Articles Education/Information

All About That Dress



The day has finally arrived. You have your first appointment to try on a wedding gown for the first time ever. It is sure to be a momentous occasion. The most important decision is of course which gown to select. But second and almost as crucial is who you take along for the fitting. Mother? Maid of Honor? A friend or co-worker? Who is going to give you the most honest input? Who is going to drive you the least crazy in the process?? Trying on gowns is a very emotional process.

The answer to the second question greatly affects the first, more then you may realize at the time. The individuals you bring with you to try on wedding gowns are obviously important in your life and I completely understand how giddy you are to try on those dresses and show off to everyone, but is that really what’s best for you? Shouldn’t you show off when you are walking down the aisle and everyone sighs over you beauty? I think so….

You have to remember that not everyone will have your best interest in mind! That BFF that you love for her honesty can completely break your heart when she tells you she is not a fan of lace or bitter newly divorced Aunt Susie thinks white isn’t flattering on your figure! Those are people who you could do without. The best way to prevent the haters from attending is to not take a large group..take only a couple of individuals or better take that one special person.

Most of my brides opt to go dress shopping with their mothers and stats agree because 73% of brides shop for their dress with their mother. My opinion, whether it be your mother, grandmother, friend, whom ever…..take the person that is going to let YOU voice how you feel in the gown! They may be paying for it but they aren’t wearing it, are they?

To help with decision making tell that special little group or person what your vision is! Do you want to look sexy, cute, glamorous, or all 3? Brief them on how you see yourself on your wedding day so they can be prepared for the events to come!

Now to answer that first question…Which dress??  Let me start by saying there are many different Silhouettes, Necklines, Waistlines, Fabrics, colors, etc that all appeal to and flatter different brides.

As far as silhouettes go, there are 6 main shapes.  A-Line contains a fitted bodice with a flair near the bottom, making an “A” shape.  This shape fits most body figures and hides weight near the bottom.  Empire has a higher waist line, just under the bust.  This silhouette is flawless for smaller busts or petite figures and it creates an illusion of length.  Ball Gown is a longer design with a fitted bodice and very full, sometimes poofy dress.  This shape better suits brides that are either average height or taller as it visually cuts the body in half from the fullness in the skirt.  It does however hide the mid-section, hips, and legs.  Sheath is very fitted with a straight skirt and defined waist.  This type is best for bride’s with well-toned figures.  The last two types of silhouettes are very similar to each other but are slight variations of each other.  Trumpet is fitted until mid-hip, widening from there to the hem.  This dress type adds and accentuates curves and is well suited for the “hour-glass” figure.  Mermaid silhouette is again very fitted, but doesn’t start to flare until the knee.  Again this shape is best for brides with an “hour-glass figure”.

The different types of necklines, waistlines, and sleeves also add to the overall impression of your gown.  Some of the most popular necklines include: Sweetheart, Bateau, Haltar, Plunging, V Neck and Queen Ann.  Sweetheart necklines are shaped like the top half of a heart.  Bateau neckline is curved from the shoulder tips to the collarbone.  Haltar neckline has straps that wrap around the back of your neck.  This neckline is flattering for brides with a larger bust.  Plunging contains a deep V-neck.  Queen Ann neckline has a high collar in the back with a scoop or V Neck in the front.  More necklines include: Scalloped, Scoop, Dipped, Cowl Neck, Portrait, Square, One-Shoulder, Off the Shoulder, and High Neck.  The different types of waistlines include: a basque or low U or low V, a Dropped Waist, Empire, Natural, and Princess.  Sleeve options include: Strapless, Spaghetti Straps, Sleeveless, Cap Sleeve, Short SLeeve, 3/4 Sleeve, and Long Sleeve.

The back of your gown and train leave an important lasting impression while your guests watch you walk down the aisle.  The back of your gown can be Open, X Cross, Closed, U-Shape, V-Shape, and Bare.  Each option creates a different look for your dress.  For your train, the options are: Watteau (attached to shoulders), Royal (10 ft), Cathedral (6 ft), Chapel (3ft), Court (1ft), & Brush/Sweep (barely brushes the floor).

The other two critical components to your dream dress are the fabric and back closer.  The main types of fabric include: Chiffon, Organza, Satin, Tafetta, Tulle, & Lace.  Chiffon is a light, sheer, and layered fabric usually with another material layered underneath.  Organza is a crisp and nearly translucent tight weave material.  Satin is smooth, heavy, and shiny, with almost a sometimes glossy appearance.  Taffeta is crisp and smooth fabric that is ideal for ballroom gowns.  Tulle is stiff netting generally used for the skirt of the dress or underneath the skirt of the dress.  Lace is a popular trend used on many dresses recently.  It creates a delicate pattern that can create beautiful and intricate dresses.  For the back of your gown, you can choose between zipped, button up, corset and lace up, or a combination of the three.  Just make sure to choose the fabric and back that make you feel the most comfortable!

Do your research beforehand so you know what type of gown suits your body type the best.  This way you don’t waste time trying on dresses you know won’t work for you.  Make sure the people you bring with you are all on the same page and are completely supportive of YOUR vision. With the right people by your side and the perfect gown you are sure to feel like a million bucks!


Images taken from: