Wedding Dress Waistlines

The waistline of a wedding dress is the horizontal seam that connects the bodice to the skirt. You wouldn’t think that a single seam could make much of a difference in the overall appearance of you or your dress, but think again – that one little seam provides balance to your dress. It also signals guests where to look, so it’s important to pick the right waistline, both for your dress for your body type.

Waistline types for modest wedding dresses, modeled by's signature brides

(To see larger images of any waistline, click on its named link)

Empire Waist

The Empire waist sits right below the bustline, with the skirt flowing down loosely beneath it. They hide the tummy of the bride and draw the attention upward. Empire waist dresses emphasize the bust, so they’re good for the small-chested but aren’t the best choice for the large-chested.

Basque Waist

Popular with structured ball gowns, the Basque waist consists of two angled seams that form a triangle, pointing downward. Full-figured brides with lots of curves look great in Basque waist dresses. They minimize the hips and bring balance to a full hourglass figure.

Natural Waist

A natural waistline sits just at the bride’s waist, just above her hips. Practically every body type looks good in a natural waistline dress, as it emphasizes the natural hourglass figure. A natural waistline also de-emphasizes height in tall brides by visually dividing them in half. Those who have apple figures (larger in the middle) will want to choose another waistline.

Modest wedding gowns, waistline types, modeled by's signature bridesDrop Waist

A drop waist sits several inches below your natural waistline, creating the illusion of a longer torso. Those who are short-waisted can achieve a look of balance with a drop waist, but those with an already long waist or those who are extremely petite might look too stretched-out in a drop waist wedding gown.

Asymmetrical Waist

The term “asymmetrical” comprises a variety of modern waistlines that buck tradition. Instead of being straight horizontal seams, asymmetrical seams run diagonally across the dress. The cut, style, and fabric of the dress must all work together in order to pull this type of waistline off, but done correctly it can be very flattering for a variety of body types.

No Waistline (Princess Seam)

Princess line dresses have no seam running across the body, and it’s shape is created by sewing together long vertical strips of fabric. A princess line dress usually follows one’s curves along the sides of the bodice, to the natural waistline, and will then flare at the hips. As long as a princess seam dress is fitted correctly it will flatters most body types.

♥ Jenny Evans
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Modest Wedding Dresses, LDS temple weddings

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