Posted on 7 Comments

Second-time brides—Tips to choose the perfect wedding dress for a second wedding

Brides who are getting married the second time will usually be familiar with the wedding dress shopping experience. If this isn’t the first time you are a bride, you may  have memories of how your previous wedding shopping session was and remember the excitement of finding the first dress. This factor can influence your overall experience when you attempt to find a great wedding dress again.

However, there is another side to the coin. You will be older, wiser and have a better idea of what you want, when you go shopping this time. From where you are in your life now, it is likely that you will be more confident and think your decisions through. This will also aid your wedding dress selection. Also, if you weren’t entirely happy with your dress decision last time, you can now make up for it. So, shopping for your wedding dress should be exciting once again.

Although it is impossible to keep comparing your choices to what you wore or bought for your first wedding, remember that this new phase in life is also about leaving the past behind. As you step into a new chapter of your life, be open and flexible with your choices. This will help you analyze your options objectively and choose a dress that fully meets your expectations.

To help you further, here are some of our insider tips for second-time brides to choose the perfect wedding dress for your wedding day.

Do your research once again

Wedding dress styles and options will have changed a lot from the last time you went shopping. Although the traditional silhouettes will still be available, there may be newer and more interesting options to explore. So, do your research before you set foot in a bridal store. Look at what is trending and shortlist styles that appeal to you. Collect pictures of the dress features you like and make notes of what you would like to see in your wedding dress. This will make your shopping session more productive.

Look for something different

You may have looked amazing in your old wedding gown. Nonetheless, this is the time to explore entirely different options, and embrace a whole new look. There will be other silhouettes, fabric and dress features that flatter you. So, look out for these options. Find dress styles that will enhance your best assets, that are significantly different from your old gown. This is your chance to do better in your life once again, and let this factor extend to your wedding dress decision as well.

Look for dresses that compliment your personality

Every bride should only choose a dress that reflects her taste. The wedding dress is an extension of your personality. So, don’t worry about following tradition or rules when choosing yours. Only settle for a dress that appeals to your likes. This could be an extension of what you wear on a regular basis. Or it could be a dress that is entirely different. Only you know what you truly want. So, consider this factor well and find a dress that speaks to you.

Match your dress choice to the style of wedding you plan

Let your venue and wedding theme help you choose your wedding dress. For traditional wedding styles, classic gowns may be better than modern, trendy options. If your wedding is a casual, laid back affair, choose simple silhouettes and casual dress styles to match the tone. Although second-time brides may prefer a shorter and simpler dress, there is no rule that suggests so. Ultimately it is your choice to find a dress that matches the venue and wedding style, while adding to your beauty. Here are some ideas on the Wedding Ideas Magazine to find dresses that are suitable for your theme.

Dress according to your age and body shape

Most second-time brides are mature brides. If this is the case, you should choose a style and silhouette that best suits your body shape and overall appearance. Look for dresses that make you look like a younger, smarter version of yourself. Although mature brides tend to gravitate towards classic dress silhouettes like the A-line and fit and flare,  nothing should deter you from trying a cocktail length dress or a fish tail gown. Analyse your body type and find out whether there are any areas you would like to hide. Also, identify the assets you would like to show off. Then choose a dress that camouflages the less desirable parts while drawing attention to the more attractive parts.

Be bold enough to defy tradition

Traditionally, the bridal dress was never white. White wedding dresses are in fact a trend that emerged in the Victorian era. Although most brides still prefer to wear white on their wedding day, you can always break the norm. Stunning colorful wedding gowns constantly make the rounds on runways. Explore these stunning options in light and bright colors. Or choose printed wedding dresses that have been trending recently. Florals and watercolor details are typically associated with wedding dresses.

Your dress should make you feel special

Don’t dismiss the dress as a less-important factor about your wedding. Whether your wedding is an intimate affair or a grand bash, you deserve to feel special on this big day in your life. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on your dress. Instead, what is more important is that you love your wedding dress, how it drapes on you and how it makes you feel. With dresses in all price ranges, you will have plenty of options to pick a dress that is unique and makes you a beautiful bride once again.

Don’t even think of wearing the dress you wore the first time around

If there is one rule to strictly adhere to when you are a second-time bride, it is to never use your first wedding dress again. Even if you never got to wear it because your engagement was called off. A dress that wasn’t bought for this wedding day shouldn’t be the one you wear for it. Wearing your old wedding dress will take the focus off your new marriage. So, we suggest you start your special day on a new footing with an entirely new wedding dress. Try to keep it very different from what you wore the first time around, to avoid any comparisons between the two.

