When you’re shopping for a wedding dress, the staff in every shop will give you the same in advice: Try on lots of dresses. Lots and lots of dresses. Try on dresses in styles you think you like – and in styles you don’t like.
It’s good advice: You never know until you get a dress on how it will fit and whether it works with your body type.
But before you go shopping it’s good to know a little about the different styles of dresses and what they do for different body types.
First, the body types. We love these descriptions from David’s Bridal.
Hourglass: Hourglass brides have classic curves – hips and shoulders that are similar in size and a small waist.
Triangle: When your hips are wider than your shoulders, you have a triangle shape. You may also hear this referred to as pear shaped.
Inverted Triangle: Flip the triangle over, and you have a bride with broad shoulders that are wider than her hips.
Rectangle: If your shoulders, waist, and hips are all about the same size, you have a rectangle body shape.
Big and poufy, ballgowns have full skirts and bodices that are usually fitted and cinch in at the waist. When Cinderella planned her wedding, she definitely chose a ballgown.
Ballgowns add weight on the bottom, so they’re a great choice for many body types:
- Triangle: Show off a small upper body
- Inverted Triangle: A ballgown balances broader shoulders
- Rectangle: A ballgown with a cinched waist will create curves
If you’re petite, it’s best to avoid a ballgown. It will look overwhelming on you.
A-line gowns are easily the most popular wedding dress silhouette. It’s a classic look and looks great on just about everyone. A-line dresses have fitted bodices with flared skirts, hence the name. They emphasize the smallest part of your body – your waist. A-line dresses work especially well for triangle and rectangle body shapes because they highlight your waist and create curves.
Mermaid or Trumpet
Want va-va-va voom? Don a mermaid or sheath style gown. These gowns are fitted from the neckline to the knees (or lower) and then the skirt flares out. They’re body-hugging and can require a bit of confidence to wear. Who do they work for?
- Hourglass: Got curves? Flaunt them!
- Inverted Triangle: The flared skirt creates balance with broad shoulders.
Avoid a mermaid- or trumpet-style gown if you’re not comfortable wearing tight clothes or you’re worried about your movements being restricted by your dress.
Sheath gowns are fitted but not skin tight. They fall naturally from the neckline to the hem. Sheath gowns are sleek, and they can be slimming.
- Hourglass: Flaunt those curves, and look chic while you do it.
- Rectangle: A sheath dress cut on a bias will fall in a way that creates curves.
- Petites: Choose a sheath gown with a waist higher than your natural waist to make you look taller and longer.
When you shop, remember that these are guidelines – not rules! Your wedding day is about YOU! Find the dress that makes you feel the most beautiful and comfortable and rock it on your wedding day. (And don’t forget to submit your wedding to our blog; we want to see how gorgeous you are!)