22 Gorgeous Drop Waist Wedding Dresses for Every Type of Bride

This subtle vintage silhouette makes all the difference.

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bride wearing a drop waist wedding dress

Courtesy of Jenny Yoo

To a blind eye, all wedding dresses might look the same. However, once you start your search for the perfect gown you realize how many different styles there are, and a drop waist wedding dress is one style worth considering. Drop waist dresses first became popular in the 1920s, so even the most modern iterations have a slightly vintage feel to them, and are perfect for the bride who is looking for something retro.

A drop waist silhouette is defined as one that hugs your curves down to about your hips before flaring out. Since the "waist" sits lower than your natural waist, it gives the illusion of a longer torso and accentuates your curves. It's similar to a mermaid (which is fitted down to the knee) and also to a trumpet style (which flares out above the knee or mid-thigh). Drop waist dresses can also make you appear taller and are a nice alternative to a classic A-line or ballgown style.

Ahead, keep scrolling for a selection of beautiful drop waist wedding gowns you can buy now for your special day.

Best Strapless: Oleg Cassini Strapless Drop Waist Lace Wedding Dress

strapless drop waist gown

Courtesy of David's Bridal

Sizes: 0-14 | Material: Mikado silk | Length: Floor-length

This bedazzled strapless silk gown is a classic option that just feels very bridal. The applique stops where the skirt flares out, for a dramatic train that will look lovely in photos.

Most Simple: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Bennett Gown

simple drop waist gown

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Sizes: 0-18 | Material: Matte crepe | Length: Floor-length 

This Jenny Yoo gown was created with a minimalist bride in mind. Simple and timeless, it's made of a stretchy crepe material and features fabric-covered buttons down the back and train.

Best Silk: Markarian Aura White Silk Gown

silk drop waist dress

Courtesy of Markarian

Sizes: 0-16 | Material: 100% silk | Length: Floor-length 

With its fitted bodice, drop waist, and gathered silk skirt, this unique dress has an almost medieval look to it. It's simple but made of high-quality, sumptuous silk that makes it feel extra special.

Most Feminine: Justin Alexander Dropped Waist Tulle Ball Gown

drop waist lace dress

Courtesy of Justin Alexander

Sizes: Contact for details | Material: Sequins, lace, tulle | Length: Floor-length

A floral lace design, delicate off-the-shoulder sleeves, and a sweeping train are only a few of the things that make this drop waist gown so feminine. This is a beautiful and classic option for the traditional bride.

Best Full Skirt: Jenny Yoo Bardot

full skirt drop waist

Courtesy of Jenny Yoo

Sizes: 0-18 | Material: Silk modal Mikado | Length: Floor-length 

In case you were wondering if you can wear a Cinderella-style ballgown with a drop waist, this dress is proof that it's possible. A plunging neckline, drop waist, and full skirt makes this dress feel so unique.

Most Fun: Mac Duggal Feather Detail Satin Sheath Gown

white drop waist dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Sizes: 4-10 | Material: Satin | Length: Floor-length 

This dress drops down pretty low before slightly flaring out, aligning closer to a sheath style. The feathers on the shoulders are a fun and unexpected detail, to boot.

For the Casual Bride: Khaite The Marca Dress

white drop waist gown

Courtesy of Khaite

Sizes: XS-XL | Material: Stretch matte viscose jersey | Length: Floor-length 

While undoubtedly a stunning gown, this piece feels more casual sans a full skirt or a train. The pleated skirt and Basque drop waist make it so interesting, and we love the banded off-the-shoulder sleeves and column silhouette.

Best Slip Dress: Grace Loves Lace Valentina Dress

drop waist dress

Courtesy of Grace Loves Lace

Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: Satin | Length: Floor-length 

If you want the look of a drop waist without getting an actual drop waist gown, this is a fair option. An asymmetrical hem mimics a drop waist design, with a sash that cinches your actual waist. A long train and high slit complete the look.

Best Satin: Elizabeth Fillmore Ilsa Gown

satin drop waist gown

Courtesy of Elizabeth Fillmore

Sizes: Enquire | Material: Satin back crepe | Length: Floor-length 

Unique and lovely, this sating gown is perfect for a fall or winter wedding. The drop waist isn't quite as dramatic as some other options, which gives it a more modern look. We love the split sleeves and plunging neckline.

Budget-Friendly Option: True Violet Bridal Maxi Dress

drop waist dress

Courtesy of ASOS

Sizes: 2-12 | Material: Polyester, spandex | Length: Floor-length 

Fitted tight to just below the hips, this dress has a high slit right up to the drop waist. It's simple and perfect for a minimalist, casual bride, or beach bride, and the price is great at under $300.

Best Crystal Detail: Markarian Jasmine White Silk Faille Gown

drop waist gown

Courtesy of Markarian

Sizes: 0-14 | Material: Silk faille | Length: Floor-length 

Feminine details like thin straps, a crystal belt, and a full skirt make this drop waist gown feel so special. The crystal detail keeps it interesting and also adds some nice sparkle.