Think of comfort and practical constraints

Make sure that wearing a comfortable dress is one of your top priorities. Don’t choose a dress style that makes you feel conscious of how you look. Also, avoid dresses that are too heavy or difficult to manage. Before you commit to a dress, check if it is easy to move around in and fits comfortably. If you feel it looks good but feels uncomfortable, it is better you keep looking.

There are no hard and fast rules on what you should or should not wear when you will be wed the second time. Nevertheless, there are some general trends in the dresses that mature brides opt for on such occasions. Based on this, here are some suggestions to help you get inspired.

Wedding dress suggestions for second-time brides

Elegant Vintage wedding dresses

Most brides gravitate towards elegance and sophistication when they look for their wedding dress. Dresses from bygone eras have the romance and demure finesse to achieve this look. These dresses also usually feature classic style elements that make it comfortable to wear for an older bride.

 

This Mori Lee Morena in Duchess Satin is a ravishing beauty, with its classic V-neckline and A-line silhouette. The sparkling chevron waistband enhances the pristine clarity of the white, making this a splendid dress that is simple yet captivating.

Shorter hemlines

Many brides have already had a chance to enjoy their princess look the first time. So, they tend to look for more casual styles. And what better choice than a dress with a shorter hemline. This style is particularly apt if your wedding is low-key and you prefer a simpler bridal look.

The Monica Loretti Orifilia is an enchanting short dress with cord lace details extending into full-length sleeves and a beautiful bateau neckline. The illusion details create a bridal look, while it isn’t overpowering and perfect for a casual vibe.

Illusion-style wedding dresses

Romantic, classy and dainty, illusion lace details instantly enhance the splendor of any dress. Peek-a-boo lace is always feminine, and second-time brides who have already tried a glamorous look before often choose the delicate, feminine look the second time around.

Dreamy illusion hand embroidery details form enchanting embellishments on this soft Monica Loretti dress. The A-line gown is entirely crafted from smooth, flowing fabric with an embroidered illusion bodice over the sweetheart neckline as the only embellishment. This is a stylish yet elegant choice for a second-time bride.

Long sleeve dresses

Whether it is to conceal your upper arms or to look modest, many brides look forward to exploring options in gowns with full-length sleeves. The presence of long sleeves is often slimming, and it works with various silhouettes to create different effects. It is also a timeless style that appeals to older brides. Full-length sleeves can also be created with the help of a jacket or bolero over your chosen dress, if you are unable to find a dress that appeals to you entirely.

Another dress from the Monica Loretti collection, the Melisa has lace illusion sleeves over a stunning strapless bodice. The vivid textures in the lace sleeves beautifully compliment the soft flowy finish of the gown. The streamlined A-line silhouete is also classy, and the pretty waistband enhances the effect of a slender waistline. This dress style has a slimming effect, and it is a lovely choice that is powerful without too many details.

Dresses with showstopper details

At times it is not about having every attractive feature in the dress, but about highlighting few details with due importance. Dresses with just one showstopper detail are a huge hit with second-time brides. This gives them the opportunity to show off their taste without going overboard with too many details.

Before you dismiss this gown as a simple lace wedding dress with spaghetti straps in the front and few crystal embellishments along the neckline, take a look at the beauty it is in the back.

 

Here, is a stunning back that will amaze everyone. The bodice extends into a narrow strap that borders a sexy cut-out detail above the waistline. It is an unexpected and interesting style, that will capture the attention of your wedding guests. Show off your sensual side in this dress, which is unusually interesting and suitable for your bold personality.

Just a dash of color can make all the difference

Leave your old life behind, and begin your new chapter on a brand new and entirely different note when you wear a colorful wedding dress. A subtle dose of color will set your look apart, without spoiling the bridal effect. Choose colors or prints that suit your complexion for the best effect. Or go with the latest trends in wedding dress colors.

 

This beauty from the Mon Cheri collection is simply magnificent with striking lace appliques that swim over the entire length. An overlay skirt forms panels on either side of the waistline, while the original dress has a fit and flare skirt. This is a dress that will help you sport two distinct looks on your wedding day without spending on two entirely different dresses. Hence it is a practical and interesting choice.

You may be getting married the second or third time, but a Bride is a Bride. Don’t hesitate to explore your options and dream big when it comes to your wedding dress. If there is something you regret from your wedding dress shopping the first time, this is the opportunity to fix it. So, make your decisions only when you are sure it is right.

All the dresses seen here and more are available at our Best for Bride wedding dress gallery. Click here to visit our collection and shortlist your favorites. 

Posted on 4 Comments

Best hairstyles for different wedding dress necklines

The wedding dress is the statement element of your bridal look. Hence, everything about your bridal look should go well with this focal item. When the bridal accessories, makeup and hairstyle work with the wedding dress, your bridal look will come together beautifully.

One of the main factors to consider when choosing your bridal hairstyle is the neckline of your dress. To understand the different necklines that are commonly seen on wedding dresses, take a look at this article on the Knot website. For every wedding dress neckline style, there are certain hairstyles that work better than others. So, this is a good place to start.

Choosing your hairstyle based on the neckline style has the following benefits.

  • It makes your wedding hairstyle decision easier: Finding the right hairstyle is a challenge, and there are several varieties for you to choose from. Base it on your neckline, and you can narrow down your choices to just a select few.
  • It helps you keep the focus on the statement features of your wedding dress: Although you need a beautiful hairstyle, you do not want one that will distract from the statement features of your dress. This is why it is important to find one that will enhance the beauty of your dress, and not steal the spotlight.

Here are our top hairstyle suggestions based on popular wedding dress neckline styles. Browse through it and we are sure you will be inspired.

Boat Neck

The boat or bateau neckline is a horizontal neckline that emphasizes your collar bones and neck region. It is also a rather high neckline, that adds greater bulk to the bust region. The ideal hairstyle wouldn’t hide this neckline. Hence, it should be an updo or gathered hairstyle that keeps hair off your neckline.

Since the boat neck is very feminine and dainty, it is best to pair this style with a soft hairstyle instead of a super sleek one. Complement the soft neckline detail with low buns or soft messy buns. You can also choose a high ponytail that keeps hair away from your face, but has a more modern look. Add a few accessories like flowers or scintillating hair clips, and you will look your very best.

Scoop

The scoop neckline is a classic style that is popular on both classic and modern dresses. Although it is a universally flattering neckline, it doesn’t usually command much attention. Since this is a simple neckline style, it is best to choose your hairstyle based on the rest of the features in the dress. Plan your hairstyle based on whether your dress looks formal or casual, and the sleeve-length as well.

For casual dress styles with a scoop neckline, choose hairstyles like messy buns or wear your hair half-up and half-down. Add some curls for extra charm. If your dress style is classic or formal, straighten your hair and leaving it open. Else pair your dress with a classic top knot that can never go wrong.

Halter neckline

This retro-inspired neckline is a statement feature of the bodice, and is usually chosen by brides who want to show off their toned arms. It is also a high neckline that best fits slim and well-toned brides.

Loose curls and free hair best suit this style. Since an updo will only further elongate your torso, a low hairstyle with hair left open will better balance your overall look.

Consider a half-up half-down hairstyle, if your dress has a halter neckline. Else leave your hair open with few strategically placed curls. This will add volume to your face and enhance your femininity. Remember that the halter neckline deserves to be highlighted. So, let the part of your hair that stays down be at the back, rather than fall to the front.

One-shoulder neckline

This is a very romantic and almost casual dress feature. Not all brides can carry off a one-shoulder neckline perfectly. Hence highlight this feature in your dress. Choose a hairstyle that doesn’t distract from the neckline. The ideal choice would be a low-set bun or ponytail that keeps hair in one place.

The other stylish alternative is a hairstyle that places some or all your hair over your free shoulder. This would look immensely appealing and sexy, as it draws attention to the neckline with a strap on one shoulder and wavy curls that cover the other.

High neckline

High necklines are a favorite in wedding fashion. These styles create the illusion of a fuller bust, while highlighting the facial features. Brides who wish to appear leaner and taller will benefit from this style. This dress feature also draws attention to a voluminous skirt or one with signature embellishments on it.

Although this is a versatile neckline that gels with most hairstyle options, it usually looks best with top knots and other hairstyles that restrict hair from falling to the front. Since the bodice of such dresses usually feature pretty embellishments, it is easy to keep the focus on the fabric and details. A sleek high updo looks smart and polished while low buns with pretty accessories look feminine and romantic.

V-neckline

Another classic dress style, the V-neckline appears in varying depths and widths on wedding dresses. As with the scoop, it is best to choose your hairstyle according to the overall dress style, rather than base it on the neckline alone. For a deep V-neckline, pair it with a signature neck accessory and keep hair away from the neckline so it is noticeable.

When the V-neckline appears on traditional and classic silhouettes, pair it with neat hairstyles like a clean bun or chignon. If it is part of a casual dress, you can wear your hair down in a style that best enhances your facial features. For deep, plunging V-necklines which are usually statement features of a dress, try to keep your hair away from the front so that this style element receives focus.

