3 wedding dress silhouette suggestions for each of the different body types

By on October 17, 2016

Just like brides come in all shapes and sizes, so do wedding gowns. So, we can safely conclude that there is a gown out there for every bride. While you have the freedom to choose what you wear on your wedding day, making the right choice will help you look your best. This is easy once you know your body type and choose a dress silhouette that flatters your best features and hides the less desirable ones.

This is what we will look at today.Join us as we help you to identify your body type and then find the silhouettes that will look best on you.

How to identify your body shape

The first step is to identify your body type. There are several different ways to do this. However, we will opt for the simplest and most straightforward method. For this, we suggest you measure three parts of your body – your bust, waist and hips.

1.Bust measurement: Make sure to wear a properly fitting bra when you take this measurement. Run the tape measure along the circumference of your bust and measure it at the largest point. The tape shouldn’t be too tight, but should just fit around you snugly.

2.Waist measurement: Stand straight and measure the smallest section of your waist, keeping your stomach relaxed and not sucked in. Again the tape should be held snug, and not tight.

3.Hip measurement: To measure your hips stand straight and run the tape along the circumference of the widest part of your hips and bottom.

Now that you have these three measurements, compare the three to identify which category you belong to, from the following list.

Straight: Here the bust and hip measure almost the same. The waist measurement is slightly lesser than either of the other two measurements.

Triangle or pear body type: The hips are larger than the bust and the waist gradually increases or slopes out towards the hips.

Spoon body type : The hips measure more than the bust and the waist is slightly smaller than the bust. The hips have a prominent shelf-like shape. So, the measurements will be hips>bust>waist

Hourglass body type: Here the bust and hip measurements are almost similar, with a smaller and well defined waistline.

Inverted Triangle or Apple body type: As the name suggests, here the bust is the most prominent portion of the body. The waist and hips are narrow and the waistline is not very evident.

By now, you should have identified your body shape based on the above descriptions. Next, let us look at 3 of the best dress silhouettes that are suitable for each of these body shapes and also see a few gown examples to understand why this is so.

Remember that this is only a general guideline. There are always exceptions and you may even find that you look great in a silhouette that isn’t suggested for your body shape. Nevertheless, the guide here will give you a starting point to base your selection on.

Dress silhouette suggestions for the different body types

#Straight or Rectangle

The main concern for brides with a rectangular or straight body structure are the lack of curves. It is quite easy for these women to however, create the illusion of curves by choosing appropriate wedding dresses.

Suggested gown silhouettes

  • A-line dresses
  • Ball gowns
  • Sheath

Silhouettes to avoid

  • Fit and flare

Two silhouettes that can emphasize your slender waist and create an hourglass look are ball gowns and A-line skirts. In the case of ball gowns, the dress blows out into a beautiful skirt from the waist, and this can create the illusion of a fuller figure. The A-line on the other hand is a silhouette that falls gently and emphasizes the existing curves of a bride by pulling in the waist and opening out at the skirt. The third silhouette that looks good on straight body shapes is the sheath. The loose style of this silhouette is such that it creates a curvy look to your straight structure. Since it has no figure fitting parts, it flows gently and covers up your naturally straight structure with more bulk, creating the illusion of curves. Short dress styles also look good on brides with straight figures. Short wedding dresses with A-line skirts and sweetheart necklines in particular, look very feminine and dainty on these body shapes and are perfect for a summer or spring wedding.

Here are some examples that demonstrate why these silhouettes will work on these body shapes.

This Jasmine T172010 A-line wedding dress gently pinches at the waist emphasizing the slender waistline, with the floral appliques drawing attention to this section. The added advantage of this dress is the sweetheart neckline that adds more contour to the bust area making it look extra-feminine.

The Mori Lee 2721 Ball Gown has a richly embellished bodice and a very poufy skirt that easily camouflages the lack of curves in a straight figure. The lavish details on the bodice emphasize the waistline, making it a perfect choice for a slender bride with a straight figure.

This dress created by our in-house designers features a sheath silhouette that smoothly falls over your natural curves without fitting too closely. The smooth finish creates the illusion of extra curves while the sweetheart neckline adds more dimension to a small bust.

#Triangle or Pear shape

This figure is characterized by fuller hips and thighs, while the upper section is less prominent. To balance out the bulk of the lower half, these brides should choose gown silhouettes where the skirt flows away from the hips. The upper half of the neckline, which includes the neckline and sleeves should be chosen to create the illusion of a fuller bust and the overall look will be curvy to the right extent.

Suggested gown silhouettes

  • Ball gowns
  • Short skirts
  • A-line dresses

Dresses to avoid

  • Fit and flare

Ball gowns flare out into a full skirt from the waist, thus camouflaging fuller thighs. Club it with an illusion or bateau neckline fashioned to add extra dimension to your bust and you can easily accomplish the hourglass look. Short skirts that angle away from the body in either sheath or A-line fashion can help you maximize your feminine appeal. A-line dresses with a clinched waistline or ruchings that de-emphasize your hips by drawing attention away from the hips and thighs will also look good. Here are some examples.

The Mori Lee 2711 ball gown with an illusion neckline is just perfect for adding those curves at the waist to a triangle-shaped bride. The sweetheart bodice and illusion neckline pairing also add more dimension to the bust line.

The Mori Lee 6749 wedding dress has a shorter hemline and a full skirt that easily camouflages the full hips of a pear-shaped bride, while the closed neckline makes the bust area more prominent.

Mori Lee 2776 with an A-line skirt and sheer neckline formed of lace appliques help the pear-shaped bride balance out both parts of her body, by creating the illusion of a fuller chest due to the neckline design and presence of lace in the sleeves.

