Formal Dresses Silhouettes

A-line

Top of silhouette is form-fitted and flares out at the hemline, creating an "A" shape.

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Ballgown

Dramatically full skirt with a tightly fitted bodice and natural waistline style.

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Trumpet

Form-fitting bodice with a gradually flared skirt that begins mid-thigh, creating a trumpet-like shape.

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Sheath

Well defined waist and form-fitted silhouette that shows off the body shape.

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Mermaid

Figure-fitting silhouette that follows figure down to the knee and begins to flare out dramatically.

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Waistlines
Basque waist

Natural waistline that is form-fitting and angles downwards into a "V" shape.

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Dropped waist

A waistline style that falls right above the hips, creating a long bodice that extends below the natural waistline.

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Empire

Fitted waistline that is raised higher than a natural waistline.

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Princess

Vertical seams that create the illusion of an elongated waist or no waistline at all.

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Natural waist

A classic waistline style that sits along where the natural waist is, typically across the naval.

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Necklines
Square

Neckline that is in the shape of a square.

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Scoop

Classic neckline that is shaped like the letter "U".

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V-neck

Neckline that is shaped like the letter "V".

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Sweetheart

Classical and flattering neckline style that is shaped like the top of a heart.

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One-shoulder

Neckline that features only one sleeve, leaving the other arm strapless and giving the dress an asymmetrical style.

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Off-the-shoulder

Neckline which features sleeves that rest of the outside of the shoulders.

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Sheer

Neckline featuring a material made out of a sheer mesh so that the skin can be seen underneath.

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Halter

Straps that wrap around the front of the neck and tie or clasp along the back of the neck.

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High-neck

Neckline featuring material that comes up to the beginning of the neck, resembling a mock neck style.

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Queen-ann

Short collar in the back of neck and sweetheart-like styled cut along the bust.

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Bateau

Wide neckline that runs across the collarbone from shoulder-to-shoulder, also referred to as a boat neck style.

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Strapless straight

Neckline without sleeves that sits straight across the chest.

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Strapless slight curve

Neckline without sleeves that sits across the chest and features a slight curvature.

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Strapless sweetheart

Neckline without sleeves that sits across the chest and features a sweetheart neckline style.

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Dress Length
Above knee

Dress hemline that falls along the lower thigh, right above the knee.

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Knee

Dress hemline that hits along the middle of the knee.

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Tea

Dress hemline that falls past the knee but is not floor length.

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Ankle

Dress hemline that rests along the ankles, but is not floor length.

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Floor

Dress hemline that completely covers the legs and rests along the floor.

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Sleeve Styles
Strapless

A dress without straps or sleeves.

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Spaghetti straps

Thin straps that attach at the front and back of the dress. Can sometimes be adjustable or detachable.

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Straps

A slimmer sleeve than a sleeveless style, but slightly thicker than spaghetti straps.

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Sleeveless

A sleeve that does not go past the beginning of the shoulder.

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Cap sleeve

Short and rounded sleeve that does not go past the armpit.

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Short sleeve

A sleeve that does not go past the elbow, but usually reaches the halfway point.

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3/4 Sleeve

A sleeve covering three-quarters of the arm, going past the elbow but not all the way to the wrist.

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Long sleeve

A sleeve that covers the full arm down to the wrist.

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