Wedding Gown Lingo 101

There’s no doubt that wedding gown shopping can be overwhelming. Styles, shapes, necklines, fabrics – wow, it can be a lot to take in! Don’t fret. House of Brides is here to make dress shopping as fun and simple as it should be. Let’s break it down:



Silhouette is the shape of your dress or how the dress will bring out your shape. Choose which silhouette makes you feel like a goddess.

  • A-line: This is a classic cut that has a fitted bodice and fitted skirt at the hip which gradually opens to form an A-shape.
  • Ball Gown: Fitted from the bodice and then a very full, voluminous skirt. Think every Disney princess you’ve ever seen.
  • Mermaid: Popular because it is a very sexy fit. It tightly hugs curves until it flares dramatically at or below the knee.
  • Sheath: Fitted down to the waist/hips and then flows straight down.
  • Empire: Fitted below the bust then flows airily to the hemline.



You’ll hear wedding consultants talk about dress fabrics, so you’ll need to know your taffeta from your tulle. It might all look like chiffon or lace to you, but there are subtle differences that you likely don’t know unless you’re a wedding industry professional. Here are some of the big wigs in the fabric department:

  • Brocade: Typically used for winter because it is a heavier fabric that often has floral designs.
  • Chiffon: Very popular lightweight and sheer fabric.
  • Charmeuse: A glossy fabric that is lighter than satin.
  • Crepe: Thin and crinkley like crepe paper.
  • Taffeta: Thick, woven fabric.
  • Satin: Smooth and glossy fabric created with a close weave.
  • Silk: Soft, smooth, and shiny.
  • Tulle: Semi-sheer netting, most often used in veils.
  • Organza: Very popular fabric; it’s heavier and stiffer than chiffon and hangs beautifully.
  • Dupioni: A silk fabric woven with a thick and irregular texture.

116200sit WeddingDresses


The necklines are similar to your everyday necklines, thankfully. There are a few exceptions, however, that we’ll go over below:

  • Scoop: A semi-circle cut that dips low over the chest.
  • Square: Similar to the scoop, but with a square cut rather than a semicircle. This is a great cut for busty babes as it offers support without being matronly.
  • V-neck: no different than your typical V-neck T-shirt; in the shape of a V.
  • Sweetheart: This looks like the top of a heart with a slight v-dip in the center of the chest. Very flattering for all chest-types!
  • Off-the-shoulder: Self-explanatory. The sleeves land off the shoulder.
  • Asymmetrical: One strap is dramatically higher than the other to give a dip in the neckline, exposing one shoulder more than the other.
  • Halter: The dress ties in the back at the nape of your neck like a bikini.
  • Sabrina aka Boatneck: This is typically known as a Boatneck or Bateau cut, but the wedding industry calls it a Sabrina. It is a higher cut line with a gentle dip at the neck and back.
    High: High band collar close to the neck.

House of Brides

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *