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We all have different body shapes, so no one dress is going to look the same on everyone. As a bride, you want to look and feel your best on your wedding day. Finding a dress that complements your body is one of the ways to help you achieve this.
To help you find the best dress for you I’ve compiled some points of what does/doesn’t work for various body types.

Keep in mind that you will likely fit into more than one category, and that’s completely normal; so you can combine tips from each of the categories you fit into to get the right dress for you.

If you are:

  • Petite/Short

Due to your shorter structure, your ideal dress is one that gives the illusion of additional height. There are many features on dresses that can help accomplish this, such as:
– Keeping details and embellishments at the top (ex. detailed straps) of the dress, or long vertical details which will draw the eye upwards creating height
– Dresses without any interruptions (ex. solid sheath with no front/back seams)
– A waist that sits above your natural waist (ex. empire waist) to give the illusion of long legs
On the other side, there are dress features that will visually shorten the way you look, so you may wish to avoid them.
– Ball-gowns will tend to “swallow you up” due to their large amount of fabric. Large embellishments can also have a similar affect.  If you do want to go with a more voluminous look try choosing a dress with a structured shell and soft overly to add some volume without it overwhelming you.
– Horizontal details will cause the eye to cut across you, which can make you appear shorter
– A tea length dress will highlight your shorter height

Some of the best silhouettes for you to consider are airy sheaths, structured trumpets, and modified A-lines.

The vertical detail draws the eyes upward adding the illusion of height (1615 by KennethWinston)
This sheath has no interruptions and the empire waist makes you appear to have long legs, while the cap sleeves bring people’s eyes up, (D1767 Essence of Australia)
The soft overly is a good way to add some volume without it overwhelming you, while the beaded bodice and sleeves provide focus up top (Alanis by Maggie Sottero)

  • Tall

If you have the height, why not flaunt it?
Dresses with a sheer skirt or slit in the skirt will allow you to show off your mile long legs, while a detailed neckline can highlight your long neck.
A high-necked A-line is another option that will highlight yet balance your height.
And due to your long frame, a super puffy ball-gown won’t overwhelm you, so go as large as you want with the skirt.
If you opt for sleeves on your dress, make sure they are long enough to avoid looking like you are wearing a dress that wasn’t made to fit you.

Your height allows you to rock this large ball-gown without it overwhelming you (CT154  by Eddy K)
Highlight your long neck with this unique neckline (6232 by Stella York)
This detachable sheer skirt, with slit, allows you to flaunt  your legs (NIAB-16092 by Nicole Spose)

  • Lean and Straight

Many wedding dresses are designed with your model-like figure in mind so you’ll have a large selection of dresses to choose from.
An ideal dress for your shape is one that highlights your frame and/or creates some curves in the right places.
Peplum and contoured seams are a great option to create curves. Some materials, such as charmeuse can also do this when it’s cut on a bias.
Most silhouettes will suit you. A sheath will show off your frame, and you won’t be overwhelmed by all the material of a ball-gown. The crop-top trend works for you if you want to show some skin and be less traditional.

This sheath is a beautiful option to show off your shape (BT16-22 by Enzoani)
You don’t need to worry about being “swallowed up” by this fun full skirt (1653 by Kenneth Winston)
This mermaid lets you show off your shape while still having some drama (Neve by Cristiano Lucci)

  • Pear-Shaped

You’ll likely want a dress that draws attention away from your lower body and highlights your upper body.
A skirt with a gradual flare from the natural waist, like an A-line silhouette, will highlight your small waist, and cover your hips.
A v-neckline or spaghetti straps will highlight your smaller upper body, which will draw attention away from your lower body.

The A-line skirt hides your hips, the belt highlights your smaller waist, and the ruched top draws eyes upwards. (5968 by Stella York)
The detailed and unique bodice will draw people’s attention up and away from your lower body (AUAB-16903 by Nicole Spose)
The focus remains on top with the v-neckline, cap sleeves, and lace bodice, while the belt shows off your waist (AK149 by Eddy K)

  • Apple-Shaped

Like those brides with a petite structure, a dress that elongates you and doesn’t cut you horizontally is a good choice. Drawing the eyes up instead of across your body can be done with features such as a detailed bodice or v-neckline.
Another option is a dress that accentuates the smallest part of your waist, and then flares out like an A-line silhouette.
A trumpet style is a silhouette you might wish to avoid since it is fitted at the widest part of your body, and flares out at your smallest.

