Every woman in love is beautiful – the glow of the skin, the sparkle in the eye, the smile that goes on for days. Picking a bridal gown that enhances your body type will add even more beauty to your special day. Here are some guidelines for selecting a dress to complement your shape.
The bride who is pear-shaped will look best in an a-line dress that gradually flares out from the natural waist to the floor. A v-neck or sweetheart neckline will flatter a slender upper body.
Girls with an inverted triangle body shape tend to have a fuller bust line, while being more slender through the waist and hips. Choose from dresses that offer a scoop neckline, or a modified sweetheart neckline on a strapless dress. Try to steer clear of deep V-neck or deep sweetheart necklines, as these styles tend to make the bust look bigger. Ruching will help soften and flatter the bust line. Avoid fabrics such as organza or satin that add volume to the drop of the dress and draw the eye to the bust line. a-line dresses are very flattering to the inverted triangle body shape.
The triangle body type tends to be smaller in the bust, filling out in the hips and thighs. Choose dresses that feature ruching or detailing on the bodice. This will fill out the upper body and create the illusion of curves. A modified fit & flare gown, which tends to be more a-line in shape, will flatter the triangle. Illusion lace on the back can also help create visual curves.
For girls who tend to be more linear in body type, well-proportioned but not curvy, consider a sheath cut dress or a ball gown cinched at the waist. Ball gowns can be very flattering, and even if you are girl who doesn’t like a “poufy” dress, don’t rule a ball gown out. A talented seamstress can remove layers of crinoline from the skirt to give it less volume. At their base, most ball gowns are a-Line dresses with added layers.
The apple shape is a full-figured woman, with a slight hourglass figure. Avoid trumpet, mermaid and fit & flare styles. Choose from styles that accentuate the waist at its smallest point. This can be accomplished by added a belt to an a-line or sheath cut dress. Adding a belt will add a nice visual “slice” of the figure, cutting the silhouette in two parts visually. In addition to accentuating the waist, a belt can add just the right touch of “bling” to your dress. Ruching or lace and beaded detail on the bodice, coupled with a snug fit, will draw the eye vertically. Look for a deep v-neck or plunging neckline.
Tall ladies should look for dresses that create a simple silhouette. Drop the waistline and add a floor sweeping hem to help give beauty to longer proportions. A sheath cut dress flatters the tall woman. A fit & flare style with a dropped waist or a trumpet dress where the ruffle is not too high will also be flattering on a tall woman.
Petite girls can select from the trumpet, sheath or a-line with a modified fit & flare bottom. Choose from dresses that have a waistline slightly above your natural waist to make the bottom of the gown appear longer. Avoid drop waist and ball gowns. Always check with your bridal consultant on ordering a custom cut gown that matches your proportions. The average wedding dress length is around 58 inches, so getting a custom cut will help the dress details fit you better. Plus it can save you money on alterations.
Plus size brides should look for gowns that offer an empire waist that starts under the bust and flows to the floor in an a-line. A good seamstress will fit the dress so it is flattering to the bust line and ensures the dress does not look like it fits loosely.
Finally, enjoy your bridal appointment. If you are not sure what style will best complement your shape, try on several different styles. You will know when you’ve found THE dress. You will have chills and perhaps, even tears.
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