What’s the Difference Between Wedding Dress Silhouettes?

Here at Kleinfeld, we know how fun, exciting and emotional wedding dress shopping can be—but it can be daunting as well if you don’t feel prepared. Not sure where to start in your search? Our consultants typically suggest trying on different silhouettes first to see what you like and don’t like. Below is all the info you need about typical wedding dress silhouettes so you can be educated and prepped for a great day of shopping.


Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz

A-line dresses have a pretty self-explanatory silhouette—they are narrow at the top and extend along the body into the shape of an ‘A.’  This silhouette is universally flattering and works for any body type or height, as it shows off your smallest point (your waist). This silhouette is perfect if you’re not keen on showing off your bottom half, as the skirt will cascade right over your hips and thighs.


Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz

The mermaid silhouette is perfect for someone looking to show off their curves in the sexiest way. This style is fitted and body-hugging throughout the bust, waist, hip and thighs, and flares out in a dramatic “mermaid tail” below the knee, at what’s known as a “join line” or a seam where the flared skirt is attached to the bottom of the dress. Definitely keep in mind if you plan on dancing the night away at your wedding—mermaid style dresses can be hard to dance in, as your knees are meant to stay close together.

Fit and Flare

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz

Fitted through the body, the fit and flare elongates your body without restricting movement like a mermaid silhouette. Fitted (and in some cases, body-hugging) from bust and waist to hips and thighs with a gentle flare out above the knee, fit and flares are flattering on many body types. This silhouette is perfect for the bride who wants the illusion of a mermaid gown, but the freedom of a more relaxed style. Keep in mind that the shape of this dress may change when altered if you are petite (the flared portion of the dress may shorten, changing the overall silhouette slightly)—speak with your consultant regarding specific fit and flares that might work better for you. 

Ball Gown

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz

Ball gowns are fitted at the waist and flare out to a large full skirt. This silhouette is perfect for the bride looking to feel like a princess on her special day! This silhouette is also flattering on most body types, however can be overwhelming on petite frames depending on the volume of the skirt.


Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz

Sheaths fall close to your figure, in a column shape. This style elongates you and emphasizes your natural curves without hugging them, and is perfect for adding length to petite brides. This style is fuss free (dresses typically have no train or a very small train) and are great if you’re looking for something simple.

Now that you’ve got the scoop, it’s time to shop! Make an appointment here.
Kleinfeld receives new dresses every day—check out what’s trending!
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