#Spoon shape

Although similar to the hourglass body shape, brides with this body shape have a waist which is less prominent. It is an easy body shape to work with, as you can highlight your curves with a dress that emphasizes your bust and gathers at the natural waistline or slightly above it.

Suggested gown silhouettes

  • Ball gowns
  • Short dresses with skirts that angle away from the waist
  • A-line with waistline above natural waistline

Dresses to avoid

  • Fitted gowns

In ball gowns the skirt balloons out either at or above the natural waistline. This can hide the bulk of the hips and thighs in this body shape. The same effect is achieved by short dresses with an A-line or ballerina style skirt that angles away from the hips. The universally flattering A-line wedding gown with layers that cascade away from the waist down and aren’t form-fitted is another option to consider. Check out the examples to understand this better.

The MoriLee 2775 features a ball gown with a skirt that has just the sufficient amount of pouf to balance out a spoon-shaped figure. The sweetheart neckline amplifies the femininity of the bride and the embellished bodice adds to its prominence.

This Mori Lee dress from the Voyage collection is a perfect choice for the spoon-shaped bride, as the skirt angles away from the waist and hips, and creates a balanced silhouette.

This 6794 Mori Lee A-line gown creates a fuller bust due to the asymmetrical ruching that criss-crosses in the bodice. The waistline is slightly elevated, thus hiding the original shape of the hips and thighs.

#Hourglass figure

A balanced feminine figure which is curvy on both the halves and with a slender waistline, this is the figure that most wedding gowns are created for. While brides with an hourglass figure can carry off most dresses without a problem, there are certain silhouettes that can really enhance your femininity and allow you to flaunt your beautiful figure to the most.

Suggested gown silhouettes

  • Fit and flare gowns
  • Sheath gowns
  • Ball gowns

Fit and flare gowns closely follow your natural curves all the way down to your thighs or hips, from where they open up into a fuller skirt. These are ideal choices for the classic hourglass structure. It allows you to flaunt your slender waistline and curvy figure, and you will look perfect in it when you choose the sleeves and neckline that emphasizes your features to the best. Sheath gowns drape your natural curves closely, again creating a beautiful picture where your natural figure is highlighted to your advantage. In the case of ball gowns, a structured bodice with ample detailing and a full skirt can play up the drama and help you accomplish a timeless look.

The Jasmine T172013 is the perfect fit and flare gown to play up your beautiful curves to perfection. The beautiful lace has just a small embellishment along the neckline to create extra sophistication.

This beautiful gown from the Mori Lee Voyage collection with a sheath silhouette is perfect for an hourglass figure, as it drapes over your sensual curves rendering extra beauty to your sexy figure.

The Mori Lee 2690 gathers at the slender waist highlighting it prominently against the rich, bouncy skirt that it flows into. It is perfect to show off the femininity of an hourglass figure.

#Inverted Triangle or Apple shape

These brides have a prominent bust with narrow hips and thighs. By choosing the right gown silhouette, you can hide the lack of curves in the lower half, while toning down the prominence of your ample bust.

Suggested gown silhouettes

  • Mermaid or fit and flare gowns
  • Short A-line skirts
  • Ball gowns

Silhouettes to avoid

  • Sheath

A well-structured mermaid or fit and flare gown, with a corset or illusion top that can reduce the impact of your prominent bust. It will allow you to balance out your wide upper body with the help of a full skirt. If you have well-toned legs, you can de-emphasize your upper body by drawing attention to your legs with the help of a beautiful short A-line dress with layers that add more bulk to your hips and waist. The full-skirt in a ball gown design will balance out your broad shoulders and create an hourglass style look. So, these are the patterns to consider if you are apple shaped.

The Alfred Angelo 2521 wedding gown is a good choice for the apple shaped bride. The fit and flare skirt will balance out the broad shoulders and de-emphasize the thin hips and thighs with the texture it has in the lower half.

The 2429 Alfred Angelo A-line skirt opens out towards the knees, camouflaging thinner thighs and hips associated with this body type. The illusion neckline and cap sleeves also tone down the shoulder width, making it a perfect choice for apple-shaped brides.

Another dress from the Alfred Angelo Collection, the 2508 ball gown is a good choice for brides with an inverted triangle body structure, as its thickly layered skirt will accentuate the width of the lower body and balance out the broad upper torso.

With a vast collection of designer dresses in all sizes and shapes, Best for Bride is the dream wedding destination for every bride, irrespective of what her body shape is. Come visit us today, and enjoy your shopping experience to the most.

About Olga Pomeransky

Olga is manager at Best for Bride since 2005. Currently Best for Bride operates 4 bridal stores in Canada (Toronto, Etobicoke, Hamilton and Barrie). Best for Bride sells wedding, bridesmaids, mob dresses and more. http://www.BestForBride.com

5 Comments

  1. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Delfina Campa

    February 11, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    Knowing these types of things before you even go out shopping is very important. This is a great article and worth sharing with ANYONE getting ready to find the wedding dress of a lifetime!

  2. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Tracy Toombs

    February 11, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    This is a great article. Thank you for breaking down the body types for me. As a planner, it can be very helpful!

  3. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Stacy York

    February 25, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    So elegant. I love all the designs. Our wedding is not for another 2 years, but there is so much to research and look at. I am glad that I found your site.

  4. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Joy Ventura

    February 25, 2017 at 9:42 AM

    I wonder why you mention avoiding a fitted gown? That is the direction I was going to go with it.

    • sobby14@yahoo.com'

      Jewell Russell

      June 21, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      I think it has to do with your body type. Even though you want the dress to fit like a glove, it might not look good on your body type in the end.

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