The Perfect Bridal Gown for Every Body Type

© The Wedding Notebook - The Perfect Bridal Gown for Your Body

Bombarded by a thousand Pinterest ideas, countless of options at the bridal house and the latest trends, you wonder how are you possibly going to find the right dress for your big day. We believe fit is king and if you feel good in your dress, you’re guaranteed to look like it.

To narrow down your search, first-get to know your body type, the silhouette you should embrace and those you should avoid to enhance your best feature and help you feel confident on your special day.

Apple Body Shape

You have this body type if:

  • You are heavy on the top and slim at the bottom
  • You have a poorly-defined waist
  • Your arms and legs are slim

YES RULE: Go for support. Plus-sized women who are heavy-chested need the right balance of covering up and showing off. Go for a sweetheart neckline that will enhance your best features. Try to create the illusion of a longer body by going for A-line silhouettes.

NO RULE: Avoid the mermaid-cut dress. It will give the impression of a wider top.


Rectangle Body Shape

You have this body type if:

  • Your shoulder and hips are approximately the same width
  • You have little waist definition
  • Your weight is evenly distributed throughout your body

YES RULE: An empire waist will showcase the slimmest part of your upper half. It creates the illusion of curves and gives your waist better definition. You can also have a belt or coloured sash to create an illusion of a waist. If you have a toned body, you can do a sheath or bias-cut dress. Sheaths are close-fitting dresses that enhance the bust and curve slightly inward at the waist. Bias-cut is a technique for cutting fabric used by designers to utilise the greater stretch in a diagonal direction, accentuating the body line and hanging more gracefully on your body. The mermaid-style dress will also create movement in your silhouette.

NO RULE: Dresses with a low waistline will highlight the rectangular body type


Pear Body Shape

You have this body type if:

  • Your hips are wider than your bust
  • You have a fuller rear

YES RULE: Balance your body shape by drawing more attention to your upper half. Opt for an off-shoulder style, a Grecian toga style, a halter neck or rhinestone decorations at the neckline, but make sure you have slim and graceful arms and shoulders. Otherwise, go for more structured fabrics and not clingy ones. A-line princess cuts and empire waists are great alternatives for pear-shaped figures. These dresses skim over the top half and start flaring out under the waist, camouflaging the hips.

NO RULE: Avoid dresses that cling to your bottom half like trumpet or mermaid. A sheath dress will also show off too much hip


Hourglass Body Shape

You have this body type if:

  • You have a well defined waist
  • Your bust and hip are roughly even
  • You have a fully bust, hip and thigh

YES RULE: Go for anything that will accentuate your waist even more. The best are mermaid-style dresses. Take advantage of your body shape and go for embellishments and lace detailing.

NO RULE: Don’t hide beneath a slim, sheath-style dress.


Thin Body Shape

You have this body type if:

  • You have a very slim frame
  • You have little waist definition

YES RULE: Ball gowns are the easiest way to bring out your curves and feminine side. Another way is to add tulle fabric flowers or ruffles, which will bring out the girly and princessy side of you. Anything that enhances your femininity – bingo!

NO RULE: Don’t do slim, figure-hugging materials such as silk or lace that will cling to your body.


Your body shape will determine the overall silhouette of a dress that enhances your assets. Then, determine the neckline. If you are heavy-chested, consider a high neckline. If you are small-chested, go for a V-neck or scoop neck. Those who are flat-chested can opt for dresses with embellishments or ruffles at the bust line, which will enhance their chest.Always try on a dress before you dismiss it. You never know what you can pull off. Have confidence – that is the key to looking beautiful. Go shopping with your girlfriends, listen to their feedback and just enjoy the whole process.

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