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Bridal Jargon- Silhouettes explained! : Victoria Elaine Bridal
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Bridal Jargon- Silhouettes explained!

Bridal Jargon- Silhouettes explained!

Have you been in a bridal store and the stylist has taken you over to the rails to show 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! The first in our 4 part Bridal Jargon 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 and hide 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 often supported by petticoats underneath, but here is a top tip: wear a hoop underneath. This will add extra volume in the skirt (if desired) but will also keep the petticoats away from your legs, allowing you to move more freely.

A popular ballgown would be ‘Markle’ by Hayley Paige. 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!


A-line gowns.

An A-line silhouette is virtually flattering for every body shape and therefore one of the most popular types of gown in bridal boutiques. This is because an A-line gown is not as voluminous as a ballgown, but still skims over the hips and thighs 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 as this could make your waist look even smaller!

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

Ellis DressesEllis Dresses


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 brides wants a huge skirt or to flaunt their curves so this is a silhouette that will never go out of style and there are currently loads of gowns out there in this cut. Sheath gowns typically come with a range of necklines with a tight fit on the bodice, but typically 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 without adding the volume like an A-line, but still 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.


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

Tea length is becoming more and more popular as bridal design becomes more varied and able to include never seen before details in designs. Not everybody feels comfortable in a floor length gown or may desire a shorter skirt length for practical reasons, so a tea-length is a perfect option. These come in varied styles, like the 50’s prom dresses, that like ballgowns, synch you in at the waist and have very voluminous skirts, or a more subtle A-line version that will flow over your hip without too much in the way of netting. These also make a great choice for shoe addicts such as us 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 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. This would be suitable for a lady of any size or shape due to the cut, detailing and coverage and is a steal at £510.00! 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!


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 from there. This is a style that has always been seen as a ‘sexy’ option because it shows off your figure, and 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, discuss with your stylist about adding 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 to do so with the added drama of the ruffles to make sure you are centre stage during your big day! Embroidered and beaded lace adds elegance from top to bottom while 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!


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, still giving a silhouette that shows off your figure. Traditionally a fit and flare gown was just a softer version of the fishtail, however as trends have developed, so has the variety of styles that a fit and flare can be. Top tip: If a stylist suggests a fit and flare but you aren’t confident in showing off your figure, there will be one more subtle than others so give it a go!

The first Fit and Flare example is Haruki by Hayley Paige. Haruki is the traditional definition of a fit and flare silhouette, 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 venue you are marrying in. Haruki is available in a Cashmere or Ivory and is available to try on in the boutique now!


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.

Ellis DressesEllis Dresses


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!

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