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  • Writer's pictureClaire Ingram


  • A-LINE – the classic, most popular shape, with a fitted bodice and skirt that flares gently in an ‘A’ shape without any gathering at the waist.

  • BALLGOWN – a fitted bodice which then flares out into a very full skirt with lots of fabric, usually due to heavy gathering at the waist.

  • MERMAID / FISHTAIL – close fitted and hugs your curves down to the knees and then flares out dramatically. Often has a seam at the point of flare to create a very dramatic change in shape.

  • FIT AND FLARE – similar to Mermaid but flares out higher up (usually bottom of the hip or mid-thigh) and flares more gently, usually without a seam at the point of flare.

  • COLUMN – fitted to the waist or hips but then hangs loosely straight to the floor – think Greek Goddess.

  • SHEATH – similar to a column but more closely fitted, doesn’t flare out at the bottom

  • EMPIRE – similar to a column but falls loosely from under the bust. Often the style used for maternity wedding dresses.

  • BOHO – boho is more a style than a particular shape. It's usually a less structured, more easy-to-wear, simple style enhanced by lightweight fabrics and details that often have natural / botanical patterns and decoration for a more ‘whimsical’ look.

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