A handy cheat sheet to the vocabulary specific to wedding dress shopping, to help you find the perfect bridal gown shape for you.

Guide to Wedding Dress Silhouette Lingo

The fashion industry in general – and the wedding dress industry in particular – has its own vocabulary. You can certainly shop for a bridal gown without knowing the lingo, but understanding the language can help make your shopping experience easier. This cheat sheet to wedding dress silhouette lingo will help you when you shop for your designer wedding dress in Columbus. But don’t worry, there won’t be a test and your bridal stylist will help you through the shopping experience.

Wedding Gown Silhouettes

The shape of a bridal gown is known as its silhouette. Here are some of the most common bridal gown silhouettes:

Ball gown: The classic fairy tale dress shape, the ball gown has a fitted waist and a full skirt.

Princess or A-line: Resembling the shape of an uppercase-A, the dress is fitted through the waist and then flows from the hips down to the ground.

Sheath: A narrow style flowing straight down from neckline to hem, sometimes indented slightly at the waist.

Trumpet or Mermaid: Fitted through the body and then flares out at the thigh (trumpet) or the knee (mermaid).

Empire: A high-waisted style with a fitted bodice ending just below the bust. The skirt may be loosely draped or flared.

Other Wedding Dress Lingo

The dress shape is only one part of the language of the bridal gown. Other lingo to brush up on before shopping for a designer wedding dress is that related to wedding dress necklines, wedding dress lengths, and wedding dress trains.

Common wedding dress necklines include Sweetheart, Straight Across, Square, V-Neck, One-Shoulder, Scoop, Queen Anne, High-Neck, Halter, Off-the-Shoulder, Bateau, Illusion, High, Portrait, Sabrina, and Jewel.

Common wedding dress lengths include Short, Knee-length, High-low, Midcalf or Ballet-Length, and Floor-length.

Common wedding dress trains include Sweep, Chapel, Cathedral, Extended Cathedral, Semi-Cathedral, and Monarch.