Finding the best wedding dress silhouette for your body type
When searching for your dream dress you are going to want something that flatters your figure and highlights all of your best parts. Before heading out to your first bridal appointment it’s a good idea to have an understanding of your body type and the shapes of wedding dresses that are out there. We know that finding the perfect dress can be a whole whirlwind – with new language to get your head around and so many different shapes, fabrics and styles to choose from, its hard to know where to begin. To help you narrow down your search and choose the perfect dress for your body type I’ve put together a guide for you to find out what styles are the most flattering for each body type and what to avoid.
Before I get into the guide there are some tips to consider when wedding dress shopping:
- Trust your bridal consultant. During your dress-shopping appointment, they may pull a wedding gown silhouette that feels outside of your comfort zone. Remember to keep an open mind; stylists are trained to help each of their brides find “the one!”
- Shop with your trusted bride tribe only. Buying a wedding dress is a big deal, so you want to have just your trusted crew with you. Plus it’ll make wearing your dress extra special on the day knowing only a few people have seen it.
- Use a few simple references and style tips to help you find the perfect wedding dress for your body type. We’ve outlined a few pointers below!
Brides with an hourglass body shape normally have a defined waist, wider hips and a bigger bust. You’re very curvaceous and have one of the most desirable body shapes there is, so let’s look at the best styles to show off all of your assets.
Avoid: Your bust and hips are already perfectly balanced, so it’s best not to add any extra weight and material to these areas. Stay away from ball gown, empire or princess-style dresses with fuller skirts, as this may make you appear bigger in these areas and will be less flattering to your shape.
Look for: Instead, look for dresses that hug and show off those gorgeous curves such as a mermaid or fit and flare style. If you do want a ball gown or A-line dress, opt for a structured bodice and full skirt to clinch in your waist. Also, a sweetheart or plunge neckline may work better for you than a halter or high neck dress, as this will keep you balanced out and flatter your bustier assets.
Small Chested figures
If you are a smaller chested bride find a silhouette that suits your figure by adding material and structure to balance your figure. For example embellishments, boning and ruching will add curves along with a sweetheart neckline. With a smaller chest you are also able to carry off plunging necklines and a low back!
Avoid: Steer clear of wedding dresses that have straight necklines and instead opt for something with a shape, whether that’s a sweetheart, asymmetric or a plunging deep V.
Look for: A dress with structure or boning in the corset. A sweetheart neckline really suits a smaller bust as it softens the line around the bust and makes for an elevated look. A deep V gown looks gorgeous on a smaller bust and is certainly not a style for those with a bigger bust.
If you have pear shape you tend to have wider hips than your bust area and a defined waist. You may have a feminine décolletage and be smaller in the chest area with a petite and narrow build.
Avoid: It’s best not to go for empire line dress styles as they can hide your dainty figure and can create the illusion that you are bigger in size than you are. Avoid heavy bulky fabrics and ruching along the hips that will draw attention to that area and can make you look out of proportion.
Look for: A-line dresses tend to look good on most body types but they particularly look great on pear shapes. If you are considering a fishtail dress look for ones that are fitted to your shape and budget for alterations to get the perfect fitted look. Sleeves are great for balancing out smaller shoulders with larger hips.
Those with apple or oval figures have a larger bust, fuller torso and narrow hips. You have a more round midsection with slender arms and legs.
Avoid: Stay clear of dresses that accentuate your hips, ruching, and heavy embellishments with pleating. High neck dresses or ones with halter necks can drown your chest and lose focus and definition of your other features.
Look for: Look for subtle shapes such as A-line and flared skirts that smooth over hips and any lumps and bumps. Dresses with lower necklines and detailed corsets will draw the eye away from the midsection.
Brides who have a rectangle and taller frame may have little definition around their waist or have a smaller bust.
Avoid: Showy wedding dresses are gorgeous however they may feel a little overkill on your long and slender frame. Stay clear of empire waists, high necked dresses may make you look longer and less balanced in shape.
Look for: Play to your height with a gorgeous sheath dress. A line dresses and princess ball gowns with a fuller bottom will help give the illusion of a curvier figure. A fit and flare gown will also look great on taller brides.
Other questions to ask yourself while shopping for your dream dress are:
- What makes you feel comfortable day to day?
- What’s your go to shape and what do you feel confident in for a special occasion?
It’s a delicate balance when choosing a dress for your wedding day. You’ll want to look like yourself without playing it too safe. Think about the styles and aesthetics that make you feel like the best version of yourself. Consider accessories too – these can elevate a dress completely.
Try to let go of some of your insecurities and listen to your friends and family. Every single bride has things that they like and don’t like about their body. It’s important to find a dress that hits your preferences, but you can’t let your inner critic and the voice inside your head dominate your decision. I bet that your loved ones and significant other have a much more flattering perception of your gorgeous features!