Today we ask one of the most important questions in your wedding dress shopping journey: “How do you find the perfect dress for your body type?” We recommend starting with the right silhouette for your body shape, whether that be hourglass, small-chested, petite, pear-shaped, tall and slender, athletic, or busty. You’re not likely to fit squarely into one category, but you can combine tips from each style to find the perfect wedding dress for your body type, no matter your shape!
Along with finding the most flattering silhouette for your frame, you’ll want to remember these pointers when going into your bridal shop appointment:
1. Trust your bridal consultant. They may pull a gown outside of your comfort zone, but they are trained in helping brides find “The One”.
2. Do your hair and makeup before a bridal appointment–it will be easier for you to imagine the whole look for your big day.
3. Shop with your trusted bride-tribe only. This decision is already filled with trepidation!
Now to answer the daunting question: “Which silhouettes work for my frame?” Let’s start with these simple tips to help you find the perfect wedding dress for your body type.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR HOURGLASS SHAPES
- Choose a corset and/or mermaid wedding gown that accents and flatters your natural curves. A fit-and-flare wedding dress is also a good option.
- If a ballgown strikes your fancy, opt for a structured bodice and full skirt to keep the flattering shape of your curves.
- Stick with a sweetheart neckline to complement your feminine shape.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR SMALL-CHESTED BRIDES
- Remember that structure should be your partner in crime, as it adds padding to make your chest appear fuller.
- Go for ruching, wrapping, and embellishment in the bodice to help play up your décolletage.
- Instead of trying to make your breasts look larger, wear something only a small-chested woman can rock: a plunging V-neck and V-back.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR PETITE SHAPES
- Make your arms look longer by wearing half- and three-quarter-length sleeves.
- Avoid ballgowns, which can overwhelm a smaller frame, and certain mermaid styles, which can make your torso appear shorter.
- Elongate your frame with a natural-waisted gown like an A-line or fit-and-flare to avoid looking “scrunched up” or bottom-heavy.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR PEAR-SHAPED FRAMES
- If you want to draw attention away from your waist and hips, wear an A-line or ballgown silhouette. These classic styles look great on almost all body types, but they look best on pear-shaped figures!
- Opt for an embellished or detailed bodice to accentuate your chest and waistline.
- If you are a bride who wants to flaunt her bottom assets, choose a gown that is fitted around the hips.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR TALL AND SLENDER BRIDES
- Choose something pretty but not too showy to find the perfect wedding dress for your body type.
- To play up your height, create an air of statuesque beauty with an elegant sheath wedding gown.
- If you want to downplay your height, stay clear of empire waists and opt for ball gowns with low waists.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR ATHLETIC FRAMES
- Create a sexy silhouette with a fit-and-flare or slimming A-line.
- Work with angles: a unique neckline, swirls of beading and embellishments, and a tiered skirt to add visual interest to your gown.
- Show off those toned arms and shoulders with a halter top or strapless style.
WEDDING DRESSES FOR BUSTY BRIDES
- Wear wider straps to help support your chest. If you choose to wear a bra under your gown, a wider strap can hide it.
- Choose your neckline wisely. A sweetheart or bateau neckline, or even an off-the-shoulder look can hide a strapless bra and flatter your figure.
- Opt for a gown with a higher back or corset. These styles can hide a bra and also provide extra support. And don’t fret! You can still wear illusion. Just be sure to wear a nude garment underneath for secret support.
More questions to consider when looking for the perfect wedding dress for your body type:
What makes you feel comfortable for your day job? What makes you feel sexy for a special occasion?
It’s a delicate balance: you want to feel like yourself on your big day without playing it too safe. Think about dress styles and aesthetics that make you feel like the best version of yourself—elegant and sophisticated, but still true to your individual personality.
Think about beauty routines that make you feel confident. Does a structured updo make you feel fit for the occasion, or do natural waves help you go with the flow? Do accessories elevate your look or distract from it? Does the thought of wearing heels make you want to dance all night or bail on the situation entirely? Clues like these help you find a dress that fits your body type, personal style, and vision for your big day.
Should I let go of my insecurities and listen to feedback from my close friends and family?
Every bride has things she likes and doesn’t like about her body. It’s important to find a dress that fits your personality and preferences, but don’t let your inner critic take over in the process. We’re willing to bet your loved ones, most importantly your sweetheart, have a much more forgiving perception of your gorgeous features than you do.
Check out more shopping resources below, and head to an Authorized Retailer near you to find the perfect wedding dress for your body type!