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Silhouettes

A-Line: Fitted at the bodice and flows out to the ground, with an unbroken line (resembling the outline of an uppercase A).

Ballgown: Fitted at the bodice and has a waistline that leads to a full skirt .

Mermaid: Fits closely to the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out to the hem.

Sheath: Fits very closely to the contours of the body. Has a straight skirt with no waist .

Trumpet: Fits closely to the body until the midhip and then widens gradually to the hem. (resembling the mouth of a trumpet). Often confused with mermaid, but trumpet flairs from mid-hip, whereas mermaid flairs below the knee.

Necklines

V-Neck: Dips down in a V-shape.

Sweetheart: Neckline is shaped like the top half of a heart .

One Shoulder: Strap across one shoulder only.

Off the Shoulder: Sits below the shoulders and highlights the collar bone and shoulders.

High Neck: features high neck/t-shirt neckline. 

Straight Across Strapless: Straight across neckline with no curves and no straps.

Halter: Has straps that wrap around the back of the neck.

Waistlines

Empire: Has a raised waistline that sits just below the bust, from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem.

Princess: A-line silhouette with vertical seams down the front.

Dropped Waist: Features a waist line below the natural waist at the mid hip.

Natural Waist: Waist line that hits at the natural waist (the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage)

Trains

Sweep: (also called brush) is the shortest trains -usually, the back hem is only a few inches lower than the front hem.

 

Court: Slightly longer than the brush, extending approximately 3 feet behind the waist.

 

Chapel Length: Generally 1 1/3 yards or 4 feet from the waistline.

 

Cathedral Length Train: Generally 2 1/2 yards or 7 1/2 feet from the waistline.


Fabrics

A wedding dress can be made from either silk or polyester. How the fiber is woven determines if the dress is:

Charmeuse: Lightweight, semi-lustrous soft, is satin-like to the touch. 

Chiffon: Delicate, sheer, and transparent, with a soft finish. Often layered because of its transparency.

Crepe: Light, soft, and thin, with a crinkled surface.

Mikado: A brand of blended fibers, usually heavier than 100-percent silk.

Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar, but more flowing than tulle.

Satin: Heavy and smooth with a high sheen on one side.

Taffeta: Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib.

Tulle: Netting (just like ballerina tutus)