Deutsch: Silhouette / Español: Silueta / Português: Silhueta / Français: Silhouette / Italiano: Silhouette

Silhouette in the fashion context refers to the overall shape or outline of a garment or outfit when worn on the body. It is a critical element in fashion design, influencing the visual impact and style of clothing.


In fashion, the silhouette is the fundamental outline or contour that a garment creates when it is worn. It defines the shape of the clothing and how it fits or drapes on the body, playing a crucial role in the overall aesthetic and style of an outfit. Silhouettes can range from fitted and body-hugging to loose and flowing, and they are often categorized by specific shapes such as A-line, ball gown, sheath, and empire waist.

The importance of silhouettes in fashion cannot be overstated, as they are key to defining different fashion eras and trends. For instance, the hourglass silhouette dominated the 1950s, characterized by cinched waists and full skirts, while the 1920s favored the straight, boyish flapper silhouette.

Fashion designers meticulously consider the silhouette when creating their collections, as it affects how the garment moves, fits, and flatters different body types. The choice of silhouette can convey various messages, such as elegance, power, casualness, or avant-garde style.

Special Considerations

The choice of silhouette is often influenced by cultural, social, and historical factors. Designers might choose certain silhouettes to make a statement or to evoke a particular era. Understanding the historical context and cultural significance of various silhouettes can enhance the appreciation of fashion design.

Application Areas

Silhouettes are applicable in various areas within the fashion industry:

  • Haute Couture: Designers create custom-fitted clothing with distinct silhouettes to showcase their craftsmanship.
  • Ready-to-Wear (Prêt-à-Porter): Collections often feature a variety of silhouettes to appeal to different consumers.
  • Bridal Fashion: Silhouettes like ball gown, mermaid, and A-line are essential in wedding dress design.
  • Sportswear: Silhouettes in activewear focus on functionality and movement.

Well-Known Examples

  • The A-Line: Popularized by Christian Dior in the 1950s, this silhouette is narrow at the top and gradually widens towards the hem, resembling the shape of the letter "A."
  • The Empire Waist: A high waistline just below the bust, often seen in Regency-era fashion and revived in modern designs.
  • The Sheath Dress: A form-fitting silhouette that follows the natural contours of the body, often seen in evening wear and professional attire.

Treatment and Risks

Selecting the right silhouette is crucial for achieving the desired look and ensuring the garment flatters the wearer. One risk associated with silhouettes is that not all shapes suit all body types. Fashion designers and consumers must consider body proportions and personal style preferences to select the most flattering and comfortable silhouettes.

Examples of Sentences

  1. The silhouette of the dress accentuated her hourglass figure beautifully.
  2. Designers this season are experimenting with oversized silhouettes to create a dramatic, avant-garde look.
  3. A well-tailored silhouette can transform a simple outfit into a chic ensemble.

Similar Terms

  • Contour
  • Outline
  • Shape
  • Profile
  • Form

Articles with 'Silhouette' in the title

  • New Look (Silhouette): New Look (Silhouette) : New Look refers to the sloping and narrow shouldered, tight waisted, long and full-skirted dress. It is the look which was introduced by Christian Dior in 1947


In the fashion context, the silhouette is the defining shape or outline of a garment or outfit, playing a crucial role in its aesthetic and style. It helps to convey various fashion trends and eras, from the hourglass shapes of the 1950s to the straight lines of the 1920s. Understanding and choosing the right silhouette is essential for designers and consumers to achieve the desired look and fit. With its ability to transform and define fashion, the silhouette remains a fundamental concept in the world of clothing design.


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