Helping You Pair the Perfect Gown with Your Body Type
When you think of your wedding day, do you picture yourself walking down the aisle in a Cinderella ball gown or are you more of a contemporary bride who lusts after minimalistic details and silhouettes? Or maybe you’re unsure of what style you’re after – and that’s ok! There are tried and true styles and silhouettes for specific body type to help guide you along this beautiful journey.
The shape, length, and style of your wedding dress can accentuate your body leaving you with a radiant glow, or it can have an adverse effect. Whether it takes away inches from your waist and hips or adds them to your bust, it’s important to discover the many various styles of wedding gowns to help you determine which could be the perfect fit for you.
Read on to learn which one will help you look your best on your most important day.
What are the Different Styles of Wedding Dresses?
Bridal shops are overflowing with a vast selection of gowns adorned in satin, lace, beads, brocade, and other fine details. However, those are just the finishing touches for your dress. Your hunt for the gown that best reflects your inner beauty and unique personality begins with learning the different wedding dress styles and how they can flatter your body. We’ve created a quick guide to help you understand the types of wedding dresses and how they’re crafted to fit certain body types.
Ball Gown: Yards of Skirt for Dancing ‘Til Midnight
The tailored bodice hugs your bust and sides right down to your natural waist where the bell of the skirt blossoms over your hips in a voluminous waterfall of elegance. This fairytale shape is perfect for your bigger bust, especially if you have narrow hips as it adds balance to your shape. It is popular with many brides as the skirt creates curves for a body with a more rectangular shape.
Sheath: Slim and Sexy
If you like contemporary, modern styles, you’ll love this timeless classic. The fabric hugs the line of your body, showing off those long and lean lines. Or if you’re more of an hourglass shape, the sheath will beautifully highlight your voluptuous curves.
Note: This style isn’t best suited for a demure bride.
Dropped Waist: Long and Stunning
Instead of creating a seam right at your waist, this gown flows over your stomach and hips creating a long, flattering line. If you have built a flat set of abs or love the curves of your hips, this gown will look stunning as it finishes with a loose and flowing skirt. However, if you have fewer curves or are on the petite side, the lack of shaping can accentuate a boxy and short appearance.
Mermaid: Flip Them Some Love
Make the most out of your hourglass figure with a mermaid gown. This gown hugs every curve of your bust, hips, and waist and nips in at the knee or thighs with a pop of a flirty skirt that touches the floor. Designed for the buxom bride, you will turn plenty of heads in this dress style.
A-line: Timeless Elegance
The simple bodice snugs in just above your waist and the skirt flares out falling in a gracious A-line down to your knees or the floor. You can also add a crinoline underneath to give the skirt extra body and shape. This silhouette is friendly to almost any body shape as it skims past the belly, hips, and thighs. It is the perfect foundation for adding lace, beads, and other details or leave it as is for straightforward, modern simplicity.
Trumpet: Adding Extra Flare to the Sheath
Often mistaken for the mermaid, the trumpet uses a straight line for the bodice which then cuts in at the knees before creating the familiar flared skirt. This bodice is more forgiving of your curves and can be structured to build a little extra shape at the bust. Your natural silhouette and a talented tailor will create a vision in this gown.
Empire: Minimalistic, Confident Style
If you’re a bride that wishes to highlight the bust and minimize curves at the stomach and hips, the Empire delivers with a timeless look. The bodice ends just below the bust and falls in a natural line to the floor. If you are all bust or have large hips, the Empire will further accentuate those curves. For brides with a long, lean body – you’ll love this look, too!
Short: Leave the Floor-Length Hem Behind
If you are on the hunt for a more casual wedding or dream of kicking up your heels on the dance floor, opt for a cropped tea-length or at-the-knee hemline. It’s the perfect opportunity to show off your legs in a stunning pair of heels or your favourite sneakers. It’s also an excellent choice for destination weddings where bare feet won’t be tripped up by voluminous skirts.
Shopping for You and Your Personal Style
With this guide in mind, it can be tempting to immediately select your shape and start your search from there. However, it is best to spend your first appointment at the bridal shop trying on a variety of shapes and lengths to get a real idea of what works for your body.
Many women spend much of their teen years creating a look that is familiar and comfortable, so it’s easy to select a gown that reflects that style. But you might be surprised at how good you feel when you slip on a sheath, mermaid, or empire-waist gown even if it’s not your first pick. This is your opportunity to find a dress that brings a smile to your face and will build cherished memories for the future.
The best wedding dress will be the one that brings your personality to the fore while creating a stunning vision able to capture your partner’s attention. Bring along a trusted friend or relative to give an additional opinion that will support you in your final selection. Leave the person home who most often criticizes your looks when dressing for an evening out.