Wedding dress shopping can be an overwhelming experience. It definitely isn’t as straightforward as one would think, and certainly isn’t always as magical as the movies make it out to be. There are a lot of details to decide on – color, neckline, train length, lace style. The list goes on and on! At Anomalie, we help bring your custom wedding dress vision to life by starting with one question – What silhouette do you like best?
Sometimes even this simple question can be difficult to answer – our team of stylists has put together this silhouette guide to help you get started. While we do make suggestions based on body-shape, we believe that YOU know your body the best. Take these suggestions with a grain of salt (or even throw them out the window completely!) and wear whatever makes YOU feel beautiful.
Sheath or Column
The Sheath silhouette holds a narrow shape that flows straight down from the hips and follows your body’s natural shape. Sheath gowns are typically long and slinky. They work well on the slender, feminine figure. Typically crafted with crepe fabric, a rich and luxurious fabric that comes in both a matte or shiny finish, that gives that liquid, slinky, effect and drape.
Should I Say Yes to the Dress? – Sheath silhouette is great for lean body types, hourglass, and petite figures.
Should I Say No to the Dress? – Keep in mind that sheath silhouettes accentuate extra inches around the hips and waist, especially when created with charmeuse, so if you don’t want to accentuate that area, say no to this dress!
Fit & Flares
Commonly referred to as mermaid & trumpet gowns, these silhouettes are all in the fit & flare family. These gowns are fitted throughout the bodice and hips and begin to flare out, accentuating the stomach and hip area.
The variation comes from which point on the body the flare starts. Choose a flare that starts at the hip for a subtle look. Most brides opt for a flare that starts mid-thigh to really accentuate their curves. And of course, the more volume in the flare itself, the higher the drama! While these styles are extremely flattering to the body, be confident this is the right fit for you.
Should I Say Yes to the Dress? – If you want to accentuate your curves and show off your figure, or if you want to create the illusion of curves – ideal for an hourglass or petite figure!
Should I Say No to the Dress? – If you’re concerned about mobility and breaking out those dance moves, maybe choose a different fit.
Think light and flowy, giving an ethereal feel perfect for a beach or destination wedding. These style skirts are usually flat against the stomach or gathered at the waist, flowing down gently into the more-gathered fabric at the bottom of the skirt. This silhouette is most commonly paired with a lace bodice and V-neckline.
Should I Say Yes to the Dress? This style dress is perfect for nearly every body type, cinching in at the waist and flowing over your curves.
Should I Say No to the Dress? If you are planning a more formal wedding we’d suggest and A-line or ball gown silhouette. If you want to show off your curves more, we’d suggest going with a fit-and-flare or sheath style gown.
The A-Line fit has a subtle and classic silhouette that flatters any bride. A fitted bodice that highlights your narrowest points, then gradually flares into a more structured skirt. The dress resembles the letter ‘A’, hence where it gets its name.
Should I Say Yes to the Dress? – Accentuates almost any body type while still giving a classic bridal feel.
Should I Say No to the Dress? – If you want to show off more of your body or go for something bigger, like the ball gown fit, this isn’t the dress for you.
If you ever played princess dress up as a little girl, this silhouette shape doesn’t need an explanation. But for those of you who haven’t, this dress has a very fitted bodice and full floor-length skirt typically made with tulle or structured silk fabric, like organza or taffeta. The fitted bodice is commonly created with lace or satin, making for an overall dramatic effect. The bell-shape silhouette is extremely flattering for any body type and very forgiving! A dress like this will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale, floating down the aisle.
Should I Say Yes to the Dress? – Ball Gown dresses are best for mid-height or taller brides who have a bit of a bust. Definitely for the traditional bride who is planning a fairytale wedding.
Should I Say No to the Dress? – Keep in mind the skirt of the Ball Gown dress is extremely voluminous to keep the shape, so it can be extra heavy. Petite ladies should avoid the Ball Gown silhouette, as the skirt can overwhelm you and make you look a bit shorter.
Short, mid-length, and tea length dresses can come in almost all silhouette styles. If you can’t decide between a short length or a longer length dress, you can even go for the high-low! The best part about the high-low silhouette is that you can create a dramatic or subtle hemline to give you the best of both worlds. the skirt can be paired with any neckline.
Should I Say Yes to the Dress? – If you love the option of showing off those cute bridal heels, then definitely say “yes to the dress”! These options are flattering on almost any body type and compliment your best features.
Should I Say No to the Dress? – A shorter dress gives a more modern, bridal feel, so if you want a more traditional look, then this is not the right dress for you.
If you’re torn between two different silhouettes, you may be able to have both! If you want a larger, more dramatic skirt for your ceremony, and a fitted or short dress for your reception, you can have the best of both worlds by creating an overskirt. Overskirts can be open in the front, fully lined, or even unlined to show the dress underneath — so many options!
Stylist Pro Tip: If you are still deciding between two or more wedding dress silhouettes, we recommend trying on a number of different styles to ensure you feel the most-confident on your wedding day.
Schedule a call to talk to a stylist about other wedding dress design elements you should consider for your custom creation, click here!