Off-the-shoulder neckline

Feminine and very sexy, off-the-shoulder necklines are a happening trend in the world of wedding fashion. If your wedding dress features this neckline style, you can pick from various hairstyle choices. If you are not entirely comfortable with baring too much skin, opt for one where some of your hair naturally covers part of your shoulders in natural waves. Hair that tumbles down your shoulders will look very pretty. However, if you aren’t too keen on downplaying the statement dress feature, we have the ideal solution.

Add a bold and sophisticated statement to your overall bridal look, pair this neckline with a high up do. This will allow you to reveal your toned collar bones and neck area, adding unique charm to your bridal look.

Dramatic back details

Many modern designers focus on creating dramatic elements in the back of the dress, ones that instantly impress with their intricate details. If your dress has an illusion back, keyhole cut-outs or is even a daring low style, this shouldn’t be hidden by your hairstyle.

For a wedding dress with a dramatic back, choose a hairstyle that falls to the front, so the drama of the back is revealed. You can also opt for a chignon, updo or high pony that ends above the neckline of the dress.

Sleeveless necklines with spaghetti straps

Sleeveless dresses are sometimes enhanced with spaghetti straps for support. These add a touch of bling and offer well-needed support to the bodice of a dress. The detail also creates a very feminine effect to the bridal look, and this factor should be played up for maximum impact.

Wavy hair looks amazing with such dresses. Have your curls swept to one-side, so one shoulder strap is definitely visible. The messy bun is also a beautiful option that goes well with this dress style. Pair it with hair accessories like headbands or hair clips and you can further enhance the effect of the bun. Finally, the half-up, half-down hairstyle also works well with this dress design.

Sweetheart neckline

The sweetheart neckline is an ever-popular dress style, that appeals to most brides. The half-heart shape frames the bust, fitting snugly and emphasizing the neck and collar area of the bride. It is also the prime choice for dresses with embellished bodices. This romantic dress neckline works well with almost any hairstyle. However, we have our favorites that go best with this style too.

The top-knot looks amazing since it doesn’t hide the neck region and allows you to flaunt your collar bones. Tousled hairstyles with tendrils framing the face are another good combination for a relaxed look. Another hairstyle that looks great with the sweetheart neckline is side-swept hair. Accessorize it with a delicate headband or weave flowers into your hair to look every bit a goddess.

Strapless neckline

This basic neckline is another popular alternative to the sweetheart neckline. It simply extends straight across the bust from one end to the other, without any curves that define the bust area. The neckline without straps is a little daring, but nevertheless very attractive when it fits snugly. It is also a good style if you wish to show off your figure and draw attention to your bridal jewelry.

For strapless necklines, loose buns and chignons work well as they keep hair away from the neckline. You can also opt for a sleek ponytail if you wish to sport a smart and neat look. The best way to enhance these hairstyles and add a touch of drama is to use bold hair accessories like fascinators, headbands or hair combs.

Plunging necklines

A bold and modern dress feature that is slowly being embraced by brides everywhere, plunging necklines have a statement effect of their own. Carrying off this style requires confidence, and this effect should be reflected in your choice of hairstyle too.

Highlight a plunging neckline with style that keeps hair off your shoulders. Back buns and ponytails work well in this case. You can leave few tendrils around your face, but don’t let hair obscure the effect of this daring neckline feature.

Illusion necklines

Illusion necklines are amazing dress features, with intricate beading and embellishments that enhance the beauty of the dress. Since these are done on a sheer layer, the peek-a-boo effect of the skin benehath it is very appealing. This is a neckline that you should showcase, and it is best if your hair doesn’t come in the way.

For illusion necklines, sleek ponytails will keep hair towards the back while you look smart. You can also choose elaborate updos with plenty of texture and volume for an interesting effect. Playful curls will add to the visual appeal of your dress and make you look extra special.

The wedding dress neckline and your hairstyle are key factors in determining your overall bridal look. Hence, these aspects should be decided after considerable research. If you are unsure of what will look best on you, consult your hairdresser for ideas. We also advise a hair trial prior to your wedding day, to help you see how your wedding day look will come together. This will also allow you to make suitable changes if you aren’t satisfied with what you see.

Apart from the neckline of your dress, other factors that should influence your wedding day hairstyle include your face shape, hair texture and wedding theme. For more tips and tricks on doing this right, visit this article on the Wedding Ideas Mag website. 

