Glossary edition 1: Gown Silhouettes Home

Surplice, flounce, empire, bateau , castillion, alencon, and more. Wedding dress terms can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a lengthy list of terms to help you understand gown silhouettes, fabrics, neck lines, lengths, bodices and trains but we’ll deliver these glossaries to you in “bite-size” increments over the next several weeks. If there is a term your interested in learning more about, send it our way here and we’d be happy to add it to the glossary.

We won’t claim this list will be all encompassing but we’re confident it will be 90% (+/-) comprehensive.

The first “bite-size” section we have for you today is gown silhouettes. Let’s dig right in.

Gown Silhouettes

A-line/Princess - Narrow at the bodice, with vertical seams that flow right down to a slightly flared-out skirt.

Asymmetrical - The bottom of the skirt, as well as perhaps several layers of fabric comprising the skirt, is cut on a diagonal angle.

Ballgown - A fitted bodice that comes in at the waist and then flares out to a full, floor-length skirt with lots of volume for a more formal and traditional bridal look.

Column - A fitted bodice to a narrow, tailored look over the waist and hips, and straight to the floor. No flares, no poofs, and not as fitted as a sheath. You can do floor-length, or shorten it to calf-length for a less formal wedding.

Empire - A Victorian-style of gown, this one features a fitted bodice with a skirt that starts right at the base of the chest and hangs down in a straight, slim line to the floor.

Mermaid - Form-fitting from the chest to a tiny waist, over the hips and then down to the knees, where fabric flares out in dramatic fashion like a mermaid’s tail.

Sheath - A close, form-fitting dress from bodice all the way down to the skirt. May have a slit at the legs for easier walking.

Test your new knoweledge! What silhouette does each of these gowns represent?


Ok that's all we have for silhouettes.But we suspect that was plenty right? Next time we'll have skirt styles for you. Don't forget to message or comment below if you have questions or would like us to explain a specific term!


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L’Fay Bridal

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7725 Main Street
Fogelsville, PA 18051

484 793 8140