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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

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Demystifying wedding dress silhouettes—All you wanted to know about different wedding dress styles

If we say that finding the perfect wedding dress is as challenging as finding the perfect groom, will you agree?

The wedding fashion scene presents an overwhelming variety of options in wedding dress. This, of course adds to the excitement of dress shopping; however, wait till you set foot in a bridal shop, and all this variety will only add to your confusion.

Nevertheless, you must find a way out and reach your goal—a “dream wedding dress” perfect for the most special day in your life! And for this you must know what your options are and direct your attention to choices most suitable for you.

Clever brides know that the wedding dress search begins with choosing the right wedding dress silhouette.

So, join us as we explore this first step in detail. In the coming sections, we will look at different wedding dress silhouettes and identify which of these is best for you based on your body shape.

Let us begin!

Chapter 1: Wedding dress silhouettes—how are they different from regular clothing? 

Wedding dresses are very different from regular clothes in the following ways

  • They are complex garments that have internal boning and other special elements like corsets and heavily layered fabric. These features hold the gown up by creating its structure and shape and allow it to drape perfectly. You will rarely see these features in regular clothes.
  • Most wedding dress silhouettes involve intricate and elaborate details like embroidery and lace appliques. This type of fine work is often hand-embroidered.
  • The fabric used in designer wedding dresses is of high-quality, expensive and made of the finest fabrics.
  • Look closely at any designer wedding dress. You can see the impressive quality of work at each level. Everything from how the seams are made to the definition of details will be impeccable.

This video will help you better understand the extent of work that goes into the construction of a wedding gown.

Continue reading Demystifying wedding dress silhouettes—All you wanted to know about different wedding dress styles

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Wedding dress selection tips for tall brides

For many women, being tall is a dream! So, if you are taller than average, you will most likely have had others tell you how they envy your height. However, you know how this factor makes it exceptionally difficult to find dresses that fit you. As the general fashion industry is more geared towards creating dresses for women of average or slightly above average height, both tall and short women do not find as many options when they go shopping.

Fortunately, wedding dress shopping is not as difficult as finding regular dresses for your tall figure. Most wedding dresses are longer than average gowns and evening dresses, but it can still be difficult to find one that covers your toes, when you are six feet tall or more.

Here are some tips to help you find the dress and complete your look so it matches your expectations.

1.The good news is that wedding dress measurements usually cater to tall girls

Most fashion wedding designers have their latest collections walk down the runway, and this means it is worn by models who are quite tall! So, your options aren’t too few. Additionally, even the bride of average height ends up being taller, once she wears her wedding heels. So, designers leave some extra length, to factor these few inches in. This article on the Long elegant legs Blog mentions that most clothiers design dresses so it suits a bride who is almost six feet tall. So, if you are above six feet, you should have several options, although you may not be able to walk down the aisle in high heels. But, with such an enviable height, wearing flats or tiny kitten heels wouldn’t be a damper on your style, don’t you think?

2.A good bridal shop will have the right solution for you

When you go gown shopping, don’t forget to discuss your height concerns with the salesperson. Since your designer dress will mostly be made-to-order, they can ask to have it made longer than usual. This way, you will not have much trouble finding a dress that is just the right length for you.

Once you make your pick from the store inventory, the general process is to then place your order for the dress in your size, and receive it after a few weeks. At this time, the gown will be custom-created by the design-house. Added length is not usually a concern. Some bridal designers, agree to add extra length to their designs to match your height requirements for a reasonable cost. So, don’t compromise on your dream of wearing a great gown with all the features that you need, by choosing off-the-rack. Instead, shop early so you have enough time to have a dress that is made-to-order.

3.You can still buy off-the-rack

Although it is best if you do your shopping early, you may not always have the luxury of having your gown made-to-order. Always aim to hit the shops early and order your gown, so you get it in time for your wedding day. However, if this isn’t possible, you still have enough options to buy off-the-rack. All you have to do is choose a wedding shop with several designer collections to choose from, like at Best for Bride. As different designers follow different measurement charts when planning their designs, your chances of finding longer wedding gowns are better at shops with extensive inventories, than your average local bridal store. So, find a wedding salon that stocks several designer collections, including plus size gowns, as you should be able to find more dress choices at such places. Discuss your length needs when you book your appointment at the salon, so the shop can keep suitable dresses ready for you to try on when you attend your appointment.

