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Wedding Dress Guide: Skirt Shapes

Wedding Dress Skirt Options

Courtesy of Maggie Sottero

Choosing your wedding dress can be a little like choosing a new pair of jeans; the pair of jeans you are determined will become your new favourites, simply because they do two things – fit and flatter. Of course choosing your wedding dress is a bigger deal than a pair of jeans, and you will spend so much more time considering your options, but one thing remains the same, you want to feel fabulous wearing both!

To help you choose the perfect wedding dress you need to know what styles are on offer and what shapes suit your body. First up we have the skirt element of your dream gown. The choice of skirt shape will make a big impact on the overall look of your dress, from a modern fishtail to a more classical full skirted ‘Cinderella’ vision, the options available are almost endless!

Here is a quick run down of what shapes to look out for, who suits them. 

Fishtail & Mermaid

Fishtail Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Ellis Bridals

Shrinking violets should probably steer clear of fishtail and mermaid gowns as they are all about making a statement and saying, ‘look at my amazing figure!’ Both fishtail and mermaid dresses tend to be particularly fitted throughout until mid thigh or just below the knee where they flare out, sometimes in contrasting fabric such as layered tulle. Fishtails generally have the most flaring detail to the back of the dress.

Wear if… you are lucky enough to have an hourglass figure with balanced hip and bust measurements.

Avoid if… you are bottom heavy with an apple or pear shape as the figure hugging nature will do you no favours!


A Line

A Line Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Ian Stuart

An A line dress is pretty much the perfect dress for everyone because of its flattering shape which suits everyone. A dress with an A line skirt tends to have a fitted bodice which gently flares out to the ground and is amazing at detracting from larger hips that you may be trying to mask! Likewise if you have narrow hips, an A line dress will give you greater shape.

Wear if… you fall in love with one!

Avoid if… don’t avoid, embrace the A line!



Princess Ballgown Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Alfred Angelo

If you are harbouring dreams of becoming a Disney Princess for your day, a ballgown skirted dress is the ‘big’ option for you! With a fitted bodice that blossoms out into a large full skirt, you will certainly make a classical and memorable entrance. Ballgown dresses are at their most fabulous when modeled on brides with slender hips and a full bust.

Wear if… you want to give the illusion of a fairytale bride.

Avoid if… you are small busted, as the full skirt will make your bust appear smaller.



Column Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Maggie Sottero

A column or sheath dress is either structured and straight to the floor or soft and flowing sometimes with a Grecian look. Whether you are small or tall a sheath dress, either flowing or structured will give you a look fit for the catwalk and the aisle!

Wear if… you are either small or tall and want a slender silhouette.

Avoid if… you want to disguise larger hips, as this is not the dress to do that.


Empire Line

Empire Line Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Maggie Sottero

An empire line dress usually has some degree of detailing just under the bust in the form of a sash or brooch, which then flows from this point over your waist and hips and to the floor, skimming over your body. It is great for making petite brides appear taller and typically ooze’s a romantic air.

Wear if… you want to disguise a broad waist or create the illusion of height.

Avoid if… you are very tall!


image credits

fishtail Ellis Bridals | a line Ian Stuart | ballgown Alfred Angelo |column Maggie Sottero | empire line Maggie Sottero



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