Today's Bride

Sexy and Sophisticated: Mermaid Wedding Dress

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Choosing your perfect wedding dress can be stressful, but it shouldn’t be! For brides who want an sexy but sophisticated look for their big day, we’ve created a guide to the perfect style for you: the mermaid wedding dress.

History of the Mermaid Wedding Dress

The mermaid wedding dress, also known as fishtail or trumpet style, was created by French designer Marcel Rochas in the 1930s. This hourglass style was inspired by the female form and was meant to give a balance of sexiness and femininity.

There are slight differences between mermaid style gowns and fishtail or trumpet styles. A fishtail gown (above on the left) is characterized by a fitted bodice that remains form fitting to the hips before flaring out around the thighs. Mermaid gowns (above on the right) stay fitted usually down to the thighs and flares out at the knees. Both of these styles are most flattering on body types such as hourglass and inverted triangle.

Find out your body shape then take our quiz to see which silhouette is best for you!

Mermaid wedding dresses are also flattering on those with a smaller bust. This style draws attention to your hips and away from your chest. This style is also perfect for you if you’re on the shorter side. The fitted bodice down to the waist will help to elongate your figure.

Martina Liana Style 970

We love this beautiful Martina Liana gown. This is a fishtail style gown as it stays fitted until around the thighs before it flares out. This style of gown allows a little more movement. One unique detail on the back of this dress is the buttons that lead all the way down to the train. Though the dress is simple, this detail as well as the hair clip create a stunning look.

Best Fabrics and Accessories

The fabrics most often used in mermaid wedding dresses are silk, satin, taffeta, and organza. This allows the gown to move more freely and have more of a luxurious feel to them. Designers also incorporate details such as sequins, ruffles, beading, and cutouts in these types of gowns.

Stella York Style 6626

Depending on what kind of sleeve you choose to accompany your mermaid style gown, there are several hairstyles to pick from as well. If your dress has a cap sleeve or an elaborate neckline, an updo will showcase the top of your dress. If you’re wearing a strapless or off the shoulder gown, it’s best paired with loose waves or half up half down.

If your dress is on the simpler side, statement earrings or an intricate necklace can help pull the look together. If you decide on an updo, consider adding a hair clip, a detailed veil, or another accessory to amp up the top half of your ensemble.

Celebrities Love Them!

Mermaid style dresses are popular among celebrities as well. Khloe Kardashian wore a Vera Wang mermaid gown for her marriage to Lamar Odom. This dress featured ruching on the bodice and lead down to a layered, tulle skirt. Khloe paired her gown with glamourous makeup and her hair down in loose curls. She also included color in her dress by cinching the waist with a lavender ribbon. Similar looks to Khloe’s have been made by designers such as Mori Lee, Maggie Sottero, and Allure Bridal Gowns.

Hilary Duff also chose a mermaid wedding dress for her nuptials. Duff wore Vera Wang as well. Her dress had elaborate tulle and stood out for being a blush color rather than traditional white. The train also featured giant blossoms within the tulle. She paired her gown with a slicked back high bun, dangling earrings, and a long, but simple veil.

Sottero and Midgley Style 9SW038

We are just as in love with this Sottero and Midgley gown. It’s the perfect mermaid wedding dress and fits snugly down to above the knee where it flares. The lace detailing on the bodice of the dress leading down to the organza ruffled detail of the flare is stunning. This dress would pair well with a simple, elbow length veil to showcase the details of the gown. Sottero and Midgley dresses can be purchased at a number of local vendors including Lavender Bridal Salon.


This blog is sponsored by Lavender Bridal Salon. Choosing a wedding dress is a big deal, and Lavender makes shopping for your gown special. Lavender is determined to help brides feel 100% happy and confident in their dress choice. With the help of their experienced bridal stylists, the option of custom designs, and their overall knowledge of the industry, Lavender is dedicated to helping brides find the perfect dress for their big day. Lavender has dresses from a number of top-notch designers such as Stella York, Casablanca, and Christina Wu.

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