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 like 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 have put together this silhouette guide to help you get started.

Your Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Silhouettes

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 – which is why we decided to put together this silhouette guide to help you get started!

Posted by Anomalie on Saturday, April 21, 2018

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!


Photo by Vera Franceschi Photography. Anomalie bride, Frances.

Trumpet, Mermaid, Fit-and-Flare

These three styles get easily confused — although they do have similar silhouette shapes, the fit does vary slightly. Trumpet is fitted tightly throughout the body and flairs out mid-thigh. Ideal for frames with a small waist or petite structure, as it accentuates stomach and hip area. Mermaid is similar, however flares out at the knee, allowing for a more dramatic flare at the bottom of your dress Lastly, Fit-and-Flare is fitted throughout the bodice, and begins to flare out just below the hip, providing a more relaxed flare. 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 hourglass figure or petite!

Should I Say No to the Dress? – If you’re concerned about mobility and breaking out those dance moves, maybe choose a different fit. 


Fit-and-flare. Photo by Dabble Me This. Anomalie bride, Maria.

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Duchess Satin mermaid gown. Photo by Morlotti Studio. Anomalie bride, Jenelle.


Trumpet, silk-cotton faille gown. Rosy and Shaun Wedding Photography. Anomalie bride, Erica.

Circle Skirts

Think light and flowy, giving a 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 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.


Chiffon circle skirt. Photo by From the Daisies. Anomalie bride, Maggie.


Tulle circle skirt. Photo by Kimberly Spins Photography. Anomalie bride, Ada.


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.


Blush, organza A-line skirt. Photo by Brandy Britton Photography. Anomalie bride, Mary.

Ball Gown

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 a 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.

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Organza ball gown. Photo by Kortney Boyett Photo. Anomalie bride, Rebekah.


If you can’t decide between a short length or a longer length dress, this is the perfect fit for you. 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 a high-low dress and can show off those cute bridal heels, then definitely say “yes to the dress”! This option is flattering on almost any body type and compliments your best features.

Should I Say No to the Dress? – The high-low look is a more modern bridal option, so if you want a more traditional gown, like Ball Gown silhouette, then this is not the right dress for you.


Anomalie bride, Maggie.


If the traditional wedding dress isn’t for you, and you can’t find the right fit, maybe bridal separates are for you. These timeless 2-pieces are seamlessly matched together for a classic bridal look on your big day. One plus is that you can choose any of the skirt shapes above to create your bridal look and pair it with a number of different cuts for the bodice.

Should I Say Yes to the Dress? –  Separates are a great option if you want to mix up the look throughout your wedding day with a different style skirt or if you are looking to re-wear different parts of your dress after your nuptials. Ivory lace tops are a great going out look or look classy under a blazer for business.

(Crepe fit-and-flare skirt with a lace top. Photo by Asia Dore Photography. Anomalie bride, Courtney.)

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 stylist about other wedding dress design elements you should consider for your custom creation, click here!