Wedding shopping made easy for slender and skinny brides

By on January 4, 2016

Wedding dress shopping is rarely easy. However, it is even more difficult if you are a bride who belongs to either end of the size spectrum. So, if you are either plus-size or skinny, you may have a tougher time shopping for your wedding dress.

When choosing wedding dresses for skinny brides, there is the challenge of finding a dress that suits your slender body frame. Not all wedding dress styles flatter the natural body shape of really thin women. Choosing a wedding dress according to your body shape will ensure you find a flattering fit that enhances your best features. If you are slender with a straight, boyish structure, there are certain features to look for in a gown so that it looks good on you.

Let us find out what they are.

Factors to look for when choosing wedding dresses for thin brides

The overall bridal look is determined by how the various style elements of a wedding dress come together. Nevertheless, there are certain factors that are known to work well on skinny brides. For instance, a textured and thicker fabric is guaranteed to create a fuller figure than fabric that clings. Similarly a closed neckline is more suitable than a strapless one.

Use such factors as a starting point for your wedding dress selection. This will allow you to narrow down your choices to dress styles that bring out your best.

So, here are the main factors to consider when looking for wedding dresses for thin brides.

Choose the right Fabric 

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While some fabrics tend to cling and make you look thinner than you actually are, there are others that plump up your figure and give you just the right amount of curves. You should choose these.

Taffeta, tulle and organza are fabrics that add more bulk, especially when they are in layers. These fabrics are also more structured and hold their shape. This makes them the best fabric for wedding dresses for skinny brides, since it will not fit too closely.

Stay away from crepe and chiffon which cling, and satin which can weigh down your smaller build. These fabrics will highlight your naturally slim features, and make you look thinner than you actually are.

You may like to take a look at ball gowns or A-line dresses with the bodice and skirt having different textures and with a natural or dropped waistline. For example, in a dress with a ruffled bodice and a silky skirt the waistline is more pronounced, creating the illusion of curves. The mixing of textures in the upper and lower halves also creates more bulk in your figure.

Pick the right Silhouette 

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Skinny brides and those with rectangular figures usually do not have a distinct waistline. The smaller bust and lack of hips actually create a straight structure. So, a dress silhouette that enhances the dimensions of the bust and hips would create a more feminine figure. This would also draw attention to your slender waistline.

Ball gowns which flow into layers from a pinched waist, are a thin girl’s best friend. It can hide the lack of hips, while drawing attention to a slim waistline. If you wear a spectacular waistband or bow that highlights your waist, it will be even more fetching. Certain A-line gowns also look good on thin brides.

If you want to go for a trendy mermaid inspired gown, choose one with ruchings on the body and a tiered or thickly layered skirt, as this creates the illusion of curves. For women who are small-chested, a good option is to choose dresses with a ruffled bodice as this adds more bulk. Dresses with intricate embellishments like beading or embroidery in the bodice will also create a fuller upper body that enhances the appeal of a slim figure.

Opt for a suitable Neckline

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The neckline is a main feature of any bridal dress that doesn’t go unnoticed. Hence it is a signature element of the bridal look. Unfortunately, there is no single ideal neckline for wedding dresses for slim brides. Slender wedding dresses can look good whether it has a covered or revealing neckline style. It mainly depends on your specific body structure and facial features.

The neckline you choose for your wedding dress should be based on how bony your neck and shoulders are. A general rule of thumb is that higher necklines look better on thin women. If your neck is long and your collar bones stick out, stay away from halter necks, strapless and sweetheart necklines that make you look even thinner. Boat necklines widen up the proportions of the upper torso and are a good choice, as are illusion necklines. A wide-cut V-neckline is also a good idea, but avoid plunging cuts.

Consider off-the shoulder necklines and multi-way dresses based on how it drapes over your figure. You can also consider scoop necklines since this will help your neck and shoulder regions appear more rounded. Collar styles are also suitable since it will conceal the thinner dimensions of your upper body.

Choose Sleeves that create the right balance

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The sleeves you choose can drastically alter the overall effect of your dress. There are certain types of sleeves that will make the arms look skinny, while others make them look fuller than they actually are. So, this is a choice that should be made wisely.

Sleeveless gowns look good on thin women only if they have well-toned arms. If your arms are very slim, it is better to avoid sleeveless and strapless styles. This is also a factor to consider when choosing wedding dresses for tall skinny brides. You may end up looking even taller and skinnier than you actually are with the wrong choice of sleeves.

Opt for cap sleeves, butterfly sleeves or three-fourth sleeves which fit snugly. These are safe choices that work universally for slim women. Illusion sleeves in lace or with appliques over the sleeves can also camouflage thin arms. The neck and sleeves should go together to hide any trouble areas and seamlessly integrate to create the illusion of a well-balanced upper torso.

