Trumpet vs. Mermaid Wedding Dresses – What’s The Difference and Which is Better for You?

Mermaid or trumpet wedding dress

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You’ve narrowed your wedding dress options down to a Trumpet and Mermaid silhouette, which we like to think of as sister dress styles. These two wedding dress styles have obvious similarities but are different in many ways.

Let’s take a look at the differences between the trumpet and mermaid dress styles and outline which might be better for you.

In brief, here’s what you need to know about these two dress styles:

  • Statement dress – Choose a mermaid dress if you want a dramatic, statement look accentuating your figure.
  • Versatile dress – Choose a trumpet dress if you prefer more movement, flow and comfort.

What Do Real Brides Think? 

We’re sure that a dress dilemma needs to be shared to find the right solution. Here are some opinions from brides who are in the same situation as you:

Nicole – I was on the fence between a figure-hugging dress and something a little bit more forgiving like an A-line. I found a trumpet dress instead which was sexy without being constricting. I’m big on comfort and I didn’t want to worry about how I’m going to pee and move around for the rest of the day. It was a perfect combination of femininity and flexibility.

Adeline – I felt weighed down trying on big ball gown / princess dresses so I went for a sleek silk mermaid dress that fit like a glove. I felt like how I’ve always wanted to feel on my wedding – sexy and confident! I decided on floor-length for more freedom in movement, but ladies who love a long train can still go for it and have a bustle put in.

Kristina – I am 5’1’’ tall and a little heavy on top, so imagine my horror when I tried on wedding dresses that made me feel like I was wearing candy wrapper! I found a friend in a lovely trumpet dress which hugged me in all the right places – but not too tight – and gave me a good balanced shape.

What’s the Difference?

The main difference between these two dress styles is in where the flare of the dress starts. With the mermaid, it begins around the knees whereas with the trumpet, the flare begins around the mid-thigh area.

The size of the flare is also another point of difference. The mermaid gown’s flare can be very dramatic and sudden, creating a contrast between the top and bottom halves of the dress.

Trumpet dresses have a more gradual flare. This makes it a more versatile dress design as it can easily fit a variety of styles including minimalist, rustic, bohemian or even high-end sophistication.

Both dresses typically feature trains of any length and size, as these styles can accommodate any type of train including royal cathedral trains (over 3.0 meters).

You’ll sometimes see that retailers use both terms to describe the same dress – making it confusing for buyers as to the differences between the two. You’ll have to use your own judgement and decide whether it’s a trumpet or a mermaid to make sure.

The Mermaid Dress

Bride wearing mermaid wedding dress

Mermaid wedding dress by Aphrodite Bridal Store. See it here.

There’s something about the silhouette of the mermaid dress that’s very captivating and alluring. The secret lies in the sudden dramatic flare. The mermaid dress is tight-fitting from the torso to the hips, then flares out around the knees into a mermaid-like “tail”. This dress style has been one of the most popular for decades, because of its statement look.

The Trumpet Dress

Bridal Wedding Dress

Trumpet wedding dress by Zen Bridal. See it here.

The trumpet wedding dress fits in the same way as the mermaid, in that it hugs the torso and hips. However, mid-thigh, the dress gradually loosens its grip and flares delicately outward. There is no noticeable “tail”, but a more subtle hourglass shape is formed.

Which one will work for you?

There’s no arguing that both silhouettes are great at accentuating your natural curves and will make you look like a movie star. How will you ever choose which one works best for you? The answer lies in the details.

Your Body Type

The mermaid silhouette is perfect for brides with natural curves or an hourglass shape since it highlights your small waist and accentuates your bust and hips.

It will also suit an inverted triangle body type which means top-heavy or broad-shouldered, since the torso is cinched in while the bottom flare creates a delightful proportion with the shoulders.

Skip this silhouette if you are conscious of your mid-section as there’s very little room to hide in this figure-hugging style.