4.Alterations are a given

Even if you aren’t a tall bride, you will most likely need wedding dress alterations. In fact, nearly 90% of brides need wedding dress alterations. So, don’t excessively stress over it. Increasing the length is just one of the alterations that can be performed without much ado. Depending on the type of gown you choose, the alteration required may differ. Sometimes, the hemline may have to be lowered by using matching fabric in the layers above it. In other cases, extra fabric may be added to the lower part of the skirt to accommodate your height. When you work with a talented seamstress, she will know the right type of alteration that is required to achieve the intended effect. Never entrust the job to your regular tailor, as this can do more damage than good. Only a tailor who is familiar with wedding dresses will be able to do handle the task, as wedding dresses are more complex in comparison to regular gowns and formal dresses.

5.Focus on wedding accessories

The best thing about being tall is that you can wear bold,statement jewelry without looking cluttered or being buried in it. So, don’t worry if you aren’t able to find a dress that is elaborate and rich in details. You can always achieve a similar effect with the right choice of accessories. By opting for more sparkly jewelry with elaborate details, you can compensate for a simple wedding dress and silhouette. Unlike the limitations in dresses, you do not have any restrictions on choosing your jewelry.

However, if your intention is to dress up in such a way that your height is not in focus, you may like to use fewer and bigger pieces of jewelry that will draw attention to that particular position. While considering wedding accessories, take a closer look at veils and belts or sashes that can effectively break up your length and make you look less taller than you actually are.

6.Choose wedding dress features that enhance your best assets

When you are caught in a maze of wedding dress features to choose from, focus on finding a dress that brings out your best. Not all tall women have the same body structure. Different women have different body shapes, and not all silhouettes look great on every body type. Identify your body shape based on this previous article, and then opt for a silhouette that looks best on you.

In general, ball gowns with dropped waistlines (like the basque style) are recommended for taller brides who don’t want to emphasize their height. If you have slender arms, you may like to look at sleeveless and strapless necklines that shift attention to your upper body. Definitely avoid the sheath style, as it can add extra vertical inches to your overall length, and you do not want that. Similarly avoid raised waistlines, like the empire waist, as these have a prominent skirt section, that can be overwhelming given your tall stature.

7.Consider custom-made if you aren’t satisfied with your available options

For no reason whatsoever, should a bride have to compromise on her wedding dress dream? If you are unable to find one that meets your expectations, but you know exactly what you want, consider having it made. A talented dress designer will be able to design a dress that will fit your exact measurements. You can also have every feature that you desire in your bridal gown, by choosing this route. So, once you find a talented person like this, you will have no trouble bringing your wedding vision to life. Don’t worry about the cost. When you compare the additional price you will incur to get a gown altered, it will usually be comparable. The only thing to look for is that the designer you choose has the expertise and experience to handle this task.

We mentioned earlier that wedding dresses are complex garments, with boning, multiple fabric layers and more detailed embellishments than other dresses. So, your average tailor may not be able to do justice when attempting to create or even alter a wedding gown. You must approach a professional to get the job done right. Our in-house designer team at Best for Bride, may be able to help you get what you need. Find out more about our bespoke wedding dress design service by visiting this page.

8.Think of fabric to decide on the final look

The fabric of your dress is just as important as the silhouette and style, in creating the final look. Choose the dress fabric based on whether you want to show-off your height or draw attention away from it. Stiff fabric in the right places can add more dimension and texture, giving you a fuller look. On the other hand, sleek soft fabric with a characteristic sheen will help you look slender and even taller. For a curvy silhouette, ball gowns made from tulle fabric are your best choice. Sateen finishes look good on brides who have an hourglass figure and wish to show-off their natural curves. Similarly, fit and flare dresses that have a distinction at the waist or an embellished bodice that stands out from the skirt are a good choice when you want to draw emphasis to your natural shape. Avoid full-sleeves and very high necklines, as these will cover up your assets. However, they will add more length, and this may be unflattering on the taller bride.

9.Think of your wedding shoe options early

The general wedding advice is to buy your shoes in time for your first fitting appointment. However, the case is different when you are a taller-than-average bride. Choose your wedding shoes before shopping for your dress, so you know how much change should be made to the length of the gown to fit you correctly. When you are tall, even small heels may make it necessary to add extra fabric to cover your feet. You should know if this is necessary, when your gown order is created. It will be difficult to add extra fabric if the gown doesn’t extend beyond your ankles, and is short after it has been created.

We know that tall brides may not have a world of options in wedding shoes. However, don’t limit yourself to wearing something that you aren’t really happy with. Explore options like handmade shoes or shoe accessories that can instantly dress up your shoes and make it more attractive. Think out of the box, and you won’t be disappointed with having to settle for what is available.

10.Wear a petticoat when trying the dress on, or it can end up being shorter when you later do

This article on the Wedding Chaos Blog is absolutely right in advising brides to wear a petticoat to their shopping and fitting sessions, if they intend to wear one on the wedding day.

