Every Bride wants to look her absolute best on her Wedding Day! Many Brides have even been thinking about their idea of “the perfect dress” for years. But since every Bride is a different shape, how can a Bride choose the dress that makes her look the best?
The key to a Bride looking her best is finding the right dress silhouette for her body shape. No matter a Brides height, weight, size or shape, any Bride can look like a vision of perfection if she sticks to the principals of Balance and Proportion. Below are four loosely formed categories of body shape and the dresses that will most flatter those silhouettes.
1) Pear-shaped: A smaller upper body and waist, with larger hips, thighs, and buttocks.
The Empire Waist gown would be one of the most flattering for this body shape. The Empire style can create the illusion of proportion by enhancing the bust, while gracefully concealing the bottom half. This is done by creating a false waistline just beneath the bust, which gives the appearance of a small waist, thus creating a nice proportionate silhouette.
Another option is an A-line Dress, because it too can create a wonderfully proportioned shape (many bridal gowns actually come in an Empire/A-line combo, which is fabulous on this body shape). This gown includes a similar fitted bust and a skirt that floats away from the body, masking any larger parts on the bottom. It is especially recommended to embellish with beading on the top or to add small sleeves to help balance out the lower half.
2) Hourglass: A curvy silhouette featuring a smaller waist in relation to the bust and hips.
Those with an hourglass shape are very lucky because almost every gown will flatter their body. However, the silhouette that will best showcase the natural proportion of the hourglass figure would be the Mermaid gown (aka Trumpet, aka fit-and-flare). The Mermaid creates a tight and fitted look, and will display every curve. This gown hugs the body all the way to the knee, then flairs out like a mermaids tail.
The Sheath is very similar to the Mermaid style, in that it creates a slim and sexy silhouette. The Mermaid gown just goes one step farther than the Sheath because it is tighter and really enhances the curviness of the hourglass.
In a very close second to the Mermaid gown is the Ball gown. This gown has a snug fitting bodice ending at the Natural, Basque, or Dropped waist, and flows out in a dramatic full skirt. This style of gown also shows off the proportionality of the hourglass shape through the cinching in at the waist.
3) Long and lean: A lean, “boyish” figure with a thicker waist and narrow hips.
For a body shape that tends to be rectangular and lacking curves, the best thing to wear is something that creates the illusion of curves and proportion through its structure. The best option for a long and lean body is either the A-line or the Ball gown. These silhouettes are structured in a way that nip in and draw attention to the waist. A fuller skirt will help to create the look of hips, and some detailing on top will help to balance it all out. It is recommended to exaggerate the waist line by “belting” the waist (for example a sash or ribbon would work quite nicely). This will draw even more attention to the waist and thus create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
4) Busty: A larger bust in relation to waist and hips.
For the busty body shape, the most flattering gown would be the A-line or Ball gown. This style of dress creates volume on the bottom via the full skirt, and this volume is exactly what is needed to balance out a heavier top half. Dropped or Basque waistlines will also help to create the illusion of balance between the top and bottom of the body. In addition it is strongly recommended to avoid heavy beading or sequins on top, as it will only add weight to the bust area. Instead, it would create much better proportion to have the skirt be more ornate while the top be kept simpler. This will create a look of balance in the body.