The Right Dress for Your Shape
Choose the Best Dress Silhouette for Your Body Type
The search for the perfect bridal gown begins with an honest assessment of your body type. Even though you swear you'll lose 20 pounds before the wedding, you can't drastically modify what Mother Nature has given you. And why should you?
There are so many styles and materials available, you are sure to find something that will make you look absolutely gorgeous, just the way you are.
Choose the gown shape that fits your body shape today, and you cannot go wrong!
Glossary of Body Types
Just like bridal gowns, brides come in all shapes and sizes. Use this guide to assess your body type, and learn some valuable do's and don'ts.
Hourglass - You have a big chest, big hips, and a thin waist (that is, curves in all the right places)
- Dress Dos: An A-line dress with a dropped waist will show off your figure; pair it with a sweetheart neckline to show off your chest. Or for something a little more curvaceous, try a fit-and-flare gown like a mermaid or trumpet style.
- Dress Don'ts: A ball gown or Empire-waist silhouette may make you look disproportioned.
Short Waist - Your body is naturally proportioned, except for the small distance from your ribs to your hips.
- Dress Dos: A Princess-line silhouette elegantly elongates your figure; if you love your shoulders, try a portrait or halter neckline. A slightly dropped-waist gown will also lengthen your torso.
- Dress Don'ts: A sheath will make your short waist more obvious.
Rectangle - Your waist is undefined: The line from your shoulders to your hips is straight.
- Dress Dos: An Empire-waist gown will de-emphasize your waistline and give you a long, lean look. An A-line gown, or a ball gown will help create an hour-glass look by cinching at the waist and then flowing out at the hips.
- Dress Don'ts: A Princess-line or dropped V waist will draw too much attention to your middle.
Apple (Full Figure) Shape -You are a more voluptuous bride than most, you've got full breasts, a bit of a tummy, and round hips and butt.
- Dress Dos: A well fitting ball gown will hide quite a bit, while accentuating your natural curves. An A-line silhouette, especially one with asymmetrical ruching, looks great on everyone because it elongates the torso while camouflaging problem areas.
- Dress Don'ts: A sheath will make you look heavier than you are; avoid spaghetti straps.
Pear (Triangle) Shape - Just like the fruit, you're small on top and wider on the bottom. Your hips are wider than your shoulders.
- Dress Dos: A dropped V waist or strapless ball gown will cover your bottom half and put the focus on your better half. An Empire dress will hug the tiniest part of your body and disguise your lower half.
- Dress Don'ts: A sheath, frankly, will be unflattering. A trumpet or mermaid-style gown will draw attention to your bottom.
Inverted Triangle - Your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips.
- Dress Dos: The full skirt on a ball gown will create symmetry with your broad shoulders, while the fitted bodice will accentuate your small waist. A trumpet or mermaid gown may also work for you, as they will both show off your shapely hips, while still creating symmetry by flaring at the knees or thighs.
- Dress Don'ts: An empire dress will hide your curves and accentuate your broad shoulders.
Thin (Petite) - Short or tall, there's not a whole lot of meat on your bones. You boast that certain kind of ballerina beauty.
- Dress Dos: A ball gown will make you look like a fairy-tale princess, and a sheath would be perfect for you.
- Dress Don'ts: Almost all silhouettes will flatter your figure, but stay away from portrait, off-the-shoulder, or halter necklines if your collarbone is too bony.