Wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming and equally intimidating. But if you have a lead that can guide you from step A to Z, finding the perfect bridal gown that fits becomes easier.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose a wedding dress for your body type, a dress in which you can look good both at the ceremony and at the reception.
When it comes to bridal gown hunting, you should consider a figure-flattering gown that shows your most appropriate body parts. Whether you’re a curvy, hourglass, rectangle, or triangle bride, you should find a dress that perfectly fits you.
Your bridal gown is the type of clothing whose fit and style you shouldn’t compromise. After all, you want more than anything else for your wedding day to be a successful event of a lifetime. So you should invest in a dress that not only makes you beautiful but also comfortable.
In this guide, you’ll learn about:
- What each body type means
- The right wedding dress option to consider based on your body type
- Examples of the best bridal gowns to consider and
- What to avoid during bridal gown hunting
With that said, let’s get started.
Does Body Type Matter When It Comes to Choosing a Wedding Dress?
Here’s the deal:
Wedding dress shopping isn’t about walking into a salon and coming out with the first dress that looks beautiful to the eyes. It’s about finding a gown that fits, a gown in which you look gorgeous and feel comfortable.
Often, the first step in choosing a wedding dress is to understand your body type. Identifying your body type is by far the most fundamental step in bridal gown selection. It becomes easier to find a corresponding bridal gown that you can wear on your big day once you know what body type your physique is.
More importantly, knowing your body type allows you to choose the type of bridal gown that allows you to celebrate your best physical features while diverting attention from the less desirable parts of your body.
How Do You Identify Your Body Type?
Because bridal designers over-fit wedding dresses more than regular garments, you must have the correct measurement to identify your body type quickly.
For this, you’ll need measurements for your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. You have to take the measurements while standing upright, and that isn’t something you can easily accomplish yourself. So, we strongly recommend that you ask a friend to help you.
For this procedure, you will need:
- A tape measure
- A notepad, a piece of paper, or a notebook
- Comfortable clothes for fitting and
- A calculator
Here’s how to use these accessories to find your measurements:
- Measure your hips: Place the tape measure just below the hipbone and then find the area’s circumference.
- Measure your waist: Identify the narrowest part of your waist, about a few inches above your belly button. Then, with the tape measure, go around your body with the point and note the numbers.
- Measure your shoulders: Ask your friend to take the measurements for you. Have them place the end of the tape measure on the edge of one shoulder and run it all around to the same point.
- Measure your bust: Your bust’s measurement is the circumference across the fullest part of your bust. Ensure that the tape isn’t too loose or too tight so that you can get accurate measurements for this section.
Now that you have the measurements necessary to find your body type, it’s time to put your calculator to use. Do the following math:
- Shoulders or bust divided by hips measurements
- Waist divided by shoulders or bust measurements
- Hips divided by shoulders or bust measurements
- Waist divided by Hips measurements
With the numbers now figured out, it should be easy to figure out your body type.
6 Body Types and Their Corresponding Bridal Gowns
There are six body types, and we believe it’s mandatory to know about them so that you can pick the suitable bridal gown for you.
- Curvy or plus size
- Petite or short
- Pear body shape
- Lean or rectangular body shape
- Hourglass body shape and
- Apple body type
Let’s discuss each of the body types in detail.
1. Curvy or Plus Size
Curvy or plus-size brides have a fuller bust and hips and a slightly more filled midsection than the apple and pear body types. You’re likely curvy if you’re a full, rounded, voluptuous woman.
If you’re curvy and concerned about your midriffs, a structured bodice should be a good fit because it will provide the illusion of control and sleekness.
Similarly, if you’re a woman with a larger frame, you will benefit from an A-line bridal gown. Also, a halter neck or scoop neckline will define and contour your shoulders while flattering and enhancing your bust and drawing in the top section of the bodice to emphasize your waist.
If you’re a curvy or plus-size bride, we strongly suggest avoiding styles with loosely draped dress shapes, such as the sheath. These will make you seem heavier. Also, avoid adhesive materials and instead go for structured gowns.
2. Petite or Short Body Type
Women with tiny frames are often lower than average in height and have a skinny and small body form. The most figure-flattering wedding gowns with illusion necklines and light fabric that billow flatteringly about your body rather than cluttering it are ideal options to consider if you’re a petite woman.
