There are many different technical terms to describe gown styles, shapes and silhouettes…it can be very overwhelming! Ball gown, A-line, Mermaid, Trumpet, what is the difference? And which one is right for you? We can help you work through all of the options out there.
It is important to determine your own body type in order to choose the perfect gown style for you. Once you understand your body type you need to begin looking for the right gown style that will compliment your assets and hide the little imperfections that we all have.
Start by choosing the appropriate gown silhouette.
Wedding Dress Silhouettes fall into a Few Basic Categories:
Traditional or Ball Gown – The most traditional of all categories, the ball gown is typified by a fitted bodice and waistline that lead to a very full skirt.
Empire – The hallmark of the Empire-style gown is a high waistline (right under the bust), which falls to a slimmer skirt.
A-Line – An A-line shape is cut close at waist and gradually widens from waistline to floor (creating an A-shape).
Sheath – The slim sheath silhouette closely follows the lines of the body.
Princess – Vertical seams extend from shoulder to hem with the skirt curving outward at the waistline.
Mermaid or Fit and Flare – A body-hugging silhouette with a skirt that flares below the knee.
Trumpet – A more understated style. The fit-and-flare trumpet skirt gradually flares at mid-thigh.
Redingote – A dress or coat, opened along the front to reveal an under dress or petticoat.
Glossary of Train Lengths
Do you find the different train lengths confusing? What do the terms mean? Just how long is a Cathedral train? We have the answers you need.
There are 5 standard lengths available, each term here represents a length category. Not to be confused with Hem Lengths, a train length is the length from the waist to the hem in the BACK of the gown.
Sweep Train: This is the shortest of the trains and is also called a brush train because it just brushes the floor. Usually, the back hem is only a few inches lower then the front hem. It is perfect for an elegant informal or semi-formal wedding gown. It provides the elegance of a train without to much added fabric in the way.
Chapel Length Train: This is currently the most common train because it has the elegance of a full train but is still not overly cumbersome. A chapel train is generally 1 1/3 yards or 4 feet from the waistline. This is perfect for a semi-formal wedding gown but could be used for a formal or informal wedding gown as well.
Semi-Cathedral Length Train: A semi-cathedral is about half way between a chapel and cathedral length. Perfect for a semi-formal or formal wedding gown.
Cathedral Length Train: This is a popular choice for a formal affair or for that fairy tale look. A cathedral train is generally 2 1/2 yards or 7 1/2 feet from the waistline and is usually used for a formal wedding.
Royal Train: Remember Princess Di’s wedding gown? This is one of those trains that is still out the door when you reach the alter! If your dream is to have a Princess Di train, this is it! Also called a Monarch train, this train generally falls 9 ft from the waist line and is only used for the most formal wedding.