MegaMenu

Wedding dress lingo explained – a guide to necklines and skirts

The ultimate guide to confusing wedding dress shapes and necklines – you’ll be a pro in no time

A
a
-
Wedding dress lingo explained – a guide to necklines and skirts
Choose an illusion neckline, like the one on this beautiful Pronovias gown

About to embark on your wedding dress shopping and don’t know your bateau from your mermaid? We give you the ultimate lingo guide to confusing wedding dress shapes and necklines.

REAL BRIDES: WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING GUIDE

Common wedding dress shapes

Empire line
This is when the waist line sits right under the bust.


Empire gown by Jenny Packham

A-line
An A-line gown features a ftited bodice and a gently flaring skirt (goes out in the shape of an ‘A’).

Column or sheath dress
A simple silhouette with a narrow fitted cut.

Ballgown
A fitted bodice with full skirt – think Cinderella!


Beautiful ballgown skirt by Berta Bridal

Mermaid
A fitted dress and bodice which features a full skirt just below the knees, usually with a train.

HOW TO GO TO THE BATHROOM IN A WEDDING DRESS

Trumpet
A fitted bodice that tapers out just above the knees.


Trumpet gown from Sottero & Midgley

Tea length
A wedding dress that stops below the knees, but above the ankles.

Peplum
A mini over-skirt that usually sits above the hips.

7 WEDDING DRESS ERRORS TO AVOID

Drop waist
A waist that sits below the hips – a very twenties relaxed style.

Tiered skirt
A skirt with lots of layers of varying lengths.

Common wedding dress necklines

Sweetheart neckline
A strapless dress that curves around the bust (like the top of a heart).


Sweetheart neckline by Ellis Bridals

Straight neckline
A strapless gown with a completely straight line.

Asymmetric
A one-shoulder wedding gown.

26 WEDDING DRESSES UNDER £1,000

Queen Anne
A dress that is high neck at the back with cap-sleeves and falls into a plunge at the front.

Halter neckline
A dress that meets at the back of the neck.

Off-the-shoulder
A strapless gown with arm detailing


Off-the-shoulder gown by Julie Vino

Jewel neckline
A simple rounded collar.

V-neck
A plunge neckline in the shape of the ‘V’.

Illusion neckline
A sheer neckline with detailing such as embellishment or lace.

HOW TO TRANSPORT YOUR WEDDING DRESS

Spaghetti strap
Delicate, thin shoulder straps.

High neck
A wedding dress that features a high collar – think Princess Grace.

Cold shoulder
A dress with shoulder and off-the-shoulder straps.


Cold shoulder gown by Anna Campbell

Bateau or boat neck
A wide neckline that follows the curve of the collarbone and ends at the shoulders.

Sabrina neckline
Very similar to the bateau, but more curved and slightly narrower.

Cowl neckline
A neckline with a excess of fabric that falls gently into a relaxed, draped shape.

Want more wedding dress tips? Here's how to shop a wedding dress sample sale and 10 common wedding dress regrets...

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here