Every Wedding Dress Silhouette You Need to Know

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A display of gowns looks almost surrealistic in a Newport Beach, CA, bridal shop window.
Photo: Getty

Shopping for the perfect wedding dress can sometimes be overwhelming — among a sea of beautiful gowns out there, how do you choose THE one? It's simple — start from the basics. We rounded up the most common wedding dress silhouettes together with a few stunning options for your big day.

Art by Elysia Berman

Fit for a fairy-tale bride, the ball gown usually has a fitted, corset top and a full (or “puffy”) skirt. The bell shape is perfect for ladies with a pear-shaped body.

Our picks:

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Roksanda Wool and Silk-Blend Gown, $3,620; net-a-porter.com

Marchesa Tulle Gown, $6,995; net-a-porter.com

Oscar de la Renta Embellished Gown, $8,690; net-a-porter.com

Art by Elysia Berman

This classic silhouette consists of a fitted bodice and a flared skirt that essentially looks like the letter A. This type of wedding dress is a favorite of all brides for its flattering cut.

Our picks:

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Temperley London Felicity Off-the-Shoulder Silk Gown, $3,550; net-a-porter.com

Rime Arodaky Organza and Crepe Gown, $4,280; net-a-porter.com

Rime Arodaky Lace-Paneled Dress, $4,850; net-a-porter.com

Art by Elysia Berman

This leg-baring silhouette is perfect for a more casual celebration on a hot summer day. The hemline usually falls below or right above the knee. For maximum effect, wear it with a pair of sky-high heels.

Our picks:

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Self-Portrait Mini Dress, $590; net-a-porter.com

Roland Mouret Wool-Crepe Dress, $2,650; net-a-porter.com

Fendi Embellished Mini Dress, $2,650; net-a-porter.com

Art by Elysia Berman

The high waist design of this dress is very forgiving and accentuates the bust making it the perfect choice for ladies with an apple-shaped body.

Our picks:

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Needle & Thread Embellished Gown, $700; net-a-porter.com

Needle & Thread Chiffon Gown, $1,100; net-a-porter.com

Temperley London ‘Anastasia’ Gown, $4,425; net-a-porter.com

Art by Elysia Berman

The fitted upper part of this dress hugs your body to below your hips and the skirt flares out at the knees. This is a classic, yet sexy silhouette that looks beautiful on an hourglass figure.

Our picks:

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Roland Mouret Crepe Gown, $3,755; net-a-porter

Roland Mouret Abella strapless Gown, $5,115; net-a-porter.com

Needle & Thread Embellished Chiffon Gown, $1,697; net-a-porter.com

Art by Elysia Berman

This silhouette is fitted at the top, accentuates the natural shape of your body, and has one significant advantage—the straight and elongated shape of the skirt will give you legs for days.

Our picks:

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Self-Portrait Penelope Lace Gown, $1,420; net-a-porter.com

Needle & Thread Embellished Tulle Gown, $1,298; net-a-porter

Halston Heritage Crepe Gown, $595; net-a-porter.com

Art by Elysia Berman

For the modern bride who likes doing things her own way—opt for a cropped jumpsuit or a two-piece tuxedo The sky is truly the limit here.

Our picks:

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Alice + Olivia Arwen Tulle Gown, $2,000; net-a-porter.com

Roksanda Draped Cutout Jumpsuit, $2,320; net-a-porter.com

Givenchy Blazer, $2,590; net-a-porter.com

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