Wedding Dress Skirt Shapes Explained

by Michelle

Never underestimate the power of a skirt. Let me explain a little, your choice of skirt shape strongly influences the overall style and look of your wedding dress. Strong skirt shapes such as the ball gown have a classical air about them, whilst form-fitting shapes such as the column have a modern sexier appeal.

Your decision on what skirt shape to have should not only depend on what you like or what the latest fashion is, but most importantly, on what looks good on you, what you feel fabulous and comfortable wearing and on the level of formality and general theme of your wedding.

Whilst classic ball gown shapes look amazing in formal wedding settings and venues, they’re not best suited to boho festival themed weddings, where the relaxed vibe rules and an ethereal, unstructured gowns rule.

Take a look at the following skirt shapes and our guides as to the body shape  they best suit. Remember, even if you feel you may not suit a particular style, if you love the look of it, give it a try anyway, you never know, it may just turn out to be ‘The One.’

A-line Skirt Shapes

This is a flattering style and suits most body shapes. They are fitted to the waist, then flow in an uppercase A shape from the natural waist to the bottom of the skirt. The degree of flare in the skirt can vary from slight to extreme and the bodice is often gently fitted.

Image Source: Maggie Sottero

Column/Straight Skirt

The column design is a really flattering design for brides who want a modern, chic look. The slim profile closely follows the body’s curves and looks flattering on tall, slim or petite brides. It’s perhaps not the most forgiving style, as there isn’t too much room to hide any problem areas, so choose a gown with fitted corsetry for a flattering smooth line.

Image Source: David Tutera for Mon Cheri Bridals

Mermaid Style Skirts

A Mermaid style is very similar to the column, but even more figure-hugging, especially round your middle and bottom, it then flares out from the thigh.

Image Source: Maggie Sottero

A Mermaid style is ideally suited to the bride who wants to accentuate her hourglass figure.  Due to it’ being fitted throughout the body, like the column, it’s not super forgiving and smooth lingerie with no VPL is a must.

Fishtail Designs

Amazingly popular at the moment, the fishtail looks very similar to both the column and mermaid styles at the front, depending on the exact cut.

Image Source: Sophia Tolli

It then has an extra panel of fabric sewn into the back of the skirt which fans out like its namesake.

Image Source: Sophia Tolli

Ballgown/Full Skirt

Ballgowns are the most traditional style of skirt for the bride who is seeking a classic elegant, fairy tale  look. The skirt’s appearance can vary depending on the fabric used and range from formally structured to soft and light.

Image Source: Sophia Tolli

This style of skirt is often combined with a fitted bodice to balance the full skirt. The ball gown suits a wide range of figures, especially those with curves. These dresses are usually worn with a hooped underskirt, which may have to purchase separately, this helps retain the outer skit’s full appearance.

Image Source: Sophia Tolli

Empire Line

Another timeless classic, the empire line dress is for brides who don’t want a massively figure-hugging gown. It features a fitted short bodice with the starting just below the bust and is no where near as full as the ball gown. The skirt may have a straight or an A-line shape. This style of dress is flattering on most figures. It’s ideal for petite brides as the fabric of the skirt falls from the bust, skimming the waist, giving the illusion of height.

Image Source: Berketex Bride

What’s your favourite skirt shape? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Feature Image Source: Sopia Tolli

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