What’s it called? A quick and dirty bridal terms list, Part 1

sihlouettes 2

When you are looking for the dress it’s helpful for be able to describe what you like and what you don’t. Here’s a list of common wedding dress silhouettes.



A LINE – the most classic dress silhouette – fitted along the bust and then lets out at the natural waistline.


BALLGOWN – a version of the A Line, the ball gown lets out at the natural waistline or above the hips with a full-volume skirt, often created by layers of tulle.


EMPIRE – a dress fitted only at the bust, letting out into the skirt just below the bust.


SHEATH – a dress fitted through the hips and then lets out straight to the floor with little volume.

Mermaid sihlouette

MERMAID – a dress fitted through the bust, waist, hips, and thighs, letting out just above, at, or below the knee.


TRUMPET – similar to but slightly more relaxed than the mermaid, the trumpet is fitted through bust, waist, and hips, until the skirt flares out along the high or mid thigh.

 tea length

TEA LENGTH – a shortened ballgown dress that ends below the knee/ mid-calf.


HIGH-LOW – can refer to any silhouette dress where the front of the skirt is higher than the back.