Mermaid Dresses

Crystal Schwanke
sexy mermaid gown

Not many things accentuate a lady's curves like a mermaid dress. Some of them can even help create the illusion of curves for women who wish they had more. If you thought mermaid dresses were only for special events like proms and weddings, you'll be pleased to find out just how many types there are.

Mermaid-Style Dress Options

It's easy to find mermaid dresses for special events, but you can wear them in everyday life too. They won't be as long or glamorous as the formal gowns, but you can still benefit from their fabulous shape.

For Special Events

Special event gowns are the easiest to track down and usually the most expensive option. You'll find them at department stores, bridal shops, and any stores which sell formal and prom dress styles.

  • The Glitter Knit Mermaid Gown with Jeweled Collar - Priced just under $200.00, this gown comes in gunmetal in sizes two through 16. The jeweled collar adds enough sparkle to minimize the need for jewelry, and the mesh cutouts can give the illusion of a smaller waist while adding visual interest.
  • The Katie May Drape Back Crepe Gown - Selling around $300.00, this dress comes in ivory, black, and navy, in sizes zero to 16. It's cowl back and jewel neckline give it a very elegant look. The back is mostly open.
  • The Floral-Print Bodice Long Prom Dress with Jewel Collar - Priced under $150.00, this full-length dress makes a good option for a prom or sorority formal. The mermaid-style skirt has a slit that extends to just above the knee, and the dress as a whole offers a striking combination with its black skirt, white bodice, and red flowers. It even sparkles at the neckline.

For Work

Although mermaid-style dresses are usually long, some mid-length ones are great for work.

  • Destinas Elegant Colorblock Mermaid Wear to Work Dress - Retailing under $25.00, this stylish dress flares out just below the knee. It's mostly black, but there's a white stripe along the bottom of the skirt. It's available in size small through XX-large.
  • VfEmage - This dress is a value priced around $35, and it's similar in style to the previous one. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns; choose from black and white tartan, black with white polka dots, green with floral print, solids, and more. It's available in sizes 4/6 through 22 plus.
  • The Patchwork Mermaid Sheath Dress - Priced less than $10.00, this dress is difficult to resist. It's available in sizes small to 2XL. It's green with a black collar and black button detail along the edge of the skirt's top layer. The mermaid-style skirt is black and relatively small, flaring out just above the knee.

Trendy Styles

Mermaid dress styles can often veer toward classic more than trendy, but there are a few options out there that combine the flare of a mermaid skirt with modern style.

  • The Sherri Hill Prom Dress with Lace Top - This two-piece mermaid gown is a formal style with a trendy, youthful twist. It's available in size 00 to 10 in blush or ivory for around $200.00. The skirt extends to the floor, and the top is crop style with lace fringe, sheer sleeves, and a triangle cutout that exposes most of the back.
  • The Betsy & Adam Petite Lace One-Shoulder Mermaid Gown - Selling just under $125.00, this gown combines the mermaid flare with an asymmetrical bodice design, sheer skirt hem, lace, and a ribbon sash. It's available in black/nude, in sizes from 2P to 12P.
  • The Gianni Bini Melinda Satin Wrap Dress - This dress comes in a gorgeous, dusty pink shade with a V-neck, figure-flattering wrap style, spaghetti straps, and a mid-length, mermaid-style skirt which embraces the high-low trend. It's available for about $130.00 in sizes XS through XL.

Casual Events

Short or casual dresses may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of mermaid dresses, but they do exist.

  • Sweet Above Knee Mermaid Sweater Dress - This option is from Ericdress and sells for under $20.00. It comes in pink and light blue and is marked as one size. The measurements listed say its length is 30.3 inches, the bust is 29.9-31.5 inches, and the waist is 29.1. It has a lace-up V-neck and a flirty shape.
  • Strapless Print Mermaid Maxi Dress - Also comes from Ericdress, this dress is available in sizes small through extra-large for just over $20.00. It can be dressed up or down and comes in dark blue or white. It has a curve-hugging style with a subtle flare that starts about mid-thigh.
  • ACEVOG's Vintage Short Sleeve Embroidery Mermaid Pencil Party Dress - This fashionable frock is available for under $30.00 in sizes small through extra-large. It's available in black, green, and wine red. The flare here is subtle enough not to look out of place in everyday life.

How to Wear Your Dress

Here are a few style tips to help you make the most of your ensemble.

Choosing the Right Shoes

When wearing something as eye-catching on its own as a mermaid dress, you'll want to keep your shoes understated. That doesn't necessarily mean flats, however. For the shorter dresses, whether casual, for work, or the on-trend options for special occasions which happen to have shorter skirts, opt for a simple pair of pumps or high-heel strappy sandals in a solid color without too many embellishments.

Trendier styles may pair well with wedges which aren't especially chunky. Longer skirts, especially for formal events, will look beautiful with the same styles of shoes. However, if your dress is supposed to touch the floor (or come close) and you don't have the extra inches along the hem to allow heels, a dressy pair of flat sandals will also look lovely. Try a metallic or nude shade if you want something out of the normal black or brown options, and consider a few rhinestones along the straps of your flat sandals.

Handbag Size Matters

Since the flared skirt has so much volume, keeping your purse to a small or medium size will add the most balance. A large bag may be fine for some casual styles, but it would look out of place in most other instances. Opt for a small satchel or clutch style.

Jewelry Shouldn't Overpower the Dress

Similarly, jewelry should be understated, especially when the dress has a jeweled collar or halter top. In some cases, as with a simple, solid-colored dress with a V-neck, a longer necklace or dangling earrings could complement the dress well and add visual interest near the bodice to balance out the skirt's flare. If you love larger, statement-making jewelry pieces, try to limit it to one bracelet or ring and keep the rest of your jewelry choices dainty.

Celebrate Your Shape

Wearing a dress is enough to make you feel feminine, but the shape of a mermaid-style dress really emphasizes the waist-to-hip ratio and adds an extra flirty flare at the bottom. Regardless of the style or length you choose, you can use this kind of dress to celebrate your curves and show off your shape with confidence.

Mermaid Dresses