Bridal Gown Jargon- Silhouettes explained!

Markle bridal gown

Have you left a bridal store with the stylist showing you A-lines, Trumpets and Sheath silhouettes and you leave feeling more confused than when you entered the boutique? Then this is the blog for you! This blog series takes you on a tour of different bridal gown silhouettes and the terminology linked to it!


First stop- Ballgown

If you think of bridal gowns, your mind may go straight to a ballgown. With their dramatic, full skirts and tightly fitted bodices to the natural waistline, this can be a very flattering look! They are also great at hiding parts of your body you would rather have covered on your wedding day. A ballgown is the perfect choice for you if you want the ‘princess’ look. The skirts are supported by petticoats underneath, but here is a top tip: wear a hoop underneath. This will add extra volume in the skirt but will also keep the petticoats away from your legs.

Markle by Hayley Paige is out most tried on ball gown. Markle is in the trademark labyrinth caviar fabric, also designed by Hayley Paige. Her bodice features a scalloped sweetheart neckline with spaghetti straps. The waist has a flattering panel, making your waist look even smaller before her huge caviar and tulle layered skirt cascades down to the floor!

Markle Bridal gownMarkle bridal gown


A-line gowns.

An A-line silhouette is virtually flattering for every body shape. Therefore one of the most popular types of gown in bridal boutiques. This is due to an A-line gown being not as voluminous as a ballgown, but will skims over the hips in a flattering way. A-line gowns typically take you in at the waist, creating the most narrow part of your body and flare out to create an ‘A’ shape. Top tip for an A-line gown: if the design of the gowns doesn’t have a belt included, try adding one!

Arabella (12337) by Ellis Bridals is the perfect example of an A-line bridal gown. A sweetheart neckline and fitted bodice take your eyes down to a delicate, bejewelled belt. Then, the sequined and embellished skirt drapes over the hips without fuss. This gives the impression of curves without having to show them! The skirt is created from layers of dotted and floral tulle to create a whimsical gown for any Summertime bride!

Arabella bridal gownArabella by Ellis Bridals


Sheath gowns…otherwise known as column!

The easiest way to describe the sheath silhouette is the skirt goes straight down, no flare, just flows down. Not every bride wants a huge skirt or to flaunt their curves so this silhouette will never go out of style. Currently there are loads of gowns out there in this cut. They typically come with a range of necklines with a tight fit on the bodice, but cut at the natural waist and skim over the very top of the hip. Top tip: This gown is effortless to wear due to the lack of volume in the skirt so would make an excellent choice for a destination wedding or reception gown!

A gorgeous option for a sheath gown would be Pascal by Hayley Paige. By including a chiffon skirt, the weight of the fabric drapes by your side which allows for a flowing movement as you walk. Her bodice is adorned with metallic, floral patterned, micro beading with a bateau neckline and illusion sleeves. A WOW-factor gown without the volume of the previous two silhouettes.

Pascal Bridal gownPascal by Hayley Paige

Tea length…. because not everybody wants a floor length gown!

Tea length is becoming more popular as bridal design becomes more varied. Not everybody feels comfortable in a floor length gown or may desire a shorter skirt length for practical reasons. These come in varied styles, like the 50’s prom dresses synch you in at the waist and have very voluminous skirts. Or a more subtle A-line version that will flow over your hip. These also make a great choice for shoe addicts and can be teamed up with any shoe by The Perfect Bridal Company. Top tip: Some full-length gowns can be altered to be tea length, so don’t rule trying on full length in your consultations. Seek a stylist’s assistance to advise you on which gowns this would apply to!

Clover (PC8906TL) by Phil Collins Bridal

This is one of our favourite tea-lengths in the boutique due to its scalloped lace cap sleeves, illusion neckline and 3D flower detail on the waist. Should you want this gown in a full length, or in a full length with a train then Phil Collins can take care of it!

Clover bridal gownClover by Phil Ccollins bridalclover full length bridal gown


Fishtail….or maybe you know it as a Mermaid?

A very popular silhouette that really flaunts your curves…or gives the impression that you have some! Fishtails are fitted from the bodice right down to around the knee where they then dramatically flare out. This is a style that has been seen as a ‘sexy’ option because it shows off your figure. With recent trends coming over from the USA, such as the plunging V neckline, some really can be! Top tip: If you find a gown that is perfect in every way but does have a plunging neckline, ask your stylist to add a modesty panel.

Delta (CT210) by Eddy K Couture is a WOW factor example of a fishtail. It is fitted down the entire bodice to not only flare out by the knee, but do so with the added drama of the ruffles. This will ensure you are centre stage during your big day! Embroidered and beaded lace adds elegance from top to bottom. The horsehair rimmed ruffles will easily keep their shape and volume during the entirety of your wedding day. This gown will be just one of the Eddy K Couture gowns arriving in store soon!

delta bridal gownEddy K Couture wedding dress


Fit and flare…otherwise known as Trumpet, Fluted and many more!

Fit and flare gowns are for those who want a fitted cut, but do not want to go for the full effect of a fishtail gown. A fit and flare gown is typically fitted all the way down to the lower hip and then gradually flares out to the ground. This still offers a silhouette that shows off your figure. Top tip: If a stylist suggests a fit and flare, there are different volumes in the ‘flare so give it a go!

Fit and flare gowns

The first Fit and Flare bridal gown example is Haruki by Hayley Paige. Haruki is the traditional definition of a fit and flare silhouette. That with added modern features such as the labyrinth caviar fabric, deep V neckline and rhinestone straps. Her fit is figure hugging with a gentle fluted skirt that is manageable no matter the type of wedding venue. Haruki is available in a Cashmere or Ivory and is available to try on in the boutique now!

haruki bridal gownharuki bridal gownHaruki by Hayley Paige


To show how versatile this silhouette is, here is our second example, April (18115) by Ellis Bridals. April brings 1930’s glamour to our boutique being fully beaded in vintage inspired patterns. Where this gown is fitted to your lower hip and around your bottom, it is a fit and flare gown without the dramatic flare seen in Haruki. Delicate, draped cap sleeves and a gentle V neckline gives you elegant coverage and the low back adds a hint of modernity.

april bridal gownEllis Bridal wedding dress


One thing is for sure, bridal is not all about the ball gown anymore! If there is a silhouette you have in mind, you are bound to find a bridal gown to match it!

Links for the gowns shown today:

Hayley Paige

Ellis Bridals

Phil Collins Bridal

Eddy K

Look out for our next part of this blog series on bridal jargon- part 2 is all about the different necklines currently seen in bridal!

Victoria Elaine Bridal, Maidstone, sells bridal gowns






Book Your Appointment

Victoria Elaine Bridal is the boutique to visit for wonderful customer service, luxury gowns and a friendly team on hand to help you find your dream wedding dress. Our ethos is a bride should not be outshone on her wedding day, and our style of gowns reflect this! If you are looking for anything from a sparkly ballgown to a modern, minimalist dress, we are the shop for you! 

And did we mention, we are Kent’s authorised stockist of the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and Disney Fairy Tale Weddings PLATINUM collections!

For your dream bridal experience to begin at Victoria Elaine Bridal, simply book an appointment with us.

We very much look forward to seeing in the boutique soon!