The detailed bodice keeps eyes focused on top and the smallest part of your waist is highlighted by the belt (Delphine by Cristiano Lucci)
Straps alone with a detailed bodice provides interest up top, and the skirt helps disguises your lower body (D2073 by Essence of Australia)
Like the first dress,  the natural waist belt shows off the smallest part of your waist, and the detailed bodice draws eyes up and not across (5889 by Stella York)

  • Hourglass

Consider yourself lucky since you have the body shape that most brides are trying to create.
A belt or sash will highlight your small waist.
Fit and flare, trumpet, and mermaid silhouettes will highlight your curves, while a dropped waist lets you show off your curves and still have a puffy skirt.

The elegant simplicity of this trumpet dress will really show off your shape, with the belt highlighting your small waist (6005 by Stella York)
You can show your curves and still have some volume with this dropped waist dress(BT16-20 by Enzoani)
If you want a larger skirt this dramatic belt will still let you emphasize your narrow waist (1652 by Kenneth Winston)

  • Large-Busted

The features and neckline of a dress can either attract or detract attention from your larger bust.
A straight neckline can make your bust appear larger, so a dipped neckline such as a sweetheart will help prevent this.
Some dresses can have a modesty piece added to provide some additional coverage.
The trend of illusion necklines are a great option for you since they can help prevent you from being too exposed without having you be overly covered either.
Deep/low v-neckline can create a more risqué look, while ruching at the bodice as well as fabrics with a sheen will draw attention to your bust instead of away from it.
A fuller skirt or peplum detail can help balance out your busty frame.
A dress with straps will allow you to wear a bra if you wish to do so. Dresses with boning and built in corsets also provided needed support, as well as proper undergarments. You can also consider adding a modesty piece to some dresses to provide some additional coverage.

The sweetheart bodice helps prevent your bust from looking even larger, and the illusion overlay helps provide coverage (BE290 by Ella Rosa)
The additional lace on the top of this sweetheart bodice will keep you more covered, without requiring a high neckline(5977 by Stella York)
The larger skirt helps provide a balance for your larger chest, while the higher sweetheart and additional lace prevent you from being overly exposed(BT16-13 by Enzoani)

  • Small-Busted

Details at the bust such as ruching, embellishments, and fabrics with a sheen, will help to enhance the look/size of your bust.
Of course you have the option of wearing a push-up/padded bra, or having bra cups sewn into your dress as well to help full out the bodice of your dress and create some more curves on top.

The ruching and sheen provided from the material of the bodice will help enhance your bust (Kamiya by Maggie Sottero)
The details provide from the ruching, twist, and embellishment all aid in making your girls stand out more (5757 by Stella York)
The heavily beaded bodice helps to build-up your bust (1629 by Kenneth Winston)

  • Diva

Being a curvy bride does not mean you are limited to your dress choices. Many designers offer their dresses in your size, and some designers cater specifically to your shape.
Asymmetrical pleating can make a more form-fitting dress more flattering to your frame.
An empire waist can help add height, but to avoid a maternity-looking dress avoid any pleats with this type of waistline.
Details that draw the eyes inward will help minimize your waist, as will a dark colour sash.
Embroidery is a great way to add detail to your dress without adding additional bulk that some embellishments can cause.
A basque waistline (a waistline that drips down in the front centre to form a v) or corseted bodice is another option to enhance your shape.

The ruching on the dress draws the eye in to the vertical embellishment which adds height to your look (Cancun by Callista)
The basque waistline of this dress will highlight your curvy shape (5828 by Stella York)
The minimal detail but continuous flow of this dress, the higher waistline, and details on the straps all help to add height, while the criss-cross ruching draw the eyes in to emphasize the smallest part of your waist(1521 by Bonny Bridal)

Hopefully the above information will provide you with some help as you begin or continue your search for your gown.
Please keep in mind that the above are just suggestions, not rules. The most important thing to remember when choosing your wedding gown is to pick a dress that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful.

If you’d like more information on the featured dresses, or would like to book an appointment, please call or email us (613)253-0039 [email protected].