Dresses with all types of necklines imaginable are available in our wedding dress collection at Best for Bride. Visit our website to see more of what we have in store, and narrow down your favorite choices.

Posted on 4 Comments

The comprehensive guide to understanding body types and how it relates to wedding dress selection

Why is it important to identify your body type before you shop for your wedding dress?

Does the very thought of wedding dress shopping make your nervous?

As exciting as bridal dress shopping is, many brides dread the idea of choosing the wrong dress for their special day. This can be an expensive and often, irreversible mistake.

Now, here’s the good news! You can avoid such a mistake.

Wedding dress shopping isn’t complicated if you understand certain basic concepts about dress selection. And this is what we will explore in detail.

I’ll first describe the exact step-by-step procedure to identify your body type, since this factor has great significance in your wedding dress selection.

Thereafter, I’ll help you identify the best wedding dress choices based on your findings. Keep reading to find out more.

How to identify your body type

One of the first and most important factors to consider when selecting any dress (not just wedding dresses), is identifying your body type.

Yes, this is important, because dressing right is about celebrating your best features and hiding (or diverting attention from) the less desirable ones.

If you search online, you will find tons of articles describing different ways to identify your body type. Most of these work with three measurements: the bust, waist and hips. However, wedding dresses are more fitted than regular garments. So, you will require one more measurement, and that is your shoulders.

When it comes to determining your actual body type, we will be following the Bayou equation , where the shoulder and bust measurements can be used interchangeably. This is because not all women are alike.

So, if you have a particularly big or small bust or broad/narrow shoulders, you may fall into two categories, instead of just one. In such a case, you should ideally explore options that are suitable for both body types and find dresses that suit you best.

Let us get on with the actual measurement procedure. 

How to accurately measure yourself to find your body type

You will be taking your measurements standing upright. Here is what you will need for it:

  • An accurate tape measure and notepad for the reading
  • A calculator
  • Comfortable fitting clothes
  • A helping hand (optional)

Although you can do the measurements yourself, the shoulder and bust measurements are usually more accurate when someone else does it for you.

Here is how to carry out each measurement.

Shoulders: It is better to have a friend measure this for you. Your shoulder measurement is the total tape length from one edge of the shoulder all around you to the same point.

Bust: This is the circumference measure across the fullest part of your bust, holding the tape taut but not too tight.

Waist: Locate the narrowest part of your waist. It will usually be just above your belly button. Use a tape measure to go around your body along this point and note it down.

Hips: This measurement should be taken just below the hip bone. Locate this point and find the circumference of this area.

If you aren’t sure of getting the measurements right, here’s a guide on wikiHow that will help you with detailed instructions and illustrations.

 Identifying your body type based on your measurements

Now that you have all your measurements, it is time to use your calculator and do the following Math.

  1. Shoulders or bust / hips
  2. Waist / shoulders or bust
  3. Hips / shoulders or bust
  4. Waist / Hips

Once you have these numbers figured out, you can use them to identify your body type from the four different standard types, which are:

  1. Apple or Inverted Triangle
  2. Rectangle or straight body type
  3. Pear or Triangle
  4. Hourglass

These are based on Bradley Bayou’s technique, as outlined in his book, The science of sexy.

You can also find detailed explanations for these calculations, here on the Oprah website.

Now, let us look at how to correlate the numbers you just figured out to the corresponding body type. 

Different body types and their characteristic features

To discover your body type, you will need the numbers you just measured as well as those that you previously calculated. They were:

  1. Shoulders
  2. Bust
  3. Waist
  4. Hips

And the ratios of

  1. Shoulders or bust / hips
  2. Waist / shoulders or bust
  3. Hips / shoulders or bust
  4. Waist / Hips

Read on to understand the four different body types and find out which of these you identify with best.

Apple or Inverted Triangle

If you are an inverted triangle, the ratio of (Shoulders or bust / hips) will be greater than or equal to 1.05.

This means that your shoulder or bust measurement will be greater than your hip measurement by 5%.

Defining characteristic: your shoulders or bust will be larger than your hips.

Rectangle or banana

Pay attention to the ratio of (waist / shoulders or bust). If you are a rectangle, this ratio will be greater than or equal to 0.75.

If this is the case, next look at your bust and hip measurements. They should be within 5% of each other. To establish this, take the largest of your three measurements and multiply it by 0.95. Then multiply the remaining two measurements. If the result is greater than that of the (largest measurement x 0.95), you are a rectangle.

Defining characteristic: Your shoulders, hips and bust are similar in size.

