1. Pear Shaped: This is the most common body shape for women. You are bigger on the bottom than you are on the top, and should look for a dress that balances your shape. Brides with a pear shaped body should look for an A-line dress that flows from the natural waist or just above the hip. This shape highlights and narrows the midsection and floats away from the hips and thighs.
2. Apple Shaped: Apple shaped brides generally have a larger upper body and slim legs, and bottom. Brides with this body shape should shop for a dress that cinches their natural waistline (the smallest part of the waist), and then flares out into an A-line or ball gown skirt. Also, adding a sash at your natural waistline, shows off the smallest part of your torso and gives an illusion of a more hourglass shape.
3. Hourglass Shaped: Hour glass shapes are exactly that; women who are curvy! Brides with this shape should look for a dress that highlights their slim waist and shows off your curves. Try a formfitting dress like a mermaid or trumpet gown that will highlight your body to its fullest extent.
4. Square/Straight/Boyish: If you’re a bride with a more boyish figure, try to find a dress that will create the illusion of curves. Try a sheath dress with a wispy fabric that is cut on the bias; the curving side seam will give you a sexy silhouette. Another option is a ball gown or A-line with a full, flowing skirt that cinches at your natural waist. Since your goal is to create the illusion of having curves, it is wise to avoid form-fitting or hip-hugging dresses like mermaids or trumpet gowns.
5. Busty: Many women believe that if you have a full bust, you’re unable to wear a strapless gown. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It is all about choosing the right type of strapless neckline for your bust, as well as having the dress professionally tailored to fit you. Look for a strapless style with a scoop or modified sweetheart neckline. This will showcase your cleavage in a classy and appropriate way. Avoid a straight across neckline, textured busts or shiny fabrics, which can actually make your bust appear larger.
6. Small-Chested: If you’re small chested look for a dress with a ruched bodice. Extra fabric at the top will help fill out your bust-line. You should also look for dresses with a sweetheart neckline, which creates the illusion of a larger bust. The right bra will always provide a nice boost, or have your seamstress sew bra cups into your gown to fill out the structure of the bodice and give you more shape.
7. Petite: If you’re a petite bride, you want to find a style with a natural or empire waistline, where the bottom section of the dress is longer, therefor creating the illusion of a longer leg-line and making you appear taller. A sweetheart or V-neckline will draw your eye vertically and give you a longer look. Keep detailing to a minimum, and limited to the bodice, to draw the eye upward. Avoid dresses with a dropped waist, or tea length, as both styles will make your legs look much shorter.
8. Tall: If you’re a bride that stands 5’10 or taller, look for a gown with a simple silhouette that emphasizes your natural shape. A great way to do this is by finding a gown with a dropped waist, to emphasize your waist and midsection, but also balance and highlight your long legs. Try to avoid a natural or empire waistline, as these are good options for brides that are looking to elongate their legs, they can give taller brides a “beanpole” effect. Also, always make sure that the dress you love is available to order with extra length if you need it.
Now you’re ready to start trying some dresses! While certain styles work best on certain body types, it helps to try on many different styles, and then decide what shape you look and feel the best in. Try to keep an open mind while trying on wedding gowns, especially dresses that a bridal consultant may suggest for you. Don’t give up until you find the dress that you look and feel beautiful in. Always trust your instincts, and ask yourself if you can really picture yourself walking down the aisle in this gown, then take it off and move on. When you have found the perfect dress, smile at yourself in the mirror, and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your search is over!