Learn the Lingo – Wedding Dress Terminology for Newbies

You’re engaged! Congratulations! The search for your dream wedding dress is officially on.  But with so many styles, fabrics, and designers, it’s hard to figure out where to even begin!  And how do you know what to look for if you don’t know what any of these crazy terms you keep hearing mean?  Have no fear, Frew’s is here!  We’ve assembled a little bridal glossary to help you navigate the wedding dress shopping experience without sounding like a total newbie.


A-Line: An A-Line wedding dress is fitted from the top to the hips, then gradually widens towards the hem, giving the illusion of a capital letter A shape. Dress featured: Mori Lee style 2105

Ballgown:  The ballgown is the true princess dress.  It usually features a fitted bodice, and a long flared skirt. Which tends to be a full, voluminous skirt. Dress featured: Bonny style 632

Mermaid: The mermaid style is very similar to a trumpet dress.  It is a fitted dress down past the waist, typically to the knee, where it then flares out in a dramatic, almost fishtail looking manner. Dress featured: Casablanca style 2165

Column: Column dresses hug your body and show any and all curves. They are fitted with a straight cut skirt.  This style is very similar to the sheath style, but a sheath dress is fitted down even further, most often to the knee, without the pouf of a mermaid skirt. Dress featured: Maggie Sottero style Phaedra


Chiffon: Chiffon is a very lightweight, sheer, and thin fabric.  It is popular for spring and summer wedding dresses. Dress featured: Moonlight style J6433

Organza:  Similar to chiffon, organza is a stiffer, thin, sheer fabric made of silk or synthetic yarn. Dress featured: Allure style 8862

Tulle: This fabric is a fine, netted, semi-sheer material that is often used for veils and dress embellishments. Dress featured: Allure style 9162

Satin: Satin is a smooth, glossy fabric, usually made of woven silk. Dress featured: Alfred Angelo style 2511

Illusion Netting: Illusion fabric is a type of very fine, light, tulle that almost looks like there is no fabric present at all.  It is typically used for necklines, backs and various other parts of the dress that a bride wants to look open. Dress featured: La Femme style 23704


Bateau or Boatneck: This neckline covers the chest, but dips at the back and neck. Dress featured: Pronovias style Aras

Off-the-Shoulder:  As the name suggests, this neckline shows the collarbone and shoulders.  The sleeves fall just below or around the shoulders. Dress featured: Allure style 9000

Sweetheart: This neckline gets its name from looking like the top of a heart, with a V shape in the middle. Dress featured: Alfred Angelo style 2208

Now you know some of the common terminology!  We hope this helps you feel more confident about wedding dress shopping.  Now it’s time to schedule an appointment with us at Frew’s Bridal, and have our talented consultants help you find your dream dress!



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