Pear or Triangle

If you are a triangle, the ratio of (Hips / Shoulders or bust) will be greater than or equal to 1.05

In other words, your hips will measure at least 5% more than your shoulders or bust.

Defining characteristic: Your hips are broader than your shoulders

Hour glass

There are three factors to satisfy if you are an hourglass

Firstly, the ratio of (waist / hips) should be Less than or equal to 0.75

Next, the ratio of (Waist / Shoulders or bust) is less than 0.75

And finally, your shoulder and hip measurements will not differ by more than 5%.

Defining Characteristic: Your upper and lower halves are well-balanced, with a well-defined waistline.

If you would like to further evaluate these formulae or understand each of these calculations and how they relate to the different body types, visit this article on the Daily Fashion Muse. 

So, we have now understood how to identify each of the body types using different measurements and calculations. We also analyzed the defining characteristics of all the four body types.

Let us now look at the desirable features as well as the less favorable aspects of different body types. 

Desirable features and less favorable aspects of different body types—what to highlight and hide

Even before you identified your body type with the help of this guide, haven’t you felt that certain dress styles look better on you than others?

This is because each body shape has certain desirable features and some less flattering ones. Different dress styles draw attention to different aspects that work in the favor of certain body types.

So, let us start.

Apple or Inverted triangle.

Best features: Your curves, slim legs and full bust

Less desirable feature: Thick waistline and narrow hips

When choosing a wedding dress, you should focus on creating a curvy look by adding definition to your waistline. Styles that flare out at the hips, concealing its narrow dimensions will balance both halves your body. Also look for designs that add volume and curves to the lower half, thus toning down the dimensions of the top half.

Rectangle or Banana

Best features: Smaller bust

Less desirable features: Lack of curves and undefined waistline

Silhouettes that create the illusion of curves where there aren’t any, are the best choice for this body type. Skirts with added texture or elements like ruffles and bows that add volume will enhance the dimensions of your hips and create a curvy figure.

Pear or Triangle

Best features: Small bust and narrow waistline

Less desirable features: Large hips

Keep details in the hip area simple and tone it down with more texture and added volume in the upper half. Dresses that flare from the waistline will conceal and distract from the hips. They will also highlight your upper torso and small bust.

Hour glass

Best features: Balanced upper and lower halves and well-defined waistline

The hourglass is considered the ideal body type as it is naturally balanced and curvy. Close-fitting dress styles that highlight your natural curves are the best choice for this body type. Nevertheless, the hourglass can carry off any dress style easily and you will have more options to choose from if you are an hourglass than any other body type. 

Understanding popular wedding dress silhouettes

By now, you should have successfully identified your body type and you should also be aware of the best and less desirable features of it. So, what is next?

Finding the ideal wedding dress silhouettes for your body type, isn’t it?

Well, not just yet.

Before we go there, I think you ought to understand the different types of wedding dress silhouettes that are currently available. This will help you understand what each one looks like and why some of them are suitable for your body type, while others aren’t.

So, here are the top-most and popular wedding dress silhouettes you should be aware of:

A-line

Look at the dress in this image. Do you see how it resembles the shape of an A, with the skirt that flares out from the waistline? Hence the name A-line!

So, this dress style basically has a bodice that fits closely along the rib cage and then flares out into a smooth A-shape from the waist.

A variation of the A-line, called the modified A-line is also gaining popularity among brides. Here is one such gown.

Notice how it is fitted along the bodice and the waistline, all the way down to the hips. It gently flares into an A-line shape from the hips downwards. The benefit of this style is that it is roomier around the hips. Although the simple A-line silhouette is a classic, the modified A-line dress has an edgier look, and is better suited for a modern touch.

Ballgown

The signature princess style silhouette, this style is characterized by its full and voluminous skirt. The dress style also features a snug-fitting bodice that offsets the thick skirt. Here is a perfect example.

You simply cannot miss the thick and wide skirt that characterizes this silhouette. It is a very feminine style that is dramatic from every angle. Whether it is the fitted bodice, the ample skirt or the statement train, the ball gown is the silhouette that can stir up quite an impact.

Mermaid

If you wish to show off your natural curves, there couldn’t be a better silhouette to choose. The mermaid fits snugly all the way from the bodice to the waist and hips, down to the knees. It then flares out beyond the knees, creating a stunning statement. Look at this dress and you will see what I mean.

Not only is the silhouette sexy, it also oozes confidence and style. Not every bride can carry a mermaid-style dress well. So, if you have the body for it, it is a style you shouldn’t overlook.

Trumpet

This silhouette is often confused with the mermaid. However, there are stark differences.