The trumpet silhouette works just as well as the mermaid in visually balancing out broad shoulders with its flared bottom. The softer flare also allows for hourglass and pear-shaped ladies to accentuate their figure while enjoying a little more breathing room.

Your Personality

The dress you pick should in some way embody your personality. Are you more of a vivacious vixen or a subdued señorita?

The mermaid silhouette is the more daring option of the two, as it highlights your alluring curves. If this fits your style, don’t be afraid to flaunt what your mama gave you – it’s your time to shine after all!

The trumpet silhouette is sexy in its own way. In fact, another name for this shape is serpentine, which suggests a sultry serpent-like characteristic of this dress which draws the eyes to all the right curves in a soft, demure way.

Freedom to Move

This is an important consideration when choosing between these two similar styles. The mermaid, although scoring high in drama and femininity, will give you some limitations in mobility as your thighs and knees are snugly held in place.

The trumpet shape will certainly allow for more movement and dancing due to the gradual flare. It’s thanks to this that trumpet dresses transition more gracefully into long, beautiful trains without looking too heavy.

If you have fallen deeply for a mermaid dress but you’re worried about how to dance in it, you’ll be able to pull it off as long as you are not planning anything too elaborate of a dance routine, and you have a good pair of shoes to go with it.

You can even consider a second dress for the reception and dancing. We all love a good excuse to purchase a second dress, right?

Best Trumpet and Mermaid Dresses

We know you’d fancy a little inspiration before you hit the stores, so we did the sorting for you. Here are some gorgeous trumpet and mermaid dresses to give you a taster of what’s out there when it comes to these dress styles.

1- Modern Mermaid

Bride wearing sexy wedding dress

Sexy mermaid dress by Julia Miren Dresses. See it here.

Nothing says va va voom like a mermaid dress in a modern hue. A nude or rose-colored dress in this silhouette exudes a sexy, contemporary vibe.  

2- Mixed Textures

Bride wearing mermaid tulle wedding dress

See this beautiful dress here

A mermaid dress is a great way to play around with textures between the bodice and the bottom flare. A mix of a laced bodice and tulle bottom makes for a heavenly combination

3- Classic with a Twist

Bride in Wedding dress

Classic trumpet silhouette dress by Vestelli Dress. See it here.

Give your classic trumpet silhouette a refreshing twist with a sheer removable train. A great way to score two looks in one dress!

4- A Breath of Fresh Air

Girl wearing blush rose mermaid wedding dress

Blush mermaid wedding dress by Lamnhi Bridals. See it here.

A playful texture on a mermaid dress gives a youthful yet elegant energy that will make any bride blush.

5- Soft and Serene

Bride wearing tulle trumpet dress

Tulle trumpet dress by Mywony Bridal. See it here.

The soft curves of a trumpet dress in a delicate fabric like tulle is perfect for daytime and outdoor weddings.

6- Subtle and Sweet

Bride wearing minimalist trumpet wedding dress

Minimalist trumpet dress by Sweet Juliet Studio. See it here.

Play on the subtle sexiness of a trumpet dress by choosing full sleeves and a unique opening at the back. This is a minimalist’s dream dress.

7- Embrace Your Curves

Bride wearing white off shoulder trumpet dress

Off-shoulder ivory trumpet dress by Karentino Bridal. See it here.

A sweetheart neckline and off-shouldered straps on a trumpet dress creates a lovely proportion on a curvy figure.

8- Here comes the train!

Bride wearing white trumpet wedding dress

Trumpet dress with a long train by Milamira Bridal. See it here.

A trumpet dress looks great with a long train. Take advantage of this and amp up the drama of an otherwise simple silhouette.

Before You Buy….

Hopefully this article has given you some idea about the differences between these two dresses and helped you decide which of the two you prefer. Check out your options and don’t miss out on the fun of playing dress-up. Try on both styles in different hues, necklines, and material to see which works best for you.