Best Lace: WToo by Watters Philomene Gown

lace drop waist dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Sizes: 00-15 | Material: Cotton, nylon, spandex | Length: Floor-length 

The corded lace detail of this gown makes it almost hard to see the drop waist style, but it's there. The intricate design is gorgeous, and we especially love the open back with a row of fabric-covered buttons down the middle.

Best Fringe Detail: DB Studio Low Back Plus Size Wedding Dress

drop waoist

Courtesy of David's Bridal

Sizes: 16-30 | Material: Polyester | Length: Floor-length 

This lace gown is both traditional and more boho-inspired, which is thanks in large part to the detachable sleeves that offer some fun fringe. If you don't love the sleeves, you can always leave them off and still have a beautiful dress.

For the Modern Bride: Gelareh Pompeii Wedding Dress

modern drop waist

Courtesy of Gelareh

Sizes: Small | Material: Suede, crepe, lycra | Length: Floor-length 

Structural and giving off a contemporary feel, this dress is not for the traditional bride. It's meant to stand out as it features unique cut-outs, a drop waist, and a two-piece silhouette.

Best Halter: Houghton by Katharine Polk Diane Dress

halter drop waist

Courtesy of Houghton

Sizes: 0-30 | Material: Chantilly lace, silk chiffon | Length: Floor-length 

This stunning dress has an unexpected halter neckline, but is otherwise pretty traditional. The subtle drop waist gives way to a flowing skirt and a long cathedral train, and it's basically backless for some sex appeal.

Best Champagne Hue: Fame and Partners Gathered Drop Waist Gown

gold drop waist gown

Courtesy of Fame and Partners

Sizes: 0-22 | Material: Matte satin | Length: Formal maxi 

White might be traditional for a bride, but that doesn't mean you have to wear it. Do something different in this champagne-colored dress, which is festive and fun, and bound to stand out.

Most Traditional: Justin Alexander Beaded Lace Ball Gown with Dropped Waist

drop waist gown

Courtesy of Justin Alexander

Sizes: Enquire | Material: Lace, tulle | Length: Floor-length 

The drop waist of this traditional bridal gown is not immediately obvious, which is part of what makes it feel so classic. A true ballgown, it features lace and beading, and a skirt that feels magical without being over-the-top.

Most Trendy: Rish Cleo Gown

drop waist

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Sizes: 0-16 | Material: Polyester | Length: Floor-length 

Cinched detailing, one off-the-shoulder sleeve, a unique neckline, and a high slit make this dress feel very of the moment (in a great way!). It's a beautiful and different option for fashion-forward brides.

Best Boho: Rish Lola Gown

boho lace dress

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Sizes: 0-16 | Material: Polyester | Length: Floor-length 

The knitted crochet look of this gown makes it feel very bohemian. Details like a plunging neckline and low back give it an alluring feel as well.

Best Ballgown: Houghton by Katharine Polk Brandy Dress

ball gown drop waist

Courtesy of Houghton

Sizes: 0-30 | Material: Silk | Length: Floor-length 

The drop waist of this dress makes it a ballgown with a twist. The full skirt and floral lace throughout give it a feminine feel, while the drop waist makes it stand out among other ball gowns.

Best Two-Piece: BHLDN Calypso Skirt

two piece

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Sizes: 0-16 | Material: Organza | Length: Floor-length 

Go for trendy and youthful with this two-piece gown that features a strapless crop top. The skirt is tight around the hips and then flares out to be more full, as bands of organza provide a bridal feel.

Best with Sleeves: Houghton by Katharine Polk Nicole Dress

sleeves gown

Courtesy of Houghton

Sizes: XS-XXXL | Material: Silk stretch jersey | Length: Floor-length 

Made of comfortable stretchy silk jersey, this dress is just right for the low-maintenance bride who still wants to look and feel glamorous. The drop waist and ruching are beautiful details, and the long sleeves make it perfect for cooler-weather weddings.

What to Look for in a Drop Waist Wedding Dress

When searching for the perfect drop waist wedding dress, decide how bold you want the waist to be. Some drop waists are subtle to the point where you can barely even tell they're there, and really give the appearance of elongating the torso. Some are much more obvious, which tend to have a more vintage feel, and others are a perfect mix in the middle. You should also think about how full you want the skirt to be. Ballgown skirts with a drop waist exist, but if you want something more minimalist, opt for a straighter style with just a slight flare.

FAQ
  • What is a drop waist wedding dress?

    A drop waist wedding dress one that hugs your curves down to about your hips before flaring out into a more full skirt. It accentuates your curves and can create the illusion of a longer torso.

  • Is a drop waist wedding dress the same as a mermaid dress?

    Drop waist and mermaid styles are similar but are not the same. A drop waist dress is tight to about the top of the hips, and a mermaid dress is tight down to the knees before flaring out. The skirt of a mermaid dress also tends to be a bit more dramatic than a drop waist skirt.

  • Are drop waist wedding dresses good for every body type?

    Anyone can wear a drop waist gown, but they do accentuate your curves, especially the hip area. If you don't want something that is tight on your hips, avoid this style.

Why Trust Us

Contributing writer Jessica Booth is a freelance writer and formerly served as an editor for seven years. Her work has been featured in Bustle, Insider, Redbook, and Refinery29.

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