Silhouettes can do a lot

Blog Jun 23, 2020

Fashion is a wide field with ups and downs of changing eras. Each period has experienced various types of styles and Silhouettes.

Now the question is what are silhouettes?

Silhouette refers to the line of a dress or the overall shape of the garment. Silhouettes can be used to emphasise or alter one’s body shape making a complimenting figment.
I think fashion is the best way to create a flattering illusion for one’s appearance.
Different silhouettes flatter different body types, also to meet the dress codes for different events. To know which silhouette suits you the most, so understanding them is important.
Hundreds of years have passed by, there may be hundreds and thousands of silhouettes. Be that as it may, we are going to discuss some significant ones.

Before moving forward I would like to explain a few basic body shapes for a better understanding of silhouettes.

  1. Rectangle or Banana shape — In this shape, the waist measurement is the same as the bust or hip, along with shoulders and hips having the same width.
  2. Triangle or Pear shape — Shoulder and bust are narrower than hips, along with a defined waistline. Triangle is of two types: an inverted triangle and a simple triangle.
  3. Spoon — Hips are larger than bust, along with a defined waistline. It is similar to the pear shape.
  4. Hourglass — Hips and bust are near equal measurement, defined waistline with slightly rounded shoulders.
  5. Inverted triangle or Apple — Shoulder and bust are larger than hips.
  6. Oval or Rounded — Bust is larger than the rest of your body. Hips are narrow and your midsection is fuller.


1.Bell or Ball Silhouette

  • Each girl fantasizes about wearing a snow-white outfit. This style is often associated with fairytales. Most suited for formal settings, ball dance, etc. it is fitted till waist and then falls generously with full of flares to make a ball shape. It is often a multilayered skirt.
  • This style is flattering to almost every body type but is especially flattering for petite women or those with a small waist.
  • The full skirt can do much to camouflage large hips for pear-shaped women.

2. Empire Silhouette

  • Empire waist or empire silhouette is a style in women’ s clothing. This waistline was introduced hundreds of years ago.
  • The dress has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance with a gathered skirt which is loosely fitted and long. But skims the body rather than being supported by being voluminous petticoats.
  • This outline is sometimes made with two panels.
  • The outline is especially flattering to the pear shape wishing to disguise the stomach area or emphasize the bust. This outline also lengthens the body experience.

3. A-line Silhouette

  • The name itself gives the vision of a silhouette that gradually widens from a fitted top to a flared hemline just like a capital ‘A’.
  • This outline entered the fashion industry in 1955 by couturier Christain Dior. The silhouette is known as timeless fashion.
  • Works well with almost every body type. It is similar to the ball gown with fewer flares.

4. Sheath Silhouette

  • This is used to refer to dresses that are skin fitting from the bust through the thigh length.
  • Best for those with hourglass shapes or heart shapes as the slightly more skin fitting silhouettes highlights your proportions.
  • This silhouette encases the body. The waist is the major focal point, also recommended for slimmer body types with gentle curves.

5. Mermaid Silhouette

  • It is a style of evening gown that fits closely to the body through the torso and hips then fishtails out in a flare to the floor.
  • The reason it is called a mermaid silhouette is the fluted hem and fitted bodice, famous for events like red carpet due to its glamorous and flattering look.
  • The person wearing it has to be very patient because it’s hard to walk in it. Looks best on a tall, slender, or classic hourglass figure.

6. Straight Column Silhouette

  • The dress which belongs to this silhouette has a rectangular shape as it has almost the same measurement as the bust and waist and hem also.
  • The measurement of the silhouette from top to bottom is almost the same.
  • A person with a thick waist and wide hips will love this outline as it hides those flaws very easily.
  • The outline is more often seen in summers.

7. Hourglass Silhouette

  • This silhouette emphasizes the feminine curves, the most.
  • It is slimmest at the waist, one of the most flattering and glamorous silhouettes, perfect for the women with wide hips and bust along with slim waistlines.
  • As the silhouette name says hourglass, it is a body shape in itself.
  • The silhouette will hug your body as if it’s your skin.

8. Shoulder Wedge Silhouette

  • This is a silhouette which emphasizes the shoulder and made so with the help of design additions at the shoulder pad or with the sleeves type which gives extra emphasis
  • It comes with an almost masculine width in the shoulder.
  • This style became popular in the 1930s by designer Elsa Schiaparelli. It was her creative mind to introduce this in 1932 in her designs.
  • This creates an illusion of having strong shoulders, works well for the women with sloping shoulders

Tejaswini Singh

Tejaswini is a design student and passionate Product Designer who loves designing delightful experiences.