We all want to look our best and wear clothes that fit and flatter, and this is never more true than for a bride on her wedding day. While you may generally know what looks best on you, wedding dresses are very different to our everyday attire and require a little more thinking about.
I want to end any fear and frustration that may come with choosing your bridal attire, whether that’s being worried about the cost, wedding dress shopping mistakes, and now, how best to flaunt and flatter your shape.
Wedding Dress Silhouettes 101
There are six generally acknowledged wedding dress silhouettes, each of which is best suited to different body types. To choose the one that flaunts your body shape to its full advantage, and walk down the aisle with all the confidence in the world, read on.
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Ball gown
Best Suited Body Shapes: “Pear” weight distributed lower on the body mainly around hips and thighs
When to wear: The full skirt and fitted bodice of a ball gown silhouette is ideal for a pear shaped body, as it helps to accentuate the waist and hide the lower body. If you want to conceal a larger tummy or have full hips and thighs, the best silhouette to suit is something with a natural waist such as a soft ball gown or A line shape. This style will be fitted to your upper torso area while hiding anything from the waist down – creating a more proportional silhouette and perhaps also making you feel like a total princess!
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Column Dress / Sheath Gown
Best Suited Body Shapes: Tall & Slender Brides
When to wear: A column dress is contoured to the body’s natural shape from head to toe, fitting closely, and is best worn by slender brides – both short and tall – which will also help to elongate shorter brides. This form-fitting style follows the body’s natural line and doesn’t flare out. To create more shape on a very lean figure, a bias cut column is effective.
If you favour a clean and simple shape, the column shape may be for you – just be aware it’s one of the less forgiving wedding dress silhouettes.
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Empire Gown
Best Suited Body Shapes: Various
When to wear: This silhouette is defined by the raised waistline – sitting just below the bust, from where the rest of the dress flows. This creates the illusion of a longer torso, and is suited to the smaller busted women or petite brides wishing to elongate.
An empire silhouette wedding dress can also be great on larger brides since the dress flows from the bust line, it can conceal and cover unwanted body features such as shorter legs, or rounder body parts. While covering up, the dress shouldn’t be too big and baggy, which will make you look bigger – ensure it is also well fitted.
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Mermaid
Best Suited Body Shapes: Hourglass – Fuller bust and hips, smaller waist
When to wear: For girls blessed with an hourglass figure, most cuts will work – the choice is what body part to accentuate the most. To play up your curves, mermaid styles with a fitted bodice or a ball gown will show off your waist, and likewise create more of a waist for those without great definition. This style contours the body from the chest to the knee and is more fitted than the trumpet.
This can be a very sexy look, so confidence is a must.
Wedding Dress Silhouette: A-Line
Best Suited Body Shapes: Most, including ‘Apple’ with weight mainly around the middle
When to wear: The A-line silhouette suits most body shapes and help to create an hourglass figure. If you are plus size or want to appear taller, this is an ideal shape. Not only does it have a flattering waistline, it conceals hips and thighs and can elongate the body. Ensure the smallest part of the waist is also at the smallest part of your waist.
The A-line dress is versatile and has many modifications to the neck and waistline and can make sure you show off your best features (while downplaying others).
Wedding Dress Silhouette: Trumpet
Best Suited Body Shapes: Curvy
When to wear: This straight-lined skirt flares at just below the hips in a trumpet shape and can often be mistaken for the mermaid. This semi-full skirt gives you a little something something without the extra volume and bulk. It is less fitted and allows more movement, while still cutting a sexy figure.
Whatever you wear, choose something that makes you feel comfortable – don’t force yourself into a certain style or shape that doesn’t feel right. Confidence and comfort is a must as a relaxed bride is a beautiful bride, no matter the wedding dress!