The Best Wedding Dress Silhouette for Your Body Type

We know, there are almost too many dress options out there—but the fastest way to finding your dream dress is figuring out what works for your shape.
by The Knot
Wedding gowns with different silhouettes

For the record, we think you should wear any wedding dress you feel your absolute best in. But if you're feeling a little overwhelmed with all the options out there (we know, there are so many gorgeous gowns to choose from), we're here to guide the way.

You can start with thinking about what type of dress silhouette will flatter your body type best. Find the major silhouettes below—and we'll leave it to you to decide which type you want to strut your stuff in on your wedding day. 

  1. Ball Gown

    Blush by Hayley Paige Ball Gown
    Maria Valentino/MCV Photo

    The number one distinguishing trait of a ball gown is its very full skirt. The silhouette also has a fitted bodice and is cinched at the natural waist.

    You'll love it if: You have a boyish figure, since the fullness of the dress will make you look curvier. It's also great for pear-shaped brides, since it defines the waist and the skirt skims over the hips. If you're busty, you'll love how much it balances you out. 

    You could hate it if: You’re a petite bride. You may feel "swallowed up" by a super-voluminous dress like this one. 

    Dress by Blush by Hayley Paige

  2. Dropped Waist

    Rebecca Ingram drop wasit wedding gown
    Courtesy of Rebecca Ingram

    This silhouette is exactly what you'd imagine—it drops and flares out slightly below the waistline around your hip area.

    You'll love it if: You want to flaunt your torso, since it hugs your waist and hips.

    You could hate it if: You have an athletic figure—you might find you look a little boxy if you don't have a lot of curves. 

    Gown by Rebecca Ingram

  3. Sheath

    Hayley Paige sheath dress
    Maria Valentino/MCV Photo

    Sometimes known as a column dress, the sheath silhouette is a formfitting style that follows the body’s natural line and doesn’t flare out.

    You'll love it if: You're petite, since this slim shape adds length. This silhouette also looks great on brides with slender figures.

    You could hate it if: You’re pear shaped, or extra curvy. You risk looking a little unbalanced. 

    Gown by Hayley Paige

  4. Trumpet

    Amsale trumpet silhouette wedding dress
    Maria Valentino/MCV Photo

    Not to be confused with mermaid, a trumpet silhouette will have a straight-lined skirt that subtly flares from the knee toward the hem in a trumpet shape.

    You'll love it if: You're on the curvier side and looking for a formfitting dress that’s still easy to move in.

    You could hate it if: You're not comfortable with flaunting your curves. Also, be careful if you have a rounder-shaped torso—this silhouette may not flatter you. 

    Gown by Amsale

  5. Empire

    Alexandra Grecco​ empire gown
    Kurt Wilberding

    This silhouette is known for its fitted bodice and waistline that hits right above the natural waist, with a loosely fitted skirt that skims the body. 

    You'll love it if: You're petite. Since the style hits below the bustline and skims over your waist and hips, you'll look instantly longer and leaner.

    You could hate it if: You're ultra curvy. This silhouette could overemphasize a large chest or full hips.

    Gown by Alexandra Grecco

  6. A-Line

    A-line silhouette Moonlight wedding gown
    Kurt Wilberding

    As its name implies, this cut is narrow at the top and extends out along the body in the shape of—you guessed it—an A.

    You'll love it if: You're, well, anyone! This silhouette works for every body type. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular skirt silhouettes—it’s super-flattering on almost everyone and allows tons of movement on the dance floor and beyond. 

    You could hate it if: You're looking for something super sexy. The loose-fitting skirt is appealing for lots of reasons, but not because it hugs your curves. 

    Gown by Moonlight

  7. Mermaid

    Pnina Tornai Mermaid gown
    Kurt Wilberding

    The mermaid silhouette is defined by a slim, tapered, curve-hugging skirt that follows the line of the hips and thighs, and flares out around the knee.

    You'll love it if: You have an hourglass figure and want to show off your curves.

    You could hate it if: You already know you don’t want something tight—this style is pretty constricting.

    Gown by Pnina Tornai

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