Choosing a Wedding Dress for Your Body Type
PH: DIMITRI KULIUK
Let’s cut to the chase, choosing a wedding dress takes some preparation. Finding the perfect dress starts with selecting the right silhouette to compliment your natural beauty seamlessly. Every bride deserves to feel in love with every aspect of their big day, from the loveliest of wedding stationery to the most amazing bridesmaid dresses. By discovering the most flattering dress styles for your body type, you will feel just as amazing as you look. With so many options out there, shopping for the right dress can be a bit stressful. That’s why knowing which silhouettes accentuate your body is vital in the pursuit of the perfect dress.
You may not feel you can categorize yourself into just one particular body type as everyone is uniquely beautiful on their own, but having an idea of your shape and the dress styles that flatter your figure will set you on the right path for the best dress.
Petite Body Types
A woman with a petite body type typically has a small stature measuring 5’3 and under. The right gown for these brides-to-be generally will elongate the torso and legs, creating the illusion of height.
A-line dresses or fit and flare silhouettes will extend the frame naturally, while a structured trumpet dress style will allow for top ball gown feels without swallowing the bride. The perfect neckline for petite body types is one that lengthens the torso like a plunging V, especially when worn with thicker straps, or a low back gown. Alternatively, a wedding dress with an empire waistline that is just under the bust makes the skirt substantially longer than the bodice giving the illusion of long legs. A train that trails behind the bride is perfect for this serene, minimalistic look. To make the arms appear longer, add half or three-quarter length sleeve to your wedding gown.
Simple, chic bridal dresses with minimal or delicate embellishments are the preferred, go-to style for petite brides. Avoid gowns with a full skirt that could overwhelm your frame, and be wary of mermaid dresses that make your torso appear shorter.
busty Body Types
A woman with a bigger bust is considered a busty body type, or an inverted triangle by some descriptions. For these brides, factoring in support is extremely important, and choosing a wedding dress with the right neckline is crucial. Whether you want to flaunt your voluptuous assets or tuck away modestly, there are different silhouettes and styles for you to try.
When it comes to support, wider straps are a great place to start. Dresses with a high back or corset also offer great support and can even conceal a bra, if desired. When it comes to revealing or concealing, the secret lies in the perfect neckline. For more conservative brides, straight across strapless gowns will minimize the bust, whereas square necklines are appropriately revealing as well as draped cowl necklines.
Don’t shy away from the deep V if that is your style! Add sheer and some illusion details to create an ethereal, modestly revealing look. For the busty bride looking to balance out the bottom half, try A-line dresses or a ballgown style with a voluminous full skirt to create a balanced, proportional look.
PLUS SIZE Body Types
Plus-size body types belong to the curvier brides, and these silhouette styles are chicer than ever before. Plus-size brides are looking for a gown that highlights their natural curves, minimizes the waistline, and accentuates their beauty. There are many different ways to achieve to obtain the perfect look depending on the bride’s personal style. Empire waistlines lengthen the body, and cummerbund-style waistlines are very slimming. Another great style is a basque waistline which extends below the waistline or over the skirt for a more cinched, curve-defining look that creates an hourglass illusion.
When it comes to choosing a wedding dress with the perfect neckline, scoop necklines are voluptuous yet extraordinarily supportive, while a high neckline will create a slimming effect. Empire gowns also create a slender look that elongates the figure, while strategic draping brings drama and definition, giving the semblance of a smaller frame while celebrating curves. Avoid adding any unflattering extra bulk like ruching or exaggerated detailing.
Long and straight Types
Long and lean body types belong to those with reasonably even proportions, meaning bust, hips, and waist all measure similarly. Naturally modelesque, play up your height with elegant sheath gowns, dresses with killer leg slits, and sleek high necklines. A high neckline with a full a-line skirt showcases balanced height. If you want to create the illusion of curves, explore dresses with peplum skirts or over-the-top ball gowns: the more exaggerated volume, the better.
Bodycon dresses are excellent because they naturally contour the body and create hips. Add a belt with embellishments to further define the waist and create curves. For a very haute couture look, opt for a wedding jumpsuit, crop top, or two-piece wedding dress. Avoid empire waist gowns that will hide your waist completely.
HOURGLASS BODY Types
The hourglass body type belongs to the woman with close to equally proportioned bust and hips and a waist that is significantly defined. Luckily for these brides, just about any dress style will flatter their natural shape. The perfect dress for hourglass bodies needs to accentuate the tiny waistline and flaunt curves. Mermaid dresses and fit and flare dresses were designed with an hourglass bride in mind. These gowns with a fitted bodice hug the body, accentuate the waistline, and fit in all the right places.
Bodycon are great style dresses that also effortlessly complement the body’s natural shape and highlight the bride’s desirable proportions. If you are an hourglass-shaped bride looking to wear a traditional ball gown, be sure to have a structured fitted bodice and a full skirt that keeps the shape of your curves. Adding an embellished belt to any style gown will instantaneously highlight your snatched waist. Avoid any empire waist gowns that will hide your curves.
Regardless of your body type, their are a number of dress styles on the market to make choosing a wedding gown so much fun! Sampling several silhouettes will give you the flexibility to understand what works best for you and make the quest to finding the right dress much easier. Most bridal shops have an in-house tailoring department or can recommend seamstresses to you for a flawless fit. The right gown is made even more phenomenal with an exquisite wedding veil that complements your overall look. Together, they'll result in the most amazing photographs you'll have to cherish for a lifetime. Enjoy shopping!
Gallagher Foxworthy is a curious seeker with a passion for exploring all things spiritual, natural, and enlightening. As a writer, she travels often in search of brief intoxications of inspiration. She appreciates the abundant wonders of the universe and loves learning through her clients.