Firstly, the bodice is straight and not snug-fitting like the mermaid. It is also more forgiving than the mermaid, since this style flares out from above the knees.

Here is a trumpet style dress to demonstrate this difference.

Do you see how the shape closely resembles that of a trumpet? The skirt is also less voluminous compared to the mermaid. Nonetheless, it is a style that allows you to highlight your curves and feminine figure.

Sheath

Just as the name suggests, the sheath is a straight silhouette which falls to full length after skimming the body along its natural curves. The sheath is unusually feminine, like you can see in the following image.

This is because of how it gently hugs the body, without being too close-fitted. This creates the illusion of curves, even when there aren’t any. The silhouette also elongates the body, making it appear taller and slimmer.

Empire

This is a unique silhouette that is defined by its raised waistline. Unlike other wedding dress silhouettes, the waistline in an empire dress is higher than the natural waistline. It appears just under the bust. The following image illustrates how it looks.

If you look carefully, you will see how the bust has a very distinct demarcation, and the skirt flows into layers right beneath it. It gradually flares away from the body, but the difference is that this happens from right under the bodice. The skirt is loosely draped, while the bodice is well-defined. This style camouflages the waistline and hips, and is a very forgiving style that hides the flaws in the lower body.

Dropped waist

Just like the name suggests, this dress silhouette has its waistline lower than the natural waistline. So, the bodice continues all the way down to below the waist, and slowly flares into a skirt that flows to full length. For instance, check out this dress.

This is a popular dropped waist design, where the draped bodice continues all the way down the waistline to near the hips, where it then flares out into a full skirt. The dropped waistline detail is emphasized with the draping pattern of the dress. The style elongates the torso, making you appear slimmer in the upper body and adding more volume to the lower half beyond the hips

That brings us to the end of the most popular wedding dress silhouettes that you will come across. Now, let’s move on to the fun part—identifying the best wedding dress silhouettes for each body type!

Remember that there may be more than one silhouette recommended for each body type.

This gives you a good variety to choose from. It also means, you can have a lot of fun trying dresses of each type during your wedding shopping appointment, till you find your favorite. 

Best wedding dress silhouettes for each body type

In the previous chapters, we looked at how to identify the different body types. We also covered the characteristic features of each body type, including ones that are desirable and those that are best camouflaged.

We also analyzed the most popular wedding dress silhouettes available. It is now time to combine all this information together. This will help us to find suitable wedding dress silhouettes for each body type.

Read on to find out what are the recommended dress styles for each body type, and don’t forget to make note of what is right for you.

Apple or inverted Triangle

The ideal wedding dress will help you flaunt your curves, which is your strongest asset. It will also hide your slight hips, and create a curvy look by adding more volume to this area. Here are some suggestions:

Recommended dress silhouettes:

An A-line dress with a thick skirt will look beautiful on you. Aim to find one that nips at the waist and flares out beyond it. This will create the illusion of a slim waistline, and highlight a curvy figure.

Also look at ball gowns. The full skirt of this style makes it best for brides with slender hips and legs.  They achieve the same effect as an A-line gown, with a slim waistline and thick layers in the skirt that create a curvy figure.

Styles to avoid:

The basic idea is to avoid any dress style that draws attention to your slender lower half or thicker waistline. This would mean dresses like the trumpet and mermaid that fit closely all the way down to the hips.

Rectangle or banana

If your body type is straight or rectangle, you will lack a curvy appearance. So, dresses that create the illusion of curves where there aren’t any are the best choices.

Recommended dress silhouettes:

Explore ball gowns, since these create a very feminine look with a nipped waistline and thick skirt. This will also draw attention to your small bust, while balancing out the overall look with a full skirt.

Another dress style that works on straight figures is the sheath. Since the dress loosely drapes along your natural body, it adds the illusion of curves.

Styles to avoid:

Any dress silhouette that lacks a defined waistline will exaggerate your straight figure. So, avoid styles like the fit and flare, mermaid or dropped waist gowns.

Pear or Triangle

Your best asset is your toned and trim upper body. So, dresses that draw attention to this area and distract from your ample hips will look best. Since you have a small bust, you can also consider dresses with textured and embellished bodices.

Recommended dress silhouettes:

Ball gowns flow away from the waistline, thus camouflaging your large hips. So, this is a great choice to consider.

A similar effect can also be achieved with an A-line dress that flares out from the waist, hiding the area below it under layers of fabric.

Styles to avoid:

Avoid any style that accentuates the hip or stomach area, since these are your less desirable traits. This means that the trumpet is a definite no! Also avoid the sheath, since it adds more volume to the lower half.

