(Closed) confused: mermaid? Fit and flare? A-line?

posted 5 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
Member
11343 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@Shesaidyes:  I can see how the terms “fit-and-flare,” “mermaid,” and “trumpet” may be confusing.  I also can see how the terms “ball gown” and “A-line” may overlap when it comes to some dresses. I tend to refer to mine as an A-line ballgown.  I think it would be difficult for someone in the bridal industry who may be helping you at a bridal salon to confuse either of the latter two with any of the former three.

However, I would recommend that you take along with you some photographs of dresses you love  when you are dress shopping so that the associates who will be assisting you will have a clearer idea of exactly what styles you prefer.

Post # 5
Member
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@Shesaidyes:  It’s certainly not just you. Different shops/designers have varying standards for each silhouette, and some even have completely different names! This is why it’s not necessarily the best idea to narrow your search by silhouette name (A-line, sheath, etc.). Instead, it’s probably better to focus on more stylistic details (bustline, waist type, material, etc.). Otherwise you might eliminate your “perfect” dress simply because one designer categorized it as a “column” when it’s technically more of a fit-and-flare.

 

I agree with what @Brielle suggested as the best choice: taking some photos in with you to give the consultants a better illustration of what you’re looking for. 

Post # 6
Member
8472 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

A-line is fuller than trumpet/mermaid. Those 3 are my favorite styles. A-line was not sexy enough for my style & what I was going for, but it flatters every shape. 

Post # 7
Member
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@Shesaidyes:  Btw, you also have to make sure your style searches are consistent. After re-reading your original posts, I think you might be confounding descriptions/categories that label different areas of the dress (and there’re also some crossover descriptors, to make things even more confusing). 

 

You can chop up a wedding dress into three* basic areas:

 

  1. neckline
  2. waistline
  3. skirt shape/style

 

This is why in my earlier comment I said it’s probably better to focus on more specific areas when dress searching, because mushing the categories together only adds to the confusion. So, I’m just giving you a basic breakdown of where certain descriptors/categories go to (hopefully) better explain why designers sometimes place seemingly dissimilar styles in disparate categories, and vice versa (keep in mind that this is NOT comprehensive).

 

  • Neck: strapless, sweetheart, v-neck, bateau, collar, wide neck, off-the-shoulder, asymmetrical (one-shoulder), halter, scoop, illusion etc.
  • Waist: empire, natural, dropped, basque, princess, maternity wrap**
  • Skirt: A-line, column, fit-and-flare, trumpet/fishtail, mermaid, sheath, ball gown, princess

 

This helps explain why you can have an A-line with an empire, dropped or natural waist (since A-line simple refers to the shape of the skirt). At the same time, you can have a empire-waisted ball gown or an empire-waisted mermaid. You can also start throwing in neckline descriptors to narrow the search even more. 

 

Now if you’re talking about the confusion amongst the fit-and-flare decriptors (mermaid vs. trumpet vs. fit-and-flare vs. modified A-line), well this website is probably the most accurate/thorough that I’ve found. Although yes, this is certainly not uniform.

 

*I’m ignoring more obvious ones, such as sleeve style and dress length, since it’s pretty easy not to confuse a long-sleeve gown with a sleeveless.

**I made this descriptor up (it’s really a cummerbund waist), but there seem to be a lot of these poppping up lately. 

Post # 10
Member
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@Shesaidyes:  Haha you’re welcome :). And trust me, I’ve been learning about this for years, and I still get confused from time-to-time!

Post # 11
Member
11343 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@MlleFabuleux:  Great descriptions! Also, I would like to nominate for consideration the terms “Ace Bandage” or “Mummy Wrap” for that waistline haha! 🙂

 

Post # 12
Member
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@Brielle:  Yesss! I always think of mummies, bandages or maternity wraps when I see lady-cummerbund dresses. Don’t get me wrong, they can be beautiful…just a bit unflattering sometimes. 

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