Wedding Dresses for Your Body Shape

 

Following on from my top tips for wedding dress shopping, here are a few quick quidelines on choosing a wedding dress for your shape.

iStock_000000883154 (XS) Bridal Shop

 

BEST FOR PEAR SHAPE

Features: Narrow shoulders, neat bust, slim waist and broader around the hips/bum/thighs. DO draw attention upwards towards your slimmest features. DON’T draw attention to your broader areas.

  • Shoulders: Choose wide-set straps, thin straps, cap sleeves, off-the-shoulder straps or strapless.  Avoid thick straps or halter-necks.
  • Neckline: Choose cowl, V, boat neck and sweetheart necklines.  Gathered or ruched necklines look great, and padding or underwiring can enhance your shape.  Avoid straight, square or round necklines.
  • Waist: Gathered material, belts, bows, embellishments and intricate beading around or at the side of your waist can be very flattering.  High or empire waistlines are also very flattering. Avoid shapeless styles or drop waistbands (around the hips)
  • Skirt: Choose a skirt with an A-line shape, which will skim over your broader features (hips, bum and tummy).  Avoid slim-fitting, figure-hugging or bias skirts which will cling in all the wrong places.

 

BEST FOR TOP-HEAVY SHAPE

Features: Large bust, undefined waist, may carry weight around the tummy & upper arms.  Slim bum, hips, thighs and legs. DO give great support to your upper half (bust, waist and tummy).  DON’T wear skimpy, tight, bulky, fussy or unsupportive styles.

  • Shoulders: Choose thick straps or delicate sleeves.   Avoid strapless styles or thin straps.
  • Neckline: Choose open necklines in sweetheart, V or boat-neck styles.  Avoid  high or plunging necklines, and bulky detailling around the chest area.
  • Waist: Choose a dress with an internal structure and/or gentle ruching that will comfortably create and hold a waist.  Avoid high (empire) waistlines ans fussy or bulky detailing (belts, bows, dramatic embellishments etc).
  • Skirt: A-line skirts, straight skirts, bias-cut skirts and fishtails all look great.

 

BEST FOR ATHLETIC / RECTANGULAR SHAPE

Features: Body shape is straight up and down with very little waist definition. DO try to create the illusion of curves.  DON’T wear boxy shapes or vertical/horizontal lines or detailing.

  • Shoulders: Choose straps that angle or curve outward, off-the-shoulder straps, cap-sleeves and halter-necks.  Avoid strapless styles, square necklines or thin straps.
  • Neckline: Choose cowl, sweetheart, round, scoop and V-necklines with feminine detailing like draping, gathered material and embellishments.  Avoid square or straight necklines.
  • Waist: Choose bodices with structured waist or and use visual tricks such as a high or low waistline, soft belts, gathered material and embellishments to create the illusion of a waist.
  • Skirt: Choose A-line skirts or fishtail skirts. Avoid straight styles.

 

BEST FOR CURVY SHAPE

Features:  Body shape is voluptuous and generally size 18+.  DO choose supportive fabrics and structures, plain, classic styles and draw attention to your best features.  DON’T wear flimsy, skimpy, bulky, meringue, ill-fitting or tight-fitting styles.

  • Shoulders: Choose thick straps or delicate sleeves.   Avoid strapless styles or thin straps.
  • Neckline: Choose soft open necklines in cowl, sweetheart, V or boatneck styles.  Avoid  high or plunging necklines, and fussy detailling.
  • Waist: Choose a dress with an internal structure and/or gentle ruching that will comfortably create and hold a waist.  Gentle details such as a tailored cut, soft sash/belt or pretty beading will also show off the waist.
  • Skirt: Choose, A-line skirts, straight skirtsor bias-cut skirts.  Avoid clingy styles and fabrics.

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