A simpler wedding dress is often the best choice to consider when it comes to short brides. Anything with a modest, structured lining will accentuate and compliment your figure without being overpowering.
An empire waistline would be ideal since it draws attention to just below your breast, elongating your legs.
You don’t necessarily have to go straight and skinny. If you wish to walk down the aisle in a flowing ball gown, pick a style that fits your more petite frame.
While longer waistlines can quickly put off petite brides, it’s possible to strike a balance between the volume of the skirt and the length of the waist if they blend the longer waistlines with detailed necklines and wide-flowing skirts.
For petite brides, any wedding gown style that raises the waistline to provide the appearance of greater height is ideal. Because this body shape is well-balanced in both halves. A-line dresses, trumpets, and sheaths work best.
We strongly recommend avoiding dresses with lowered waistlines, as they will make you appear even shorter. As a result, this is a look you should avoid. Expensive styles, such as the ball gown, can be overwhelming for a tiny bride, so it’s best to avoid them.
3. Pear Body Shape
The pear body shape concentrates most of its volume on the hips or legs, with a thin waist and broad hips.
Asymmetrical dresses are ideal for brides with pear shapes because they have greater focus and structure on one side than the other, such as a draped waist or ruffled skirt. These usually feature a one-shoulder strap bodice and a trailing ruffled layer skirt that falls diagonally down the garment.
You don’t have to opt for the massive silhouette if you don’t like an organza gown with frills. You may also pick a smaller, straighter shape for your dress while maintaining an attractive and comfortable figure.
The best dress features for a pear body shape are a thin waistline and small busts.
On the other hand, hips that protrude are less desirable features to consider if you have this body type. So keep the details in the area basic, and tone down the upper with more texture and volume. Bridal downs with flared waistbands can hide and distract an audience from your hips and draw attention to your upper body and small breasts.
Ball gowns are the best dresses for pear body shapes because they flow out from the waistline, hiding your wide hips. Because an A-line dress flares out from the waist and hides the region below it behind layers of fabric, it can also make a good option to consider.
Avoid styles that draw attention to your hips or tummy, as these are your less appealing parts of the body. Please stay away from trumpet gowns and avoid sheath because it adds bulk to the lower part.
4. Lean or Rectangular Body Shape
If you have a rectangular body shape, you’re taller than the average woman, with fewer curves such as smaller breasts or narrower hips.
If you lack curves around the hips or breast, don’t feel obligated to hide your silhouette behind tulle and taffeta ruffles to compensate for the lack of volume.
A traditional yet delicate A-line frame with a flowing skirt and expanded waistline will give you the illusion of curves. An exaggerated neckline, such as a cowl neck or a sweetheart strapless breast, should do the same.
Given the naturally thin and lean frame that comes with this body type, you may afford to wear a dress with a lot of lace or embroidery because the frame can handle it without being too dramatic.
A smaller bust is the best feature for a bride with a lean or rectangular body shape. Don’t worry if you don’t have curves or an undefined waistline, as these are the less desirable features. Consider silhouettes that build an illusion of curves where none exists.
Silhouettes that create an illusion of curves where none exists are the best for lean body shapes. Skirts that feature added ruffles, bows, and texture can add volume, easily enhancing the dimensions of your hips for a perfect curvy figure.
You might also want to explore ball gowns because they create a feminine look with a thick skirt and a nipped waistline. Or you can try sheath dress styles that work on straight figures. Sheath naturally adds the illusion of curves because it drapes along your body.
Please stay away from dresses that don’t have a defined waistline because they can hinder you from looking your best by exaggerating your straight figure.
5. Hourglass Body Shape
Women with an hourglass body type have a full, curvaceous appearance on both the top and bottom, with broad hips, big breasts, and smaller waists. If you have a full proportion and sinking curves, you’re considered voluptuous.
A mermaid or trumpet skirt gown is the ideal wedding dress for women with an hourglass body. These wedding gowns are the go-to gowns for presenting your true self. Before the conclusion of the skirt bursts in tulle ruffles, they flatter and emphasize the breast while focusing on the hips. They accentuate the contours while pulling in a tight, figure-hugging design, and a voluminous skirt adds drama to the dress’s finale.
Mermaid and trumpet bridal gowns have a lot of volume and focus, perfect for a woman who wants to flaunt her body on her big day.
