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Q&A | For the Bride[BACK TO ALL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS]

What wedding dress style best suits my body shape?

Finding the perfect wedding dress can be very daunting. There are so many factors to take into account, like fabric, colour, style, what wedding dress style best suits your body shape. The Wedding Directory have made it a little bit easier by defining the basic dress styles and the body shapes that they suit.

Ok, so lets start off with the style breakdown, what type of styles are actually out there and what are the key differences….

The Ball Gown or fairy tale dress.

A ball gown will have a shaped bodice sometimes with a lace up back or a corset type top with a full skirt. It can be a two piece ensemble or one piece. The skirt can fall on or below the hip line and is normally designed to create a sense of drama. The tight fitting bodice will balance out the full skirt making it a great choice for many body types.
Picture by: My Wedding Dress

The A-Line / Princess:

Shaped through the bodice until the hip line where the dress falls away to an A shaped line.

The A-line is one of the most typical shapes and is very balancing.
Picture by: My Wedding Dress

The Empire Line:

The fabric falls from under the bust, it is generally not fitted from the bust down, an empire line dress can have a full skirt (great for hiding hips and thighs) a tulip, bubble or puff shape (great for creating curve). The top of the dress can vary from dress to dress for example a halter neck or even a strapless bodice, giving this one style a lot of variance.
Picture by: Lady Marmalaide

The Mermaid or Sheath:

Fitted throughout the body. A sheath is simple, elegant and sexy. These dresses have a classic and timeless appeal. But make sure you have the right body shape to pull this style off as it can so easily go wrong. The sheath is not nearly as versatile as the other three styles.
Picture by: Lady Marmalaide

The Tea Length:

Is not necessarily a dress style but more of a dress length, it’s great for showing off legs or the detail on those gorgeous Italian shoes! This dress would be perfect for a summer garden wedding

Choosing the style that’s right for you:
Now you know what styles are out there, let’s try to match the right style to your body shape. Most women have an idea on what body shape they are, if you are not sure then, read through the following explanations and find the one that best describes you.

Are you an Hour Glass shape:

As an hourglass you’ll have a naturally thin waist with a medium to large bust and smaller shoulders. Small waists and curvy figures mean that often hourglass girls have more defined hips.

The dress for you: Sheath, ball gown or A-line.

Are you a Pear Shape:

With curve on the bottom half, pear shaped girls will often have a smaller bust paired with a slimmer torso and waist. On the bottom half, pear shaped girls tend to have shapely hips, butt and thighs and usually carry little weight on the back.

The dress for you: Empire, A-line or ball gown.

Are you an Apple shape:

Shapely slim legs and delicate shoulders are some of the key features of an apple shape. With a larger bust, wider torso and a full waist you have a curvy and feminine figure.

The dress for you: Tea length, empire or A-line.

Are you Petite:

Small with delicate body features and subtle curves, you tend to also be a little bit shorter than most. An average size bust and naturally toned body means that proportion is key.

The dress for you: Tea length, empire or A-line.

Are you a Slim Athletic:

Thin and tall, your straight and narrow frame may not have a lot of curve. Small around the bottom and the bust, your typically thin or toned frame can benefit from a little pomp and frill.

The dress for you: Empire, sheath, ball gown.

Here are some more simple, but vital rules to follow:

  • If in doubt, keep it simple and classic, particularly if you’re petite. A drop-waist style will make you look taller than you are
  • If you’re on the tall side, avoid anything too fitted and long. A just-under-the-knee length or two-piece outfit will disguise your height.
  • Don’t wear a halter neck if you have broad shoulders as it will only draw attention to them.
  • Don’t even think about a strapless number if you have large breasts – you’ll be forever pulling it up and it’ll look top heavy
  • Don’t go corseted if you think you might be pregnant before your wedding day.
  • If you’ve got a tiny waist and big hips, a tight bodice will look great as long as the skirt is floor-length and A-line. Choose a heavy material that won’t hug your hips

Rules for the Full-Figured Bride

  • If you‚Äôre a full-figured woman, the best silhouette is the A-line style. A-line style lengthens the whole body without drawing attention to your waistline. The empire waist is another good choice. The empire is narrowest just below the bust, which conceals your waist and hips.
  • Many plus-sized girls tend to purchase wedding gowns that cover a lot of skin. If religion isn‚Äôt an issue, don‚Äôt be afraid to show some skin. Skin is sexy, and showing your arms and neckline can often make you appear slimmer.
  • Deep V-necks and scoop necks flatter curvy figures, and always look best on full-figured women.

Rules for the Petite Bride

  • A-line wedding dresses are also flattering on petite women. As we stated earlier, this style lengthens the body. Sheaths seem to shorten a small body even more, so petite women should avoid sheath-style wedding dresses. Also steer clear of very full skirts, which will make you look ‚Äòbottom heavy‚Äô. You want to keep your wedding dress proportionate to your body.
  • Be careful with strapless gowns ‚Äî a petite woman may have to lift her arms to reach up to her new husband or congratulating guests, you would want to avoid any type of wardrobe malfunction. A cap sleeve gives the feeling of a strapless gown, and also serves the practical purpose of holding the gown in place.

Rules for the Large-Busted Bride

  • Off-the-shoulder gowns look divine on a full bust. It draws our attention upward, emphasizes the shoulders and minimizes the chest. Keep your skirt narrow. Wearing a full skirt will make you look large both on top and bottom.

Rules for the Bottom-Heavy Bride

  • Women who are larger through their hips and buttocks should look for a wedding dress that focuses on their upper body ‚Äî preferably with a full skirt.
  • Show off your arms, back and bust line.
  • A corset-style bodice with lacing will highlight your upper body. We want to draw attention away from your hips. Avoid pleats or gathered fabric around the waist. An A-line skirted wedding dress always works the best for this body type.
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