Bridal Gown Silhouettes

Monday, December 11, 2017
Choosing your bridal gown is exciting but can also be quite daunting! That’s why Olivelli recommends that an experienced bridal consultant should be at your side. When choosing your wedding dress, you want to find the silhouette and style best suited to your body shape while being fashionable and classy!

Here’s Olivelli’s guide to making sure that the bridal gown you choose makes you look exquisite on your big day.

Ball Gown



Think fairy-tale, classic romance and the stuff dreams are made of. A ball gown silhouette typically has a fitted bodice that flares from the waist into a full and dramatic skirt with or without a train.

Almost all body types can look beautiful in a ball gown although we do suggest that a bride with a petite figure should select a ball gown with slightly less flare on the skirt, to match the volume of the skirt with the frame of the bride. At the same time, a ball gown is great for a pear-shaped silhouette as it is flattering for the bride with a slightly fuller lower body because it will emphasize her neat waist! Likewise, the fuller figure may want to have a slightly more A-line skirt.

Go for a ball gown suited to your silhouette – it will always be a showstopper!

The perfect setting?

Depending on the fabric, back and neckline, accessories and skirt volume of a ball gown, it can be tailored to absolutely any wedding setting. But, this bridal gown does look fantastic in a more formal, sophisticated setting with lots of glass, crystal and fairy lights.

A-Line Wedding gown


The A-Line bridal gown is quite similar to a ball gown and both are eternally popular. An A-line skirt is fitted at the hip and gradually flares out from the natural waistline of the bodice towards the hem, giving the shape of an A. The A-line skirt is very versatile, allowing the bride to pair many different types of necklines, backs, fabrics and embellishments.

An A-line bridal dress is suited to most body types but Olivelli suggests that care should be taken to start the flare at the position suited to the bride’s unique shape and size.

The perfect setting?

Depending on the fabric, back and neckline, accessories and skirt volume of an A-line, it can be tailored to absolutely any wedding setting – from a sandy beach to a majestic cathedral.

Mermaid Wedding gown

Think fitted style that hugs the body. This bridal gown flares out at or below the knee, with the train creating a mermaid-like “tail” that is utterly elegant.

Oh, we must mention that this “tail” typically features some sort of alluring detail – be that layers of soft lace, dramatic ruffles or cascading beads and crystals! This bridal dress can also feature any length of “tail” or train.

The mermaid silhouette could be a challenge to your dance moves, so make sure that the one you select allows for easy movement when your groom sweeps you across the dance floor! Even better, why not consider a second dress for the reception? Also available at Olivelli.

The perfect setting?

Like the trumpet silhouette, the mermaid dress can be tailored to almost any setting, depending on how much you dramatize the “tail” and train.

Trumpet Wedding gown


A trumpet bridal gown hugs the body with the flare starting at mid-thigh as opposed to the mermaid gown that flares at or below the knee. This creates a trumpet shape, allowing for slightly easier movement than the mermaid silhouette.

Mermaid dresses have a more dramatic flare while trumpet style bridal gowns flare out more gradually.

Trumpet gowns can have any length of train from a sweep (just touching the ground) to a dramatic cathedral length.

Brides with hour-glass shapes look stunning in trumpet (and mermaid) gowns but Olivelli suggests that it is always important to try on different styles until you find the one that makes you look and feel exquisite!

The perfect setting?

City, town or country, formal or casual, this wedding gown will suit any setting depending on your fabric, back and neckline, embellishments and accessories.

Sheath Wedding gown


Think close-fitting, straight cut, no flare, nipped at the waistline and a fitted skirt. This body-flattering style is typically recommended for slender brides, whether tall or petite, because a sheath or “column” wedding gown is about outlining the bride’s shape.

Great with a short, medium or long veil and accessories that accentuate individual style, a sheath silhouette is often remarkable in lightweight chiffons or lace and will hug and reveal the bride’s natural curves, buttering up her figure.

The perfect setting?

A perfect bridal gown for destination weddings! Easy to pack! Easy to travel! Olivelli loves the idea of a beach (with rolling waves), bush (with elephants on the horizon), rooftop city venue (with lots of fairy lights) and a fabulous sunset.

Tea Length Wedding gown

Tea length bridal gowns often give brides a vintage style, featuring a skirt that falls from below the knee to above the ankle.

Your choice of fabric, back and neckline will allow you to dress a tea length wedding gown up or down, suited to your style, personality and venue.

This silhouette looks fabulous on all body types, from slender to plus-size brides so, what’s not to love?

Go ultra-feminine with layers of tulle or opt for classic clean lines. And, a stunning pair of wedding shoes is your most important accessory!

When searching for your wedding gown, try all the silhouettes and types and include the tea length bridal gown – you may be surprised at how much you love it.

The perfect setting?

Tea length bridal gowns are suited to any venue but typically fabulous for morning or afternoon garden weddings (decorated with loads of beautiful flowers), beach weddings or African bush settings. Also perfect as a second dress for your reception so that you can dance until the early morning hours…..showing off your breath-taking shoes!

Wherever you choose to celebrate your wedding day, do it as a #OlivelliBride! We’d love to be part of your day. 

Website: www.olivelli.co.za | Facebook: Olivellibridal | Instagram: olivelliwedding
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