To look beautiful on your wedding day, make sure you choose a suitable gown that fits your figure. It’s important that you acknowledge and accept what your general physique is and keep this in mind when you go gown-searching.
Many women try to fit into gowns that don’t actually adhere well, and end up feeling uncomfortable and unhappy that they are not looking their best. There are two alternatives – either find the right gown to suit your present figure or go on an exercise and light-dieting program at least 6 months before your wedding day. We’ve lined up a few guidelines to help you decide which type of gown should fit your figure well and they will prove useful in your transformation into a beautiful bride.
Full figure – Flaunt your figure! You’ll look slimmer and shapelier in comfortable figure-enhancing styles. Notice the word “comfortable” because the gown should not be tight; it should have some room to spare for easy movement. The thing not to do is to choose a “tent” to hide your full figure in! Look for close-fitting and longer lines. A fluid skirt which falls into a train would be nice. Try low scoop-necks and fitted sleeves rather than puffed sleeves. Avoid tiers, flounces and ruffles, fabrics which cling too tightly for comfort, too much lace and beading and unnecessary fullness.
Petite – Choose a gown that doesn’t overwhelm you. We want to see more of the bride, not the gown! Simple designs flatter best — think a plain bodice, shoe-string straps and a flowing skirt. A halter neck or strapless gown would also be suitable. The point about it is to scale down everything so that you don’t look too “cluttered” — the trim, size of sleeves, the sash and particularly the train if you have one. Decorative details should be around the neckline above the waist.
Short, Thin – Look for an understated gown without a train — basically you should consider a pretty dress rather than an elegant one. Also, keep in mind the advice outlined for petite brides and you’ll be just fine.
Tall, Thin – You are one of few types of brides who can successfully wear frills and flounces. You would generally look good and comfortable in most styles, but you might want to add fullness to your figure. You can do this by having details at the shoulder line or hip-line. Shirred or ruche fabrics would also be suitable for you. Avoid clingy fabrics, skimpy camisoles and shoestring straps. If your arms are thin, you can try wearing long puffed sleeves.
Voluptuous – Extra trimmings will make you look bigger, so choose a simple elegant gown. A long sweeping train would be most flattering. Choose slim fitted sleeves rather than puff sleeves if it is necessary to disguise heavy arms. Go for structured styles that lend you shape to make yourself look slimmer and shapelier. A-line or princess line would be suitable. You may also consider wrap dresses as they hide the tummy area while separating the bust. Another good design would be the sweetheart neckline as well as any other open necklines, as these styles elongate the neckline and draw the eye up. Look for dresses with a slight flare to balance the lower and upper body. Avoid tiers and ruffles, fabrics that cling and too much lace, as with high necklines, which unify the breasts, and halter styles, which may cause breasts to pour out on the sides. Other shapes to avoid are shapeless, boxy or baggy designs.
Pear Shaped – Concentrate on details above the waist — shawl collars magnify the presence of the upper torso without over-emphasizing it. Make sure the sleeves balance the hipline. Don’t shy away from slim-lined gowns. You can also try wearing a skirt without pleats or gathers, which falls from a slightly raised waistline. A long sweeping skirt that falls into a full train also helps to minimize bulky measurements. Avoid pleated skirts, frills, tiny straps or anything that draws attention to narrow shoulders.
Small Bosom – Dramatic sleeves and a swathe at the hipline will enhance your looks. Long flowing skirts will suit a small waist. You should also look out for high neck styles that emphasize your toned arms or deep V-neck styles that only those with small busts can pull off (think super models). Look for simple details like well-placed gathering and shirring or trim over the bust to create fullness. Another good point to bear in mind is that backless dresses draw attention away from the front and can be very sexy so long as your back is relatively well toned. At all costs, stay away from voluminous shapes that you can’t fill out or skin-tight tops that draw attention to the bust area. The key word here is to accentuate our assets while downplaying those flaws!
Big Hips – There is no need to avoid slim lines and gowns, but you must avoid frills and flounces. The advice for pear-shaped brides applies well to you too, so pay attention.
Big Bums – Not to worry. Disguise them! Full flowing skirts are good. A peplum or full train should do the trick. A high waist or empire gown will counter the length from neck to waist.
Short Waist – Simple! Choose a low waist dress. Seaming down the bodice also gives an illusion of extra length.
Thick Waist – Look for a gown with a 1920s influence. A dropped loose waist is best for you.