Choosing A Wedding Dress For Different Body Shapes

Today we’re looking at choosing a wedding dress, the sort of styles to look for depending on your body shape.

When I got married in 1992 I don’t remember there being a large array of choice of style. They were large skirted, fitted bodice and poofy sleeves. Perhaps the sales consultant just brought out the dresses which she deemed suitable. I don’t really remember – it was 25 years ago after all. I do however remember the feeling when I tried on the dress I bought. It made me feel beautiful and my mother and I both shed a happy tear! For my second wedding I had my dress made for me. I’d seen a gorgeous flapper dress for sale on ebay – sadly several sizes too small for me, with not a snowball’s chance in hell of ever fitting into it! So I bought the material, found a dressmaker and had a dress made. I then embellished it with Swarovski® crystals myself.

I am very grateful to Italian Wedding & Event Designer, Giulia Lazarini for her advice on which style suits which figure when choosing a wedding dress. She can also help if you’re thinking of getting married in Italy.

Choosing a wedding dress 

Choosing a wedding dress is the most anticipated moment for future brides. It always creates a bit of agitation. Because on the one hand the expectation of being beautiful is high, on the other hand there is always a doubt that the chosen dress is the right one.

There are rules to better enhance physical characteristics and to help confused brides. I have identified 5 women’s figure types with different physical characteristics. Let’s see in detail how best to exalt them for choosing the perfect wedding gown.

Hourglass Figure

Choosing a wedding dress - Hourglass figure

This type of woman has wide shoulders as well as hips and narrow waist. No matter whether it is high or low, curvy or lean, what matters is its proportions that give it a sinuous figure to S. She is the most fortunate, because she can wear any marvelous dress, but we see in detail what is most valued when choosing a wedding dress.

Choosing a wedding dress - mermaid dresses

The mermaid model is the one that gives you the most fascinating figure.

Choosing a wedding dress - mermaid style

It would be very good even with a princess style or with a poodle skirt that highlights its slim waist. For fabrics, however, makes no difference. It is the line that counts to wrap the body, following its sinuous lines.

Pear Figure

Pear Figure

Narrow shoulders, small or regular breasts (from 30″ to 34″ bra size), wide hips. These are the characteristics of the woman with the pear-shaped physique. It is widening to the bottom of the body, like forming a triangle. For this woman you need to balance the figure, bringing the attention to the top and minimising the bottom one, which is usually the one that loves less.

Hiding the wide hips with a large or flared dress, avoiding a tight skirt. The top of the gown could be enriched with important details such as a bow, lace embroidery. Also applications could be used that optically enlarge the shoulders.

choosing a wedding dress - pear shaped

V-neckline ok, American ones are not recommended  because it would highlight narrow shoulders.

At this point you can focus on the waist, which can be undoubtedly underlined, but avoid cutting it too high. Better to choose low-waist clothes, for example with bustier.

Choosing a wedding dress - low waisted

Apple Figure

Apple Figure

It is the rounded, sometimes overweight line, with plump arms and full bust. The point to be valued is the breast, and it will be chosen for a well-cut bridal dress that makes it feel fit. It is crucial to hide the waist and lengthen the figure. Regardless of the stature, which is high or low, in fact, the apple woman always seems less slim, since she is full on top.

It is preferable to opt for and empire style dress that emphasises the breast and at the same time lengthens the shape from the bust down.

To enhance the breasts, embroideries and laces are applied to the rounder parts of the torso, which include the arms. The neckline is wide enough to give airiness to the torso and momentum to the neck. The skirt can be slightly flared to A, which is softly down the legs, or wide to the wheel. You can also play with double layers and with a micro draping that covers your belly. This type of dress is perfect for pregnant brides.

Choosing a wedding dress - A line

Choosing a wedding dress A line

Rectangle Figure

Rectangle Figure

Tall or short, has the same width in the waist, shoulders and hips. It can be masculine or simply lean, or even muscular, but with straight lines, without sinuousness. In fact, it has a very special roundness. The clothes that are best suited to women with this body type are linear ones, columns, tunics or line-ups.

Choosing a wedding dress - tunics etc

It’s best not to have the dress too tight. This is because it might put too much emphasis on the absence of form, penalizing paradoxically the thinness. Therefore soft or structured tubular dresses that redesign the silhouette are suitable.

Inverted Triangle Figure

Inverted Triangle Figure

Contrary to the woman with the pear-shaped physique, she has the wider upper than the lower one. Large shoulders, turned arms and narrow hips. It is not uncommon for this type of woman to have an athletic or naturally muscular body.

The bridal dress for this type of body should be clean. She should be very careful about the neckline – it cannot be too large, otherwise it would extend the upper part of the body further, thereby increasing disproportion. The indicated necklines are American or “canotta”, just to emphasize the athletic look of this figure. Also the one-shoulder neckline can narrow the shoulder effect.

Choosing a wedding dress - American or Canotta neckline

You can emphasise the waist, perhaps by shifting attention to a beautiful gap on the bottom of the skirt.

Choosing a wedding dress - shift attention away from shoulders

When choosing a wedding dress what I usually recommend to brides is to feel the dress, because the dress needs to excite you. It needs to make you feel beautiful and comfortable, then this means that it is the perfect dress for you.

Dresses collections 2018 by: Nicole Spose, Cosmobella, Atelier Emé

You can see our tips on Wedding Dress Buying in a previous post.