Trumpet Vs. Mermaid

In the bridal industry there are many terms for many different silhouettes of gowns. Depending where you are there may be slight variations. As the bride, you will decide if you want to rock the full gown versus the fitted gown, if you have decided to flaunt those curves this post is for you! Today we are going to compare the “trumpet” (aka fit-n-flare) and the “mermaid” silhouettes. These are often the most confusing shapes to differentiate and 9 times out of 10 the pros may mix up the two. They are extremely similar with a few minor difference that I will bring to light today!

In this photo I have selected gown C402 from Allure Bridals new Spring 2017 couture line. This is a great and classic example of a fit-n-flare gown. If you step back and look at the gown from a distance the shape resembles that of a trumpet…hence the name.

The EASIEST way to tell a fit-n-flare, from a mermaid will be what I call the “cinch-line”. The cinch-line is a term I use to describe the seamline on the gown in which the skirt beings to flare out. For this particular gown, the cinch-line would be right below her finger tips. Also note that there is an obvious distinction of where the bodice ends and skirt begins. This is why I adore trumpet style gowns!

More often than not trumpet style gowns will incorporate more than one fabric. This is an excellent way to get the best of both worlds. With this silhouette you get the sexy fitted look and pair it will your full “princess-like” skirt. This silhouette works best on curvy or full figured women who have hips. As a stylist, who has the brides best interest in mind as far as complementing her body goes, I tend to avoid this silhouette for brides who have a larger bust than hip.

Like the ball gown, there are many variations of the trumpet style.  

Maybe you prefer a little drama and opulence like Allure Couture C410 (over $2,000)

 Or maybe you prefer something a little more romantic like Rebecca Ingram’s Victoria (under $1,200)

Or maybe, like myself, you don’t like having to choose and prefer something with the best of both worlds like Sottero & Midgley’s Cassandra (under $1,500)

Obviously, if you have chosen the more fitted silhouette you are aiming for the sexy, drop dead gorgeous, channel-your-inner-beyonce look. I encourage ANY woman of ANY size who loves her body and has the confidence to rock this style, to do so. And please, my beautiful plus-size brides, do not let what is in magazines fool you! EVERY single gown can come in your size, don’t be afraid of the silhouette because you think it would look good. Give it a shot, you may surprise yourself with what you see staring back at you in the mirror. Also to my more petite or shorter brides don’t fret! You, too, can rock this look! Ask your stylist about a “hollow-to-hem” option, she’ll guide you from there. (I’ll go into detail about the H-H measurement in another post ladies, don’t worry!)

Now for the “mermaid” style. Obviously, this silhouette got its name due to the resemblance of well, a mermaid. Remember back when I said the easiest way to separate the two silhouettes was the cinch-line? Notice the point of cinching here on Allure Couture C350 (over $2,000).It is much lower than that of the gowns we were just looking at.

Since we’re pretty much splitting hairs here, to keep it simple think of it this way: if the cinch-line falls ABOVE the knee or right below the bum, it is a trumpet style. If the cinch-line falls BELOW the knee or right at the knee, it is a mermaid style gown. Of course with height and torso proportions things may fall differently on different people, but generally speaking this is a good way to remember the differences. Mermaid gowns also tend to be all one fabric because of the flare out point. Imagine a bunch of tulle starting where this cinch-line beings, would you wear that? No. Mermaid gowns typically have a more gradual transition to hide that cinch-line.

Here are some excellent examples of the mermaid style:

Allure Bridals Women’s W371 (notice the gradual transition and under $1,700) Maggie Sottero’s Adorae (which is now discontinued)

Allure Bridal 9356 (don’t worry, this one is current! And under $2,000)

Ladies which ever route you decide to go just remember that confidence is key! These gowns are perfect for ANY venue. However, with Orlando heat we may want to stick with indoor ceremonies and receptions unless you opt for a fall or winter wedding. Remember that these gowns can be deceiving as they are similar in weight to ball gowns just slightly harder to walk in. If you are a dancing kind of gal, let’s just saying you won’t be dipping it low. 

Again, I hope this brought some clarity for you ladies. Remember to always TRY IT ON and keep an open mind because you never know what you’ll end up with on your big day. Most of these gowns can be found at our salon, Lily’s Bridal, so come and see me so we can have some fun! We always reccomend bringing along your wedding planner A Beautiful Theme as you say #yestothedress! That way everything stays consistent and you are not in a heavy weight ballgown for a beach ceremony. Stay beautiful and stress-free <3

Xoxo, Justine