Phi-Style: Wedding Dress Silhouettes

One of the most stressful parts of wedding planning is undoubtedly the hunt for The Dress.  Before I started looking for my own dress, I had no idea that there were certain silhouette categories that wedding dresses fell into.  I just never thought about it before!  Needless to say, I stared at the sales girl blankly when she asked me what silhouette I liked.

Here is a quick and easy summary of dress silhouettes to help you brides narrow down your dress options, as well as tips on which figure would look best with which silhouette.  Good luck, ladies! – Tram @Phi-Style.com


Princess — Also known as the “A-line,” the Princess silhouette is fitted at the top and flares out through the skirt. This is one of the more popular shapes since it’s flattering to most body types. It is recommended for petite figures because it can help add height, and for full figured brides because it hides the hips. This is also a great silhouette for pear-shaped figures.

Empire — This shape features a high waist that starts just beneath the bust and falls with a slight flare. This style is flattering to those with thicker waists since if falls straight down, concealing this area. While the empire style fits well on most body types, it’s especially flattering for those brides with a smaller bust since it draws attention to the neckline. It is not recommended for curvy, hourglass figures.

Mermaid — This silhouette hugs the body down to the knee before flaring out at the bottom. A true Mermaid flares out at the knee, while the similar Trumpet silhouette flares out earlier at the thighs. This silhouette is the most difficult to wear since the cut is so fitted, and is recommended for taller women. It is not recommended for shorter, bottom-heavy figures.

Ball gown — This classic and elegant silhouette consists of a form fitting bodice, leading down to a full, floor length skirt. Like the A-line silhouette, it flatters most figures. This dress is a great choice for medium to taller brides and for those that wish to hide large hips. It is also flattering to brides with narrow hips, as it can give the illusion of a curvy look. However, this shape is not recommended for petite brides as the full skirt can be overwhelming.

Sheath/Column — This style wedding gown can fall nearly straight down from the neckline to the hem, or it can hug your curves, accentuating your torso, waist and hips. Although flattering for several body types, depending on the fabric chosen, the Sheath or Column silhouette may not allow much room for hiding problem areas, like a larger lower body. A thinner material may be clingy and more form-fitting in a sheath/column dress. It is most recommended for those brides with a tall, thin figure.

Basque waist — This flattering silhouette is characterized by a low waist coming down to form a “V” several inches below the waist before opening into a full skirt. The shape elongates the torso and helps hide the tummy area. This silhouette is great for taller brides who want an hourglass appearance. Petite brides should be wary as this style may make them appear shorter.

[image from ModCloth Blog]

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Wedding dresses from Reem Acra SS2012

Reem Acra of course does some of my favorite draping and layering of all the designers…you really have to see them in person to appreciate the handiwork that goes into each dress.  True works of art if you ask me!  I loved the hot pink accents and the chic hairstyles the models wore for this seasons collection.

[top 2 sets from Reem Acra, last set by me] 

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Phi-Style: Reception Dresses

1. Narciso Rodriguez Petal-Print Silk-Charmeuse Dress, $2,485 | 2. BCBGMAXAZRIA Fei Fei Strapless Dress, $278 | 3. Kimberly Ovitz Comey Crepe Gown, $645 | 4. Notte by Marchesa One Shoulder Silk Dress, $795 | 5. Rick Owens Silk-Organza Bustier Gown, $2,695 | 6. Max Azria Asymmetric Silk Crepe de Chine Gown, $650 | 7. Thread One Shoulder Dress, $495 | 8. Alexander Wang Asymmetric Silk-Satin Dress, $675 | 9. Thakoon Gathered Front Dress, $1,050 | 10. Valentino Silk-Organza Strapless Dress, $3,990

Oh, the reception dress.  Should I wear one, or shouldn’t I?  Should it be long, or should it be short?  How much should I spend on it?  Undoubtedly, these are all questions that have crossed your minds.  For me, I didn’t decide to spring for a reception dress until the last few weeks before the big day.  My two musts – that it be fun, and that I be able to dance in it.  Here are a couple of my picks of great dresses that you can dance the night away in.  Get inspired!  – Tram @Phi-Style.com

[images from Net-A-Porter and Shopbop]

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Phi-Style: Met Ball 2011 Inspiration

1. Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexander McQueen | 2. Freida Pinto, Chanel | 3.  Jessica Stam, Tommy Hilfiger | 4. Ashley Greene, Donna Karan | 5. Emma Roberts, Michael Kors | 6. Naomi Watts, Stella McCartney

I love gathering wedding gown inspiration from celebrity red carpet looks.  The Costume Institute Gala, held last Monday at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, is arguably the most fashion-conscious event of the year – a perfect event to snag some ideas!  This year’s ball honored the work of the late Alexander McQueen, but the event did not fail to showcase a multitude of other beautiful designer gowns.  From sheaths, to a-lines, to fit-and-flare, these looks could easily be developed into a bridal look.   My personal favorite?  Jessica Stam in Tommy Hilfiger.  What a great way to showcase a pair of fabulous wedding shoes!  – Tram @ Phi-Style.com

[images from style.com]

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Phi-Style: Long Sleeved Gowns

Vera Wang | Stephane Rolland | Jenny Packham | Reem Acra

Kate Middleton’s classic and timeless dress is sure to inspire gowns in upcoming seasons.  Designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander Mcqueen, Kate’s dress featured a narrow v-neck, collared neckline, and its most distinctive feature – long lace sleeves.  Here are some long-sleeved choices that will have you feeling like a princess as you walk down the aisle. – Tram @ Phi-Style.com

[photos from Vera Wang, Stephane Rolland, Jenny Packham, Reem Acra]

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