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Dress Silhouettes



Silhouette refers to the overall cut of a gown. It's the most vital element to focus on, because a gown's shape is its foundation -- it's what sets

the mood for the entire garment. The fitted bodice and full bell shaped skirt of the ball gown, for example, gives a princess like presence. More

form fitting styles like the A line and sheath, offer a different appeal.The A line elongates the line of the body, adding a classical elegance and

the illusion of length. While the sheath ups the ante on wedding dress sex appeal, creating a sleek and modern option for the more daring



Your prom dress is a distinctive garment that will sanctify the present, honor the past, and celebrate the future. As a prom girl, you want your

dress to represent you and to express your sense of taste, style and tradition. Immerse yourself in the most exciting purchase of your life and

your perfect dress will be meticulously chosen. Almost every prom dress available today is made in one of five basic silhouettes -- ball gown,

A-line, empire, sheath and mermaid -- and each of these shapes has strong advantages and disadvantages, depending on your particular

figure. To simplify your shopping, the first thing you need to do is to determine which styles are most flattering to you.



A line

As its name implies, the A line cut is narrow at the top, cut close to the ribcage, and extends out along the body in the shape of a triangle

(or 'A') in a smooth, elongated line. It is perhaps the most popular skirt option, as it looks wonderful on a variety of body types. The lines of

the skirt are always clean and ungathered, but there is, as always, a number of versions. The princess cut is exemplified by vertical seams

traveling from the bust to the hem. Another take is the circle skirt, a very wide A line with a full skirt.


Good For

This is a fitted bodice shape with an A line skirt. It hugs the waist, so it creates a slimmer waistline and flatters the bust. If

you have wider hips, the A line will cover them up effectively and if you have narrower hips the cut of the skirt will

give you some shape.


Bad For

The tighter bodice will tend to draw attention to a smaller bust so it will be more flattering if you add a little padding to

balance the look. This can be with secretive padding added to the dress or a good bra. A heavy bust will need some

structure -- often this support is already built in to the bodice, but if not then boned corsetry is a must.



Ball Gown

The most traditional of all shapes, the ball gown is typified by a fitted bodice and natural or dropped waistline that leads to a very full skirt. Pleats or gathers in the skirt are what make it a ball gown.


Good For

If you have a slim-hipped figure and a full bust, the Full Skirt shape will balance top and bottom perfectly, giving you that

'fairytale girl' look. This style and the Princess are generally thought of as the most romantic shapes.


Bad For

Avoid the Full Skirt if you are not full busted, as it will make your bust look smaller.If you are petite, avoid this option

because you will disappear into the dress! If you have wide hips, avoid the Full Skirt because it will over

emphasize them.





A modern sexier take on the traditional wedding gown, the sheath is characterized by a slim profile that closely follows the curves of the body.

Fitted but with a straight skirt, this can be soft and floaty as in a Grecian style or fitted and structured with a straight skirt.


Good For

The Column dress hugs the figure and looks great on tall, willowy women. This is the one to give you that catwalk look! It will also work well on

a more petite figure.


Bad For


The Column shape sits quite close to the body, so if you have fuller hips, this will tend to emphasize them, and is quite clinging so avoid it if you

do not have a smooth outline.









The cropped bodice of the Empire style flatters the small-breasted and thick waisted woman; the raised waist creates a long line, ideal for a

petite girl. The skirt may be straight, slightly flared, or even as wide as an A line. Under bust detailing and seaming with an unstructured

waist so that it falls in a virtually straight line past the hips and into the skirt.



Good For

The body of the dress falls from beneath the bust, which is great if you have a broad waist and a small bust. The long line

makes petite brides look taller. Thinking of Jane Austen, then this is the one to create the perfect romantic look.


Bad For

The long line makes tall brides look taller. Avoid it also if you have a heavy bust line because it will make it appear bigger.





A body hugging shape silhouette with skirt flares out either at the knee or just below it. Flatters the tall and hourglass figures, not recommend

 for the pear shape.Also known as hourglass or figure hugging, the mermaid shape is tightly fitted to the body and flares out from mid

thigh or knee.


Good For

The mermaid shape is ideal for curvy girls with balanced hip and bust measurements -- this dress will bring out the Marilyn Monroe in you. If

you want Hollywood glamour, this is undoubtedly it.


Bad For

Just make sure you can sit down in it before you buy it or you may spill out, and if it is not boned then make sure that you have good

supportive underwear. Careful if your curves are all in your bottom as it will emphasis it, and avoid if you are straight up and down, apple or

pear shaped.



Dress Necklines


The neckline is a very important feature on a wedding dress. Not only is it the part of the dress people spend the most time looking at, but it's

also the one that draws attention to the face, the collarbone, and the deolletage (the low cut neckline on a woman's dress). Some necklines

 -- the bateau, jewel, and high collar -- sit high on, or even cover the collarbone. Others -- the portrait, sweetheart, scoop, keyhole, and strapless

-- are better known for what they leave bare. Because of its prominence, many brides use the neckline to add character

to a gown, whether it's to show off an accessory, or to highlight a particular figure feature.


Sweetheart Neckline


A low cut neckline shaped like the top half of a heart, accentuating the deolletage. Often done with an overlay of sheer

material that rises higher, elongating the torso and neck.


Good For
Larger chest sizes (for a stylish display).


Bad For
Smaller chest sizes

Scoop Neckline


Also known as a ballerina neckline, this U shaped style is often cut low, and occasionally the scoop will continue on the back of the dress.















The neckline dips down at the front in a flattering V, elongating the neckline and deemphasizing the bust line.




Good For

B or C cups.


Bad For

Anything smaller or larger (the bodice will either seem a bit empty or too full).








Square Neckline

The name gives this one away: the neckline is cut straight across the front.





Good For

 the bust endowed (it cuts low, but isn't revealing).


Bad For

almost no one.








 Halter Neckline

The halter features straps that wrap around the neck, or a high neck with deep armholes. This is often backless.





Good For
great shoulders.

Bad For
broad or narrow shoulders or anyone who needs the support of a bra.






Off the Shoulder

This neckline sits below the shoulders, with sleeve like straps that cover part of the upper arm. Shows off your collarbone and shoulders.




Good For
medium or full chested women (open neck styling with the support of straps); pear shapes; and anyone with

good shoulders or collarbone.


Bad For
broad shoulders (accentuates the obvious) and thin lips.





Spaghetti Strap

This neckline is nearly strapless, except for the presence of thin, delicate straps. A bit like strings of spaghetti, funnily enough!





Good For
small to medium breasts.


Bad For
large breasts or broad shoulders.






There are no straps on this style The bodice is usually cut straight across, but it can also peak on the sides or have a slight dip in the centre.



Good For
broad or thick shoulders.


Bad For
smaller chests (unless you're wearing a push up bra).





One Shoulder

Asymmetrical linear necklines that cut across the torso diagonally, usually from one shoulder to under the other arm.




Good For
great collarbones, the bra-free.


Bad For
the bra dependent or those with broad shoulders.






Below are the different length styles for the dresses.


Floor Length

The hem on this gown brushes the floor on all sides. A wonderful formal look that works well on both straight and full gown styles.










Tea Length

A gown hemmed to a few inches below the knee. This may be seen as a slightly conservative option, but with a modern twist.




Knee Length

Another great look for bridesmaids or for the casual bride, this style of skirt ends just below the knee.




Cocktail Style

For the super sassy bride, this skirt ends mid-thigh and is guaranteed to up the wow-factor.


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