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What are the most popular shapes for plus size wedding gowns & formal dresses according to designer Darius Cordell Couture?

29 June 2011 No Comment
Modeling "Yellow Rose Evening Gown" ...

Modeling "Yellow Rose Evening Gown" by Sweet Creations (Photo credit: Lorelei92950)

There are many different cuts that are used for formal dresses and bridal gowns.  But I have complied a list of the most popular ones that are most much inquired about .  They are as follows.

A-LINE – Out of the top five, founded on our experience here in the showroom , this is the most popular of all of the cuts and shapes to any formal dress.  Most women find this shape to be forgiving to their body shape.  You will info this cut used quite a bit on evening dresses .  Many people feel an A-line wedding gown or formal dress is the most flattering style that a girl could wear, because it typically balances out the figure, and the skirt or dress is cut with a fitted top and a flared bottom, creating a shape which resembles a capital letter “A.”.  It is also sometimes mistakenly called a princess line.  That is not extremely accurate for the princess line refers to the seam lines on the front of the bodice .  When a dress is cut with princess seams, typically it becomes an A-line gown.

The A-line dress is often used for formal events, such as weddings, balls and dances – like a prom. More casual versions are also available for less formal occasions .  A-line skirts are generally intended to sit high on the waist, so that they will start to flare out over the thighs, and are intended for casual wear or more informal offices.  Almost any fabric can be used to make an A-line garment.  However heavier fabrics may keep the visual aspect of the A shape easier .  Lightweight cotton, silk and synthetics tend to be more floaty, and may be more suitable for more casual wearing .  Slightly heavier fabrics can be appropriate for more formal events , while heavy satin A-line garments are made for cooler weather and evening events. A-line dresses often have an empire waist, located directly underneath the breasts, especially when they are designed for plus size shapes.

EMPIRE – Again, an empire waistline is where the waistline and sometimes seam line is placed beneath the bust. Typically when there’s an empire waistline you will often find the dress cascading from that point, allowing the rest of the garment to float over the bottom half of the body. This is a particularly good silhouette for a pregnant bride.  This style is quite forgiving and easy to wear.  The style works on a wide range of figures.  We use this silhouette frequently for plus size evening gowns with our clients that are purchasing Darius Cordell Couture designs.  For women with minimal curves, an empire waist can create the illusion of a fuller body. The clothing can also be cloaked to accentuate the bust.  Slender women can wear this style as well and may want to have the bust line dropped to help feature smaller busts.  Lightweight fabrics are typically used to create a flowing effect.  Women with heavier and pear shaped figures can also wear theis style well . Since the waistline is located above the midportion, the dress can also hide larger stomachs and wider thighs.

BALL GOWNS – Ball gown silhouettes can have an empire waist line but more typically you will see a basque waist or a dropped or natural waist line in this style. This cut is typically used as evening wear for debutants, teen pageant dresses or quinceanera dresses .  This cut used to be a really popular style for a wedding dress as well.  A ball gown wedding gown silhouette is the fullest skirt that you can wear. Typically with a ball gown, you will have several layers of toile in the underneath shell of the gown already built into the dress.  Some buyers you may wish to add a petticoat to give you even more fullness. This is a very flattering style for just about all body shapes and sizes.  But it is a little bit difficult to maneuver in a gown that can ultimately be quite big unless your venue is a larger venue that is a large church or a reception site where you have plenty of room to move in the gown.

MERMAID – A mermaid dress is a long gown that fits close to the skin until the bottom of the legs, where it flares out like a fish tail. For this reason, a mermaid gown is also called a fish tail dress.  Since mermaid dresses are always long (and not tea length), they tend to be made in styles suitable for proms, weddings, and formal evening wear occasions– especially if the garment is not cut with a long train.

The flared fishtail section of a mermaid dress often begins above the knees but can also begin to flare higher or lower than the knee. The shape it creates is fluid if the dress is made from thinner fabric such as satin or taffeta.  If mermaid dresses are made from thicker material, the fishtail does not have near as much movement . The very shape of mermaid dresses gives the gown style a dramatic yet elegant fashion appearence .

It is the most difficult gown to wear. It does not give you easy freedom of movement. However it is very flattering on some fit body types and is very popular with smaller sizes .  Fit- and- flare or a trumpet silhouette is something that has really become very popular for the first time this year. It is very much like a mermaid, and can be technically referred to as a mermaid style. The difference in this wedding dress style is that the flare comes out from a low drop waist, so therefore it is higher than a mermaid. This lets you to walk much more freely . You have much more freedom of movement in fit-and-flare, and yet you have a fitted bodice to the hips of a true mermaid gown.  Strapless wedding dresses are commonly seen with mermaid fitting.  Many times you will see them come with a close fitting, short, tight, long sleeved lace jacket called a shrug. Tall, thin body types are generally best suited to the mermaid style and is not highly recommended for fuller figures . Since the mermaid dress is fitted at the waist and then flares out after the knee , it creates the look of curves to lean and skinny body types.

SHEATH – The sheath gown silhouette is a straight gown.  In order for you to walk with ease it has a little bit of fullness at the hem .  This will make it a bit easier to walk in this style , but it is a very restrictive style of gown.  A sheath dress can actually have several definitions.  Some ladies define it as a close fitting dress that can be suitable for formal events since there is normally not a train on this style that would have to be handled or worked with. The sheath may have darts at the breast and curve slightly inward at the waist.  This suggest the form and curves .

A simple sheath as a wedding dress or evening wear formals is still a popular choice.  They can be sleeveless . The sheath can also be much more casual.  The sheath dress can be short, with a waistline above knees or slightly below them – perfect for cocktail dresses at a party. Alternately it can be mid-calf length, potentially featuring side slits, tea length or floor length. You can find the sheath in styles from the extremely casual to the very formal .

Some style fashionistas claim that the sheath should only be worn by ladies with perfect figures, but actually the reverse is true .   We think a figure-fitting dress tends to be a great choice for women with a little more curviness who are not afraid to show it, since it accentuates the female lines, providing a very feminine look. Whether you are a size 2 or a size 22, sheath dresses may just be the most flattering look, but they must be tailored to perfection .

Hopefully this article from Darius Cordell Designs regarding the favorite silhouettes will shed a bit if light as to what these cuts and shapes mean and how they work.  Since they are the most popular silhouettes they in all probability are the ones you may want to consider first when considering any type of clothing for your special occasion or event.

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