Wedding Dress Waistlines

Waistlines add style and create shape to your wedding dress. Learn the dress shop lingo, plus tips on how to choose the right waistline to play up your shape.

Natural Waistline


The narrowest part of the abdomen between the ribcage and the hips, which usually falls about five to six inches below the bust line on most women.



Tip: This style works for those who don't have a wide middle.


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Empire waistline

Empire Waist


The empire waist has a seam that falls just below the bust line and three to five inches above the natural waistline.



Tip: This style works well for petite figures or body shapes that don't have a defined waist area.


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Basque Waistline




The Basque waistline starts at the sides of a natural waistline, but drops creating a V-shape two to three inches below the natural waist. The Basque waist is fitted and accentuates the smallness of your middle.



Tip: Works great for hourglass or small waisted figures.


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Asymmetrical waistline




The bodice fabric is sewn so that there is a difference in height from one side of the dress to the other side. Often the bodice will feature details, like ruching, to draw the eye to a focal point and camouflage extra weight in the mid-sectioin.



Tip: This is one style you'll have to try on no matter what shape you are. Avoid if you're short as this waistline doesn't create the illusion of length


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Dropped Waistline


Dropped Waistline


This waistline falls several inches below the natural waistline. It focuses on the mid-section of the body by elongating the waist area.



Tip: This style is great for slim figures as it really showcases a firm middle section. Avoid if you're long-waisted as it will add length, making your bottom half appear shorter, or if you have narrow shoulders it will create an A-shape.


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