Hour glass

If you are an hourglass figure, you are fortunate. Yours is the body type that looks amazing in any and every wedding dress silhouette. Nevertheless, flaunt your beautiful natural curves in dresses that draw attention to your figure. Choose wedding dress silhouettes that will highlight your natural figure, and you will look stunning. Here are some suggestions.

Recommended dress silhouettes:

Yours is the perfect body type to flaunt fit and flare dress styles like the mermaid and trumpet. Since these silhouettes course snugly along your natural curves and flare out beyond the hips, it will create a dramatic look.

Styles to avoid:

A well-balanced figure like the hourglass will look good in any dress silhouette. So, there are no specific dress styles to avoid. Even so, it is a shame to hide your curvy and sensual figure under dresses which drown you in layers of fabric. Although you will be able to carry it off, you can do better than choosing an A-line or sheath silhouette. 

Wedding dress selection for plus-size and petite brides

Apart from the different body types we discussed earlier, there are two more that we haven’t looked at till now. These are:

Plus-size and petite

This guide would be incomplete unless we discuss wedding dress selection for women who fit this category too. So, let us find out more.

What is plus size and petite?

In the fashion industry, anyone with larger than average proportions is plus-size. So, the typical dress sizes in this case would be 14 or more.

Petite women, on the other hand, have a small stature and are shorter than average. Their characteristic feature is a well-balanced overall figure but height that is less than 5’3”.

Let us look at wedding dress selection for both the plus-size and petite bride in detail.

Defining characteristics of plus-size brides

The fit and proportion of plus-size women differ from that of other women, as their curves are more exaggerated. Most plus-size women are curvy in nature.

Plus-size women also have body types that fit into the five different categories we discussed earlier: triangle, straight, inverted triangle and hourglass. The only difference is that the actual measurements for these women will be larger than the average.

Best wedding dress silhouettes:

The best wedding dress silhouette for your body shape will depend on which body type you resemble closely. Use the guidelines in the previous chapter to determine the best dress silhouettes for your body type.

Nevertheless, a general recommendation is that you choose dresses with good fitting, so it plays up your natural shape.

The empire-style and dresses with a well-defined waistline like the A-line or ball gown look amazing on plus-size brides.

Styles to avoid:

Stay away from loosely draped dress silhouettes like the sheath. These only add extra pounds to your look. Also avoid fabrics that cling and instead opt for structured gowns.

Check out our video below, for more help with dress selection when you are plus-size.

Defining characteristics of petite brides

Petite brides are short, but with a well-balanced figure. However, their height can make it difficult to find many options in wedding dresses, as the typical wedding dress is designed for women of height 5’5” or more.

Best wedding dress silhouettes:

Any wedding dress style that creates the illusion of extra height by raising the waistline is recommended for petite brides. A-line dresses, trumpets and sheaths also work for this body type, since it is well-balanced in both halves.

Styles to avoid:

Petite brides will look even shorter in dresses with dropped waists. So, this is definitely a style you shouldn’t wear. Similarly, elaborate silhouettes like the ball gown can overwhelm the smaller size of a petite bride and is best avoided. 

Do check the following eHow video for more tips on selecting your wedding dress, when you are a petite bride.

Checklist for understanding your body type and selecting the right wedding dress

Now that we’ve covered the entire scope of this subject, I thought this quick and easy checklist will help you with your wedding dress selection. So, here are the steps to follow.

  • Begin by attempting to identify your body type by measuring your
  • Shoulders
  • Bust
  • Waist and
  • Hips
  • Perform the following calculations
  • Shoulders or bust/hips
  • Waist/ shoulders or bust
  • Hips/ shoulders or bust
  • Waist/ hips
  • Correlate your measurements with the identified body types:
  • Apple or inverted triangle
  • Banana or rectangle
  • Pear or triangle
  • Hourglass
  • Plus-size
  • Petite
  • Cross-check with the suggested dress silhouettes to understand your options

And finally,

  • Go wedding dress shopping, armed with this information!

So, that’s it about the different aspects of wedding dress shopping by body type. Didn’t I tell you that it wasn’t complicated if you followed the right steps?

Now you know all about identifying your body type and choosing the right wedding dress silhouettes accordingly. So, tell me what are the new features you will be looking for when you go wedding dress shopping by dropping us a comment below.

For inspiration and also a look at the latest trends in wedding dress fashion, visit this link to our bridal dresses. You will find an enormous variety of wedding dresses with all style features and details here. Use it to shortlist your favorites and prepare yourself for when you go shopping.