I have been working in the wedding industry for the last ten years and one of the first questions I am asked by brides–to-be, is which style of dress will flatter my body shape? The answer is, many but there are a few tips I have learnt along the way so I have created this guide of do’s and don’ts for different body types.
What body shape are you?
Don’t worry if you don’t fall exactly into one of these categories, I certainly don’t. This is just a guide.
Hourglass: Balanced bust and hips, defined waist
Pear: Hips are wider than shoulders, defined waist, proportionately slim arms/shoulders.
Triangle: wider on the top of the body, wide back, narrow hips and subtle waist
Apple: Voluptuous, full bust, a tummy and round bum/hips
Athletic/slim: Straight up and down, undefined waist
Petite: 5ft and under with a small frame
Tall: Over 5ft8
Dress Dos: Often seen as a body shape which can wear anything, it’s still best to pick a dress that accentuates your waist, as this will show off your best asset.
Dress Don’ts: As your chest and hips are already balanced it’s best not to add weight to either half. Avoid empire-line silhouettes and ball gowns.
Dress Dos: Sweetheart necklines and bodices emphasise a fuller bust.
Dress Dos: If you’re a bit more curvaceous, try a fit and flare
Dress Dos: A-line dresses with a dropped waist show off an hourglass bride’s balanced figure.
Lauren by Sincerity Bridal
Dress Dos: Ball gown wedding style dresses disguise fuller hips and put the focus on your better half, balancing your torso and bust.
Dress Don’ts: Avoid tiered, fit and flare and mermaid style dresses which draw attention to your bottom. .
Dress Dos: Empire line dresses are also a great choice, as they highlight the smallest part of your body.
Elenora by Justin Alexander
Dress Dos: A V-neck dress works well to balance wider shoulders.
Dress Dos: Narrow wide shoulders with thicker, embellished straps
Dress Dos: Scoop or wide necklines can also work well on triangles. Wear a dress with a bolero if you want to cover up the tops of your arms.
Dress Dos: Wedding dresses with sleeves are great for concealing wider shoulders, and are perfect for winter weddings.
Dress Dos: Add interesting details, such as embroidery and bows, around the middle and bottom of your dress, as this forces the eye downwards.
Titania by Justin Alexander
Dress Dos: An empire-line dress will de-emphasise your waist, giving you a leaner look.
Dress Don’ts: Princess-line and basque dresses draw attention to your middle, and will make you appear heavier. Avoid spaghetti straps which can cut into your shoulders.
Dress Dos: A ball gown will flatter the body
Dress Dos: An A-line dress with a dropped waist looks great on the apple shape.
Leilani by Justin Alexander
Dress Dos: A sheath will flatter your slender shape.
Dress Don’ts: Avoid portrait, off-the-shoulder or halter necklines if your collarbone is too bony.
Dress Dos: Slim is one of the few shapes can get away with a high neckline.
Dress Dos: A ball gown with a fitted bodice and full skirt will create the illusion of curves.
Dress Dos: Delicate embroidery and beading in the right places can also create a more curvy silhouette.
Lyra by Justin Alexander
Dress Dos: Simple is best. Clean, unbroken contours without too much fabric will elongate your figure.
Dress Don’ts: Most silhouettes flatter your figure, but ballgowns and mermaid dress tend to overwhelm. A big, elaborate dress can look as if it’s wearing you.
Dress Dos: Narrow A-line dresses also work well for petite brides.
Dress Dos: Tall brides can carry off almost any dress style.
Dress Don’ts: Stay away from empire line dresses, which risk looking almost tent-like on smaller frames.
Dress Dos: Tall brides can also try princess dresses.
Dress Dos: A-line dresses are another great look for tall girls.
I hope this helps to give you a guide before your appointment and I look forward to welcoming you to my beautiful boutique to start your dress journey.
Let the fun begin.