Ballgown or Mermaid? How to Pick Your Bridal Silhouette

Ballgown or Mermaid? How to Pick Your Bridal Silhouette

Ballgown or Mermaid? How to Pick Your Bridal Silhouette. Mobile Image

Apr 17, 2024

It’s time to find your dream wedding dress! But how do you know where to start? There are a million different styles, or fabrics, or necklines to choose from… Do you want lace or beading? Simple or intricate? There are so many different aspects of a wedding dress to take into consideration. Trust us, we know how overwhelming it can be! The easiest place to start is figuring out your bridal silhouette—the shape of the dress you’re looking for. Whether you like it so tight you can barely sit, or so big you have to lean over to kiss your future husband, we have every shape and size of wedding dress for you to choose from. Here are some of the terms we use at Pritchétt to describe the different silhouettes of our gowns. It’s helpful to know these words so you can tell your bridal consultant exactly what you want in a wedding dress—or so you know what they’re talking about when they say “sheath” or “A-line.”





Fitted dresses are some of the most popular types of gowns right now, if not the most popular! But did you know that there are different types of fitted dresses? What’s the difference between a mermaid dress and a fit-n’-flare? When most brides come in looking for a fitted dress, what they mean is they’re looking for a fit-and-flare, also sometimes called a trumpet. This type of silhouette hugs you tightly around your bodice, waist, and hips before flaring out or dropping down. It looks a lot like a trumpet—that’s where it gets its nickname. These gowns look incredible in photos with our beautiful Utah landscapes in the background. A fit-and-flare dress can either have a seam near where it flares out or be a continuous, seamless fabric. Either way, it’s guaranteed to accentuate your curves and leave you feeling like hot stuff (and this style tends to be a favorite for the grooms as well). Fitted dresses are also a great look if you’re going for something more sophisticated or mature! Don’t count yourself out, we have seen some stunning brides work it in this silhouette on their way down the aisle.





Mermaid dresses are very similar to fit-and-flare dresses—let’s be real, they pretty much are the same thing. One main way to differentiate between the two styles though, is where exactly the dress will flare out. Mermaid dresses hug your figure around your bodice, waist, and hips, and then stay fitted until about where your knees are; then it flares out (fit and flare gowns tend to flare out higher up, around your thigh). It looks like a mermaid's tail! Mermaid dresses also tend to have a little more drama around the bottom, which we have to say is our favorite part. Usually at Pritchétt, when we say ‘fitted dress,’ it refers to both fit-and-flare and mermaid gowns interchangeably!





Sheath-cut dresses are sort of a mix between a fitted dress and an A-line dress (more on those later). It’s a slim silhouette that hugs your body and falls straight down to the floor, rather than flaring out. A lot of sheath gowns will be made of gorgeous silks or other delicate fabrics like chiffon or lace. Brides love this silhouette because it emphasizes your figure and elongates your shape without the extra drama. It’s a great choice if you’re going for a classic, elegant look!



A -Line


A-line dresses are the classic bridal dress shape; your bodice is fitted to you and the skirt flares out at the waist, in the shape of an ‘A.’ There are so many different ways that A-line dresses can highlight your beauty while still giving you the room to dance the night away! It’s the classic bride look, for anyone who wants their fairytale moment without the added volume of a ballgown. When most people picture a bride, this is the type of dress they imagine! Pritchétt has so many stunning A-line gowns if that’s what you’re looking for, with styles ranging from angelic to glamorous. This silhouette goes great with cathedral-length veils too, in our opinion.





Empire-waisted gowns are just like A-lines, but they flare out right under the bust rather than at the waist—like the gowns in your favorite regency-era TV show. This silhouette is great for brides who want a whimsical, flowy, or even boho type of look. The higher waistline can elongate your body, making you look taller. If you want to feel like a duchess or a Greek goddess on your wedding day, this is the silhouette for you.




Ballgowns are the famous princess look that everyone knows and loves. And they’re making a comeback lately in the bridal fashion world—we may or may not be jumping for joy. When it comes to ballgowns, the bigger the better! This is the perfect look for any bride who wants to have her Cinderella moment. The skirt flares out at the waist (or at the hips if you’re jumping on the drop-waist trend), and you can either go the classic route or embrace the layers upon layers of tulle for even more fun. Don’t be afraid to try on a ballgown or two at your appointment! When you start shopping for wedding dresses, figure out which silhouette you love and you can use that to narrow down what you’re looking for. If you ask us, you should try at least one of everything to see what you like! Or, maybe you’ll get lucky and fall in love with the very first dress you try on, Either way, we can’t wait to celebrate with you at Pritchétt Bridal! See you soon, girlfriend!