Dress Silhouettes Guide

Dress Silhouettes Guide

Regardless of the occasion, when searching for the perfect dress, your goal is to look and feel breathtakingly beautiful. And you should! Whether you're dress shopping for homecoming, prom, a pageant, or even a charity gala, each are special moments that deserve celebrating. Your dress should reflect that importance. At the core of each dress is the silhouette. There are several dress silhouette options to choose from, and this can sometimes make the shopping process feel daunting and a bit overwhelming. This brief guide identifies and defines the most common dress silhouettes so it can feel easier to find your perfect dress!

Ball Gown Silhouette

Have you always dreamed of floating across the pageant stage or making a grand entrance at prom? If so, then the Ball Gown might be your perfect dress! The Ball Gown silhouette is a timeless design that complements all body shapes. The bodice is fitted at the natural waist where the full skirt then flares out to create a full, dramatically flared skirt. Ball Gowns can accommodate an array of necklines, including strapless, v-neck, one-shoulder, halter, high neck, and more.


A-Line Silhouette

Similar to the Ball Gown, the A-line silhouette creates a timeless aesthetic and is a great option for any body type. In addition, it’s the most suitable for any location or event. Tearing up the dance floor? Check! Strutting across the stage? Check! Climbing a mountain? Check! However, our favorite aspect is the versatility of the A-line silhouette. Not only is it comfortable, but the A-line dress shape can be casual and formal depending on the fabrics, embellishments, and length of train…or no train at all! You get the point. The A-line silhouette gradually flares out from the waist to create a capital A shape. An A-line is considered the slimmer sister style to a Ball Gown.


Fit and Flare Silhouette

For a more modern look, with several variations, try a Fit and Flare silhouette. As the name implies, this style features a fitted bodice before the skirt flares out. Typically, a Fit and Flare skirt starts anywhere from the mid hip to below the knee. Depending on style details, such as lace or beading, the waistline can be defined or subtle. Both the Mermaid and the Trumpet silhouettes are dramatic variations of a Fit and Flare dress.


Mermaid Silhouette

If jaw-dropping drama excites you, the Mermaid silhouette just might be the perfect choice. This silhouette is fitted all the way down to the knees (or even slightly below), where it flares out into a skirt. Often, the lower part of the skirt is made from a different fabric than the bodice for a bold look.


Trumpet Silhouette

The difference between Mermaid and Trumpet dress silhouettes is based on where the skirt flares on the body. A Trumpet skirt begins to flare between mid-hip and mid-thigh, making it easier to move in. As the name implies, the Trumpet skirt resembles the shape of a trumpet's bell. That’s right, with a Trumpet silhouette, you can dance the night away while still showing off your curves.


Sheath Silhouette

A true Sheath dress follows your natural shape from the neckline to the hem and hangs straight down. A Sheath silhouette is commonly recognized as a bias cut or a slip dress – there is not a defined waist. Sheaths can look different depending on the fabric. A lace Sheath might look more boho or vintage; a crepe Sheath may hug your figure more; and a silk satin Sheath could create a more chic and elevated vibe.


Our stylists at TBC Occasions recommend trying on different dress silhouettes while searching for your perfect dress. Oftentimes, the dress that ends up being “the one” was something you would have never considered trying on without the encouragement from a stylist, coach, or your mom. Not only that, but sometimes different occasions call for different silhouettes! Regardless of the event you're attending, TBC Occasions has the dress for you!



Your TBC Dream Dress Team