The right dress for your shape

by Bridal Manor
in News
on August 2014
Body Shapes

Choose the perfect wedding gown for your body shape. A little bit of friendly advice from your consultant.

First of all don’t forget to make the most of every fitting and to embrace the whole experience, it’s supposed to be fun and exciting so don’t allow anyone to spoil that for you! Keep an open mind when starting your bridal journey as something you would have never considered, might just surprise you.

Trust your bridal consultant and be 100% honest with her, you are not hurting anyone's feelings, you will only be helping yourself. Never ever settle on anything less than perfect, not when it comes to your wedding gown. It really is all right to be "difficult" and to demand perfection. Lastly always stay true to yourself and choose something that best portrays and compliments your personality and body shape – do not let others’ opinions confuse you. No matter your shape or size, we guarantee that there’s a dress perfect for you, here’s a little advice on the most flattering style for your body shape...

Apple Shape
The perfect silhouette for brides with an apple body shape is either an A-line or Empire waistline. The goal is to redefine your waist by making use of pleating, ruching, detailing and the correct silhouettes to create the illusion of a shaped waistline. These gorgeous brides might feel a bit self-conscious about their torso/stomach area and will therefore feel more comfortable in dresses that eases over their problem areas compared to tight fitted silhouettes. The high waist of an empire style dress will accentuate the smallest area of the bride just underneath her bust and also elongate her silhouette. A V-neck or a flattering sweetheart neckline draws attention upwards and thus away from the body part the bride feels most self-conscious about. To flatter this body shape, opt for lace and detailed fabrics as the texture will camouflage your problem areas and fit snugly around the bride’s torso.

Plus sized
There’s no need to be nervous when starting your wedding dress hunt, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t look and feel like the beautiful bride you are so don’t be scared, we’ll walk you through it. The key is to find the dress that emphasizes the correct areas of your body to the fullest and at the same time hide the areas you feel most self-conscious about. To help a little bit, why not indulge in the following secrets. A-line, Ball Gowns and Empire Waist silhouettes will flatter you the most. You might think that pleating and ruching will add bulkiness to your body shape but in reality you’ll find the opposite to be true. Diagonal pleats/ruching allows the eye to run vertically across the body and creates the perfect slimming & elongated effect. Always make sure that your dress fits you properly as this can either make or break a wedding dress. Don’t try and hide your shape with excess fabric, rather opt for more structured fabrics such as satin, taffeta and certain variations of lace. As for necklines, a sweetheart and V-neck will compliment this bride’s shape the most. If you feel self-conscious about your bust and upper arms why not embrace the feminine Illusion neckline trend by adding a sheer lace bolero to compliment your dress. Lastly one of our most successful secrets is to finish off a gown with a corset back rather than a zipper back, this will allow you to shape your waist beautifully.

Pear shaped
Your pear shaped brides have the advantage of the most beautiful curves. In this case you should ask yourself whether you feel comfortable embracing your curves or do you prefer to hide them. Pear shaped figures commonly have more fullness around the lower half of their bodies compared to their bust and shoulders which appear much smaller. Most pear shaped brides will opt for A-lines, Ball Gowns or Dropped Waist gowns which start to flare just as your hips are visible. A useful tip is to embrace different necklines and sleeves like a one shoulder, V-necks, bateau or scoop necklines in order to balance the fullness of your lower body. If the bride prefers to accentuate her curves she can rather go for a mermaid or trumpet silhouette and balance out her shape by choosing a dress with more detail or bulkier fabric around the bust. Fabrics most suitable for this body shape is taffeta, satin and lace. These fabrics are structured and will compliment this body shape the best. In the end the silhouette depends on the bride’s personality and what she feels most comfortable and beautiful in.

For our exceptionally blessed brides, a scooped neckline will be the most flattering as it will open up the bride’s face and display her neckline without showing too much cleavage. Brides who want to feel more comfortable can opt for straps, preferably thicker in shape, to offer enough support. If you prefer a strapless gown, a slight dip in the neckline such as a sweetheart will suit the bride better as a straight neckline can cause the bust to appear even larger. Your busty brides should avoid fabrics such as organza, satin or silk as these fabrics have a lustrous appearance causing the bust to appear even larger. A very important aspect to consider is the fit and support your dress offers, the correct fit can easily help you appear 2 cup sizes smaller whereas the wrong fit can also create the opposite effect. If you feel uncomfortable ask your consultant to incorporate a bra of your choice into your dress to ensure that you have enough support. Remember your bust area is one of the focal points of any dress therefore take great care to ensure that the fit is perfect!

For these stately framed brides you are extremely lucky as most silhouettes will flatter your figure. A Grecian-style gown is elegant and it will accentuate your long legs. If you prefer to accentuate your body shape on the other hand, a trumpet or mermaid silhouette can be perfect as it will hug all of your curves beautifully. For your tall brides who prefer a simpler silhouette that flows softly over your curves consider a sheath or column silhouette. Lastly if you would like to make a statement you are lucky to be able to pull off a gorgeous high waist ball gown. When it comes to fabrics and textures, soft flowing chiffon, charmeuse, lace, tulle and organza will compliment you beautifully.

Petite Shape
For the smaller and shorter brides a trumpet, sheath or modified A-line gown will work excellent. Opt for a style with a waistline that fits just above the natural waist to make the lower half of the dress appear longer and the bride taller. As for the detailing on the dress, keep it small and simple (avoid large bows or flowers) and mainly concentrate your detailing on the bodice of your dress in order to guide the eye upward. Diagonal Pleating and Ruching are also great ways to guide the eye in an elongated manner. Be wary of ball gowns as petite brides can easily appear overwhelmed by a voluminous skirt. Also try avoid dropped waist and tea-length dresses as it can result in the lower half of your body to appear shorter. Regarding the most suitable fabrics, petite brides should rather choose dresses with softer and lighter fabrics such as chiffon, lace, organza or charmeuse compared to heavy fabrics such as satin, silk and taffeta which might overwhelm your small frame.

Small chested
For the small chested brides who prefer to add more volume and shape to their bust, you can opt for a ruched bodice as the layering of fabric around your bust will help create the illusion of curves. Don’t be scared to make use of a padded bra or built in cups to add a little bit of shape to your gown. Another style that will also add volume around your bust is a lightly padded halter style and slight sweetheart necklines can help to create the illusion of a fuller bust. An alternative strategy is to direct the attention away from your bust to your neckline and shoulders by choosing a Bateau neckline. For those brides who prefer to embrace their smaller bust, wear sheath style dresses that softly embraces your body shape. Don’t forget that you have the great advantage of being able to indulge in gorgeous low cut backs as you have little need for tremendous support around your bust.

You’ll notice that your hips, waist and shoulders are at about the same width. This is more commonly known as rectangular shaped bodies. The best way to create the illusion of a waistline is to embrace A- line and Ball gown silhouettes. These silhouettes will give you the advantage of a cinched in waist and a fuller skirt to balance your upper body proportions. By embracing A-symmetrical pleating around your waist your rectangular shape will be interrupted leaving you with beautifully emphasized curves. These brides should rather wear dresses with more structured fabrics such as satin, taffeta and lace in order to shape and create the illusion of a curved body compared to flowing fabrics which will further emphasise your rectangular shape.