Your dress will rise by few inches if you have a petticoat on, and this can throw off all your alteration measurements. After all the pain you take to get your dress to fit correctly, you do not want to be disappointed on your big day when it ends up shorter than it should be, just because of the addition of a petticoat. Also, a long petticoat may peep out from below your dress, and this can ruin the entire look. So, make it a point to wear all the undergarments you have chosen for your wedding day, to your fitting sessions. This will save you a lot of trouble later.

At Best for Bride, we stock dresses that are suitable for tall brides, and also offer alterations to customize wedding gowns that may be shorter than you need. The Alfred Angelo collection is one collection that has ready dresses in longer sizes, apart from others. So, if you are a tall bride, who is hunting for the perfect wedding gown, you know where to look. Browse through our online gallery to see what options we offer, and also contact us if you need any further assistance. Book your appointment with us today, and be on the way to becoming a beautiful bride, whether you are short or tall, curvy or slim, modern or traditional!

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8 tips to help you choose a fantastic evening gown

There is so much variety in evening dresses, that it can make shopping for the perfect one totally confusing. However, when you find the right dress, you will feel like a diva in it. Not only will it be comfortable, it will also bring out your best features and make you happy to show it off.

So, how do you set about looking for one, and identify if it is the right choice for you?

Here are ten valuable tips from Best for Bride, to help you find the right formal gown for your next big social event.

1.Assess your body shape first

This is the primary factor in finding a gown that will look great on you. For best results, you should always choose an evening gown that enhances your best features, while hiding or camouflaging the less desirable aspects of your body frame. To find the right silhouette for your body shape, you should first determine your body shape. Our previous article here will guide you towards finding out what category you fall into. In brief, we can say that most women fall into one of the following categories:

  • Apple-shaped: where the shoulders and upper torso is wider than the hips and legs.
  • Pear shaped: Where the lower half of the body, from the waist and hips is more pronounced than the bust
  • Hourglass: Where the bust and hips are similar in proportion, and separated by a distinctly slender waistline
  • Rectangular: Where there are few to no noticeable curves and the frame is slender overall
  • Petite: where the overall height is less than 5’4” with a well defined bust and hip region

Depending on which category you fall into, you can find suitable recommendations in dresses in this previous article of ours. By choosing a dress style that flatters your body shape, you will look and feel confident and attractive. Certain styles, like dresses with A-line skirts and V-necklines are universally flattering, and are suitable for most body types. If you are unsure of your body shape, these may be the options to consider.

This A-line, beige evening dress from the Dessy Evening dress collection is a safe bet in terms of fit, color and style.

2.Stick to a budget

Before you go shopping, it is essential that you first calculate the maximum amount you can afford to spend on your evening gown. This will help you narrow down your choices and find a dress that is good, within your specified range. The price is often determined by the amount of details in the gown, the fabric, embellishments and designer collection to which it belongs. Evening gowns can be expensive. However, you should balance out the price with the use you intend to get out of it. If it is in a neutral color and timeless design, so you can get several uses out of, it is worth spending more for the good quality. Plus, this will help you make sure that it will last longer and look fresh. If you want to find a good deal for the money you spend, it is a good idea to look in the sale section. If you have an eye for detail and know it when you see a gown that is just right, you may find the right pick for a fraction of the original price, in the discounts department. Also be prepared to shop in the off-season (typically summer and winter), when prices will be at their lowest. This way, you can find a gown for the next holiday season, without paying a fortune on it.

Check out this sale and clearance section on Best for Bride for the latest attractive offers in wedding dresses and evening gowns.


3.Give priority to dresses from good designer collections

Although you can find formal dresses that are really cheap, you will be trading off design quality for savings, when you choose them. Evening gowns designed by experienced professionals are usually superior in terms of look and quality. They will feature flattering fits, neat seams and beautiful necklines. These dresses are created to showcase the best of the fabric and enhance the natural features of the wearer, through appropriate placement of embellishments. So, the extra price associated with a designer gown is usually worth it. If the price tag is a major source of concern, you can choose from discount and sale sections or be on the lookout for shops that offer sales on the designer collection.

Featured here is the J6070 evening dress from the Jadore Collection. This collection features exquisite designer gowns showcasing the latest trends from the top fashion catwalks.

4.Choose a gown closest to your actual size

There is no such thing as a standard size for women, and so it is highly unlikely that you will find a gown off the rack that fits you perfectly. For the best fit, we always recommend that you have your chosen dress altered to your actual measurements. This is quite easy to do, and so you incur least expenses on alterations, you should choose a gown that is closest in size to your actual measurements. This simply means that you shouldn’t choose gowns that are too big or too small in size. Don’t ever make the mistake of choosing a gown that is smaller than your actual size, expecting that you will shed several pounds closer to the time you have to wear it. Just in case you don’t, you will simply lose the chance to wear the dress you carefully chose for the occasion. Buy your actual size at the time you go shopping, and you can always have the extra fabric taken in, when you lose the extra weight. When wearing close-fitting gowns, we also recommend that you invest in some good quality shape wear to hide any unsightly bumps and sport a fantastic, trim figure instead.

