There is some debate as to how dresses classified as “fit-and-flare” differ from those classified as “mermaid” and “trumpet” silhouettes, however, generally a fit-and-flare wedding dress describes any dress that fits tightly up at the top and flares out gradually down the bottom.
“Trumpet” dresses are fitted from the top to the mid-thigh, while “Mermaid” dresses only begin to flare out below the knee. While there can be some overlap among these styles and “fit-and-flare”, the fit-and-flare style tends to offer a looser fit around the legs, making it easier to dance and move around on your wedding day.
A fit-and-flare style is very flattering for most body types, as most styles nip in around the natural waist and just skim over the hips and thighs without pulling too tightly. There are tons of options in the fit-and-flare style and here I’ll share some of my favorite dresses of late.
Maggie Sottero has put out some amazing fit-and-flare styles recently and today I’ll share my two favorites. The first, and my absolute favorite, is the Payson dress. It features a scoop neckline, delicate illusion cap sleeves, and an elegant keyhole cut out of the lace illusion design in the back. The dress is adorned down to the knee with lace applique, pearl, and Swarovski crystal before flaring out into a Venice Organza skirt. This is a fantastically graceful design with a twist, sure to be part of a unique look should you choose this design for your big day.
The Adaleine dress from Maggie Sottero is another beautiful fit-and-flare option. The Adaleine features a lace bodice that flows seamlessly down into a tulle skirt. The skirt is edged in horsehair to add body and structure to the hem of the skirt, creating a beautiful wave effect. The top of the dress features illusion from front to back—illusion straps dip down into an illusion sweetheart neckline before wrapping around to an illusion keyhole back. The back-zipper closure is completed with covered buttons for an elegant finishing touch. The open back on this dress is daring and makes for a unique fit-and flare-style, as the illusion pieces allow the dress to still fit snugly through the body.
2. Rebecca Ingram
The Ingrid dress done in Vetali Crepe from Rebecca Ingram is another favorite of mine for fit-and-flare dresses. It features an amazing illusion bateau neckline over a solid sweetheart neckline, illusion cap sleeves, and an illusion scoop back. All of the illusion pieces are trimmed in pearls, highlighting the border of the illusion elements of the dress. The real show stopping element to this dress is the line of pearl buttons that extends down the illusion back of the dress and continues down into elegant ruching at the base of the back. Again, the illusion pieces make this dress work as a fit-and-flare style, and although it’s a simple dress style overall, the unique detailing makes it really shine.
The Tricia bridal dress from Pronovias is an absolutely stunning fit-and-flare dress that features a V-neckline with lace applique that extends down to the hips. This dress truly shines in the back, with a sheer panel adorned with more lace applique that is then framed by a draped bias band. The dress is finished off with a flared satin crepe skirt and a court train. Between the lace neckline and overlay on the back panel, the elegant draping in the back, and the court train, this dress is a very sweet, feminine option that still is sophisticated.
4. Sottero & Midgely
The Hadley dress from Sottero & Midgley shines with mesmerizing lace patterns from neckline to hemline. The strapless sweetheart neckline is adorned with sequins and beading, and wraps around to meet in a low V at the back of the dress. This simple design is finished with covered buttons, and detachable illusion cap sleeves can be added on to the dress if you’re not comfortable with a fully strapless dress. This design stands out because of its simplicity. The dress design allows the lace motifs to really take center stage and shine, bringing the whole dress to another level of grace.
The Maky dress is another fantastic fit-and-flare offering from Sottero & Midgely. More daring than the Hadley model, the Maky dress features embroidered metallic lace appliques that adorn the fitted bodice and semi-sweetheart neckline, and continue down onto the skirt. Crystal buttons over the zipper and inner corset closure finish the back of the dress before trailing down into the cascading ruffled Astaria organza skirt. The ruffles of the skirt are extraordinary on their own, but the metallic lace appliques that grow down from the bodice onto the skirt really make this dress look like something out of a dream.