Discover which shapes work best for you and which to avoid with our refreshingly simple dress shapes guide!

When you first visit our Cornish boutique in Penryn you’ll be faced with dresses, dresses and more dresses!

Knowing which colour to look for is one thing, but what about styles and shapes? Being faced with so many decisions at once can be overwhelming, but with our quick jargon-free guide those feelings are easily avoided. 

To work with your body type, you’ll need to first understand what that type is! If you don’t, don’t worry it’s not rocket science. Click here to learn all about body types in a matter of minutes. 

Below are some of the most traditional/well-known dress shapes or “silhouettes” out there. There’s no doubt that you’ll have seen these “IRL” a hundred times, so it’s just a matter of familiarising yourself with their names and understanding why they got them in the first place! For example, a Mermaid shaped gown creates a mermaid-like silhouette; fitted at the thigh and flared at the legs – like a mermaid tail!  


Mermaid (sometimes also known as Fishtail) dresses flare at or below the knee, creating a dramatic silhouette and highlighting the torso with a long bodice. 


NOT to be confused with the mermaid. Trumpet dresses flare at the thigh to elongate the legs.


A-Line Gown usually features a fitted bodice with a skirt that gradually flares from the hips, loosely resembling a narrow “A” shape. Often confused with the “ball gown”, the A-line gown has a less dramatic and more gradual flare. this minor difference in volume separates the two.

“Pear” shaped customers are often drawn to this dress shape, as it skims over the hips, making the waist seem smaller and leading the eye to the bust.  

Ball Gown 

Typically characterised by very fitted or corset-like bodices and voluminous skirts. Dramatic and flattering, you’ll see ball gowns at both traditional church weddings and black-tie affairs. For hourglass body types, this shape is designed to accentuate and celebrate your natural curves. 


Also known as a column silhouette, This relaxed shape lightly skims over the curves and falls to the floor in line with the hips.


An Empire dress has a waistline just below the bust, and a skirt that is long, loose, and straight.

Tea Length

A tea-length dress has a hemline that falls above the ankles and below the knees.

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