely start there!


Paloma Blanca A Line Silhouette Inspiration:

The name is pretty dang literal - in that the shape of the gown resembles that of an uppercase “A.” Small up top, with a wider skirt below. It’s a beyond-balanced silhouette and one that looks good on truly every bride. Although it looks similar to the ball gown, it’s a bit more flexible and easy moving. You won’t really ‘float’ down the aisle, rather, you’ll glide, waft, etc. We won’t say that a bride has to try every type of dress, especially if she has a firm idea on what she envisions herself in, but we’d definitely urge every bride to try an A-line, first, as her “gateway” gown. 

Ball Gown

Mikaella Bridal Ball GownInspiration:

We’d be willing to bet that nearly every bride has gushed over a ball gown at some point in her life. It’s the quintessential princess or Queen-like gown, and it’s grand to say the least (to cordially match that happily ever after of yours that’s coming). The bodice is slim fitting, so it highlights a tiny waist, and the bell shape is super flattering. The skirt can be structured in satin or Mikado or more collapsed in tulle or soft layers of 3D appliqued lace.

Empire Waist

Paloma Blanca Empire Waist Inspiration:

The empire waist is probably least well known when it comes to these traditional silhouettes, but it still makes sense for a lot of brides! Especially those who might want to disguise any areas they’re less confident about. The bodice of the dress hits just below the bust and then tapers out, so it gives an illusion of a super defined waistline (and highlights the tatas, too!). For more of a pear shape, the silhouette brings the eyes up and elongates the legs. So, it’s quite tasteful.

Mama-to-be brides flock to this widely-known-to-be-awesome style, too!

Fit and Flare

Paloma Blanca Fit and Flare Inspiration:

We thought about how we’d talk about the fitted styles of wedding gowns, because so often mermaid and trumpet styles are used interchangeably. Yes, they’re both fit and flare shapes and they look FINE on every bride, but they’re not one in the same. And it all comes down to where the flare happens on the skirt.

Mermaid gowns will flare out just below the knee, whereas the trumpet gown flares just above the knee. Both gowns do a great job of amplifying curves and an hourglass figure, but mermaid looks might have just have the edge/a little more drama to them. They’re mermaids after all (hair flip). Whether you’re a bride with some curves or a straighter figure, the movement of the fit and flare is TDF.


Pronovias Sheath GownInspiration:

You remember that Stella McCartney column gown that everyone stalked for weeks after Meghan Markle wore it to her Frogmore House reception? Yep, that was a halter column gown, and it was spectacular. The sheath style is great for following the body’s natural shape and flow. And there are a few ways it does so: as a slip dress, which kind of lines the body like lingerie or as a column dress, which has a bit more structure and integrity. The silhouette can be worn simply or amped up with a lot of embellishments, fringe, feathers, bows, lace. The simple lines of the dress aren’t overwhelming and can even create luxy lengthening effects!

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