Pick the right Length 

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Just like the silhouette, the right length is also important when choosing wedding dresses, to create the impact you want. The same dress style may sometimes look more appealing on your body frame, if it is in a different length.

Thin women can easily carry off shorter gowns. Silhouettes like the A-line will add more femininity and grace to your slender frame. If you will be having a beach wedding or if your wedding will be a casual event, consider a short wedding dress. In full-length gowns, lace gowns are the best choice.

When choosing full-length gowns, it is best to avoid straight styles like the mermaid that elongate your body and highlight the absence of curves. However, loose fitting styles like the column will create the illusion of curves where there aren’t any. Dresses with defined waistlines and a fuller skirt like the A-line or ball gown are best to create a graceful, feminine style in any length.

Choose dresses with the right amount of details

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We already mentioned that textured and structured fabric as well as elements like lace are suitable for skinny brides. However, it is important to not go overboard with details, since this can overwhelm the small figure. For lace gowns, pay attention to the placement and style of motifs. Dresses with larger appliques that span the entire length can drown a smaller bride. It is better to have dresses with scattering of lace in the bodice or skirt.

Similarly, embellishments in the neck and shoulder can help a dress appear wider in the top. This will visually enhance the proportions of this space. When choosing dresses with lace in the hemline, wider details will help the silhouette appear rounded. Choose dresses with embellishments  in the areas you wish to highlight. Since these details draw attention, you do not want it to make you look shorter. Keep the embellishments simple and scattered, as too many details can clutter up your bridal style.

Let us now take a look at some of the features we just discussed with the help of some gowns from our collection at Best for Bride. We can then see and understand how it will help a skinny bride look fantastic on her wedding day

This dress from the Sophia Tolli collection has a textured bodice and a voluminous A-line gathered skirt that flows to full length. The gentle pleats in the skirt camouflage slender hips. Meanwhile, the intricate embellishments in the bodice add more dimension to the upper body. The waistline is highlighted by the distinct transition in textures from the bodice to the skirt. Finally, the presence of wide straps along the shoulders steadily holds the neckline in place.

The Mori Lee 8204 has all over lace, and the texture creates a more rounded figure. The A-line skirt starts from a well-defined waistline and looks feminine with the ruched effect along the center. The scalloped edges in the hemline further accentuate the flair of the dress, and it is sure to make a slim bride look curvy in just the right places.


This Mori Lee 5603 features a high bateau neck that conveniently conceals thin collar bones. The design of the neckline also creates a wider illusion in the top region, that makes the torso appear larger. Although the dress continues with the same finish in the entire length, the modified A-line skirt with structured pleats creates a wider lower half as well. This enhances the effect of a slim waist and balances out the overall figure.

Notice how the cap sleeves and textured bodice in this Mori Lee 5573 add more definition to the upper body. The delicate details in the neckline create a more rounded effect. Similarly, the light and airy fabric in the skirt creates an hourglass figure, which is perfect to add extra curves to a slim figure. It is also well supported in the neck and bust regions, making it a great choice for brides who are small-chested.


Where slim brides are concerned, it is easy to see why this dress is just right. The 8110 Mori Lee wedding dress has a textured bodice complete with lace appliques. The larger and obvious details add extra dimension to the proportions of the bust. Full-length illusion sleeves conceal skinny arms and bony shoulders. The details also span out in the waistline and drop down into a gorgeous pleated A-line skirt. The airy nature of the skirt contrasts with the thick details in the bodice and sleeves, creating a visual balance in both the halves. The neckline is also modest, but romantic and beautiful while supporting the bust.

We hope this has helped you understand what to look for in your wedding dress, when you are a slim or slender bride. The choices are plenty. All you have to do is know how to pick the right mix of features to create the impact you require. To browse our collection of wedding dresses and find one that suits your figure, visit us on Best for Bride.

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.



    Angela Peralta

    January 10, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    Those woman look really good in this dresses. The problem that I have is that I am slim AND taller than average. It is real hard for me to find a dress that works for me.


      Pamela Middlebrooks

      March 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM

      Good luck. Even though you will most likely look very sexy, it is not easy to find something that will work for you.


    Maxine Lee

    January 10, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    Slim brides look so sexy! I wish I was able to find a dress that really went with my figure.


    Gwen Sorensen

    January 10, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    If you go with something more flowy and belled out, maybe it would not sure your slim figure as well?


    Randy Ayers

    March 13, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    My daughter is getting married this summer and she has a slim body. I thought it might be tough to find the right dress that fits, but does not make her look any more slim. I see the tips here, thanks!

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