A ball gown with a structured bodice and voluminous skirt to tighten your waist and play up your red-carpet silhouette is the perfect choice to consider if you desire an even greater feeling of charm and grandeur. It also draws attention to your bigger breasts, while creating the impression of larger hips without making you seem boxy and bloated.
The best dress features for an hourglass body shape are a balanced upper and lower portion and a defined waistline. Because it is naturally symmetrical and curvaceous, the hourglass is considered the ideal body shape. This body shape is best suited to close-fitting dress designs that emphasize your natural contours.
Fit and flare dress shapes like the mermaid and trumpet are ideal for hourglass body types. These shapes will produce a striking effect since they hug your natural contours and extend out beyond the hips.
In any dress silhouette, a well-balanced shape like the hourglass would look great. As a result, there are no specific outfits to avoid. Even yet, it’s a shame to bury your seductive and curvaceous shape under layers of cloth if you are an hourglass-shaped bride.
6. Apple Body Shape
When we say that a bride has an apple body, it means their silhouette is thicker on top with a big breast and more volume than the bottom half. Often, brides that have this body type carry a majority of their weight on the upper body.
Wedding dresses with emphasized waistlines and, of course, the ever-reliable A-line gowns are ideal for these body shapes.
With an A-line flowing skirt, the emphasis on the lower half of the shape will strike the right balance on top, offering you an altogether pleasing and even silhouette.
You may want to not have your bust visible on your wedding day. So, if you want to cover your top half completely, you must still consider the importance of balance in your silhouette. If done incorrectly, a covered breast might appear twice as large and conspicuous.
Pair a high neck with long sleeves to get that much-needed symmetry in your top half. The sleeves will balance your upper half and flatter your body shape in the bridal gown so that you feel both beautiful and confident on your big day.
If you have an apple or an inverted triangle shape, your curves, thin legs, and complete breast are your best attributes. You don’t have to worry about a thick waistline or small hips.
When selecting a wedding gown, highlight your core to create a curvaceous image. Both halves of your body will be balanced by styles that flair out at the hips, disguising their tiny proportions. Look for patterns that give volume and curves to the lower half while slimming down the top half’s size.
An A-line dress with a full skirt will look stunning on you. Look for a dress that cinches at the waist and stretches out beyond it. Doing so will provide the appearance of a thin waistline while also emphasizing a curvaceous physique.
Consider ball gowns and this style’s voluminous skirt, which is best suited to brides with slim hips and legs. They have a thin waistline and thick layers in the skirt that produce a voluptuous body, similar to an A-line gown.
Avoid any clothing style that draws attention to your skinny lower half or wider waistline. This would imply hip-length gowns like the trumpet and mermaid.
What is the most popular wedding dress silhouette?
Historically, ball gown and A-line silhouettes have been the most popular wedding dress shapes.
What is my bridal dress size?
Bridal sizing isn’t like typical streetwear sizing. While you might be a size 4-6 in jeans, you’re in fact a bridal size 8-10, and if you’re a size 14-16, you’re likely an 18-20. Don’t worry about it–sizing is just a number! You’ll likely see most of our samples in bridal sizes 8, 10, 12, 18, 20, or 22 to try on.
Does a corset wedding dress make you look thinner?
A corset bodice can magically give you better posture, smooth the contours, and be firm. They are not as uncomfortable as they used to be, especially not when tailored to your exact measurements. The V neck and plunging necklines are great for slimming the chest as they draw the eye down to your waist from your bust.
What styles of dresses are slimming?
Belted styles, drop-waist dresses, swing dresses, and dresses with an embellished top or an empire waist all fit this criterion. A-line dresses, wrap dresses, and dresses with full skirts are also great options, as they help conceal the midsection.
Don’t be tempted to hide your form on your special day. Also, don’t be scared to flaunt your body parts. Feel free to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try different fittings when choosing a wedding dress for your body type.
Choose something that will flatter your figure while also making you feel calm and safe. If you have curves, consider shoulder detailing and dramatic waistlines.
It’s tempting to choose the most concealing garment you can find to avoid feeling self-conscious. However, remember that this is your wedding day. You’re one of the most important people in the room, and you deserve to feel radiant in whatever you wear.
Keep in mind that anything that makes you feel good on the inside will make you look even better on the outside. Therefore, as to how to choose a wedding dress for your body type, we strongly recommend you concentrate on choosing the right clothing that will keep you smiling all day.