Wedding dresses: waistlines

Use our guide to waistlines to find the ideal style for your bridal gown

The waistline is the seam that joins the bodice to the skirt of the dress. It is important to choose correctly depending on your height and figure type as different waistlines have the effect of shortening or elongating the body, and emphasize or disguise certain features.



The Basque waistline has two seams which form a V shape or triangle at the base of a corset-style bodice. It is often used in ball gown style dresses. This is a great style for curvaceous, full-figured brides, as it minimizes the hips and balances the figure. 





The drop waistline sits several inches below the natural waistline. This style suits tall brides with very long legs as it creates the illusion of a longer body and adds proportion, and elongates the look in brides who have a short waist. This is not the best choice for very petite brides.  




The empire waistline sits just below the bustline, and the skirt flows down beneath it. This is a flattering style for most brides, especially those with small busts, but is not the best choice for those with large busts.  






The natural waistline sits just above the hips, at the narrowest part of the bride’s waist. It is flattering for most body types as it enhances an hourglass-shaped figure, but those who have a waist that is wider than the hips and bust will probably prefer a different type of waistline.  





A princess line dress does not have a waistline as such as it does not have a seam across the body. The pieces of fabric are cut in a continuous line along the sides of the bodice and then flare out at the hip. This is a flattering look as it skims the body’s curves.  

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