This article originally appeared on the Maggie Sottero blog
At this point in your wedding dress shopping journey, you’ve probably amassed plenty of style options on your pin boards. But how do you find the perfect dress for your body type? Start with the silhouette. Figure out which of our featured body types best defines your figure: hourglass, small-chested, petite, pear-shaped, tall and slender, athletic and busty. You’re not likely to fit squarely into one category, but you can combine tips from each to find the perfect dress for your body type, no matter your shape!
Along with finding the most flattering silhouette for your frame, you’ll want to remember these pointers when going into your bridal shop appointment.
1. Trust your bridal consultant. They may pull a gown outside of your comfort zone, but they are trained in helping brides find “The One”.
2. Do your hair and makeup before a bridal appointment–it will be easier for you to imagine the whole look for your big day.
3. Shop with your trusted best bride-tribe only. This decision is already filled with trepidation
Which silhouettes work for my frame? Start with some easy pointers:
WEDDING DRESSES FOR HOURGLASS SHAPES:
Choose a corset and/or fit-and-flare gown that shapes and flatters your natural curves.
If a ballgown strikes your fancy, opt for a structured bodice and full skirt.
A sweetheart neckline complements your shape nicely.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR SMALL-CHESTED BRIDES:
Ruching, wrapping, and embellishment in the bodice helps play up your décolletage.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR PETITE SHAPES:
Elongate your torso with a V-neck style.
Look taller in half- and three-quarter-length sleeves.
Choose an empire- or natural-waisted gown to avoid looking “scrunched up” or bottom-heavy.
Avoid super slim-fitting sheath gowns that tend to gather around the waist.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR PEAR-SHAPED FRAMES:
Disguise your tummy and hips with an A-line or ballgown silhouette.
Opt for visual interest at the chest and waistline with an embellished bodice.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR TALL AND SLENDER BRIDES:
Choose something pretty and understated—not too showy.
Create an air of statuesque beauty with an elegant sheath style.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR ATHLETIC FRAMES:
Create a sexy silhouette with a fit-and-flare or slim A-line.
Work with angles: a unique neckline, swirls of beading and embellishment, and a tiered skirt add visual interest to your gown.
Show off your toned arms and shoulders with a halter top or strapless style.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR BUSTY BRIDES:
A wider strap helps support your chest.
A sweetheart neckline follows your curves naturally.
More questions to consider when finding the perfect gown for your body type:
What makes you feel comfortable for your day job? What makes you feel sexy for a special occasion?
It’s a delicate balance: you want to feel like yourself on your big day without playing it too safe. Think about dress styles and aesthetics that make you feel like the best version of yourself—elegant and sophisticated, but still true to your individual personality.
Think about beauty routines that make you feel confident. Does a structured updo make you feel fit for the occasion, or do natural waves help you go with the flow? Do accessories elevate your look or distract from it? Does the thought of wearing heels make you want to dance all night or bail on the situation entirely? Clues like these help you find a dress that fits your body type, personal style, and vision for your big day.
Can I let go of my insecurities and listen to feedback from my close friends and family?
Every bride has things she likes and doesn’t like about her body. It’s important to find a dress that fits your personality and preferences, but don’t let your inner critic take over in the process. We’re willing to bet your loved ones, most importantly your sweetheart, have a much more forgiving perception of your gorgeous features than you do.