This gorgeous Mori Lee 726 evening gown in lace, for example, features a slimming fit and flare silhouette. To bring out the actual beauty of the dress, you should either have a perfect hourglass figure, or wear shapewear underneath to tuck in any flab you may have around your waist or hips.

5.Choose colors wisely

As beautiful as a dress may be in a picture or when on display, it isn’t necessary that it will be the best choice in color for you. When choosing formal evening gowns, it is always a good idea to only look at colors that match your complexion. Colors play a significant role in enhancing your overall look. They also have the power to do the opposite. Why should you want to wear a dress that makes you look pale or sick, when you could be wearing one that makes your eyes pop and your skin glow? Remember this when you go shopping, so you can stay focused even though you may be attracted to a dress in a beautiful color that may not work for you. Many dresses are available in more than one color. So you may like to look at the other color options if you absolutely love a particular design but the color doesn’t look great on you. Also, always try on the different dress options you have shortlisted. This will clearly reveal which one is best on you, rather than go by instinct.

This stunning red beauty, the J6074 from the Jadore collection is also available in pale yellow and black. So, you can satisfy yourself with the same design in an alternate color, if this dress doesn’t look as beautiful on you, as you would want it to.

6.Don’t always go for the trendiest

Trends come and go with startling speed. Unless you don’t mind your gown looking outdated in few months, it is best to buy dresses that aren’t too trendy. Choosing dresses with features that are always in style, will allow you to use it for much longer. Specific prints, styles and embellishments can quickly lose their charm, and you may not find it appropriate to wear this dress in a year’s time. Some of the safe choices that are bound to always be fashionable include the following.

  • Sweetheart necklines where the neckline gently follows the natural curves of the bust.
  • V-necklines have and will always be popular because of their universally flattering style
  • Cap sleeves are romantic, whimsical and a versatile choice for many types of figures
  • A-line dresses appeal to all women as they are a safe option that looks good on all body frames
  • Colors like black, white, navy and gold are always trendy

Here is a gown that will always be a favorite for several reasons. This Mori Lee 112 evening gown is a classic beauty, with a sweetheart neckline and an A-line silhouette. The criss-cross ruched bodice and gently shirred skirt, as well as the stunning navy color will always be festive and suitable for most formal occasions.

7.Choose the right fabric

The way a fabric drapes around your body and the natural flow it has, will impact the overall effect of the dress. While some fabrics like tulle are crisp and rigid, others like chiffon are soft and flow gently. The fabric you choose for your dress should be one that is suitable for your structure and height. If you are naturally very slim, a fabric that clings to you may make you look even more thin. If you are bulky, a crisp fabric structured to give more bulk to a dress may add extra pounds to your look. So, make a wise choice where the fabric is concerned. How the fabric is layered, and whether it features ruffles or similar dramatic elements, can also alter the overall look of the dress. Another factor to consider is the suitability of the fabric for the weather at the time you will be wearing the dress. Since you will most likely be using this dress more than once, also find out how it has to be cared for and cleaned. Certain materials like silk will require a great deal of care and you may have to dryclean it to keep it looking fresh.

This Mori Lee 106 chiffon dress with embroidery is suitable for functions in summer and spring, as the fabric is soft, lightweight and breathable. It is also low maintenance, making it an ideal choice for women who don’t want to spend too much time or money on cleaning it.

8.Choose to dress it up or down with accessories

While a great dress will do wonders in transforming you into a striking beauty, it is also necessary to choose the right accessories to complete your look. You can always dress your overall look up or down, based on the accessories you wear with it. As a general rule, if your evening dress has elaborate details, stick to minimum accessories to avoid a cluttered look. On the other hand, if your dress is relatively simple, you can dress it up with bold accessories that add the desired touch of drama. Apart from shoes, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, also consider clutches, hair accessories, scarves and belts or sashes to create an entirely different look. Other factors to look at when choosing the right mix of accessories, include the neckline and sleeve, as well as other design elements of the chosen dress.

This J6003 from the Jadore collection is a dress that can be accessorized in many different ways to create the look you desire. It is a lovely dress that will work by itself, as well as look great with the righ choice of accessories.

Best for Bride has dresses for women of all ages and sizes. We bring you a stunning collection of evening dresses to choose from. Visit our evening dress collection today to find out what fabulous dresses are available today. Also, the clearance and sale section will allow you to choose from the most attractive deals available. Take a look today, and we are sure you will find more than just one that you will love.