How to Choose The Best Wedding Dress Style For Your Body Shape?

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Finding the perfect wedding dress is a little easier when you know what to look for – here’s which dress styles will work best for your body shape.

When you’re on the hunt for your dream wedding dress, you want something that is figure flattering and shows off all your best assets. Whether you have an hourglass, triangle or oval body shape, there’s a dress style out there that is perfect for you.

We know wedding dress shopping can feel a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack – with so many different styles, shapes and sizes to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin.

So, to help you narrow down the search, we’ve done a little digging to find out which styles are the most flattering for your body type and what trends you want to avoid…

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The Hourglass

Brides with an hourglass body shape normally have a more defined waist, wider hips and a bigger bust.  You’re very curvaceous and have one of the most desirable body shapes there is, so let’s look at the best styles to show off your curvaceous assets.

Avoid: Your bust and hips are already perfectly balanced, so it’s best not to add any extra weight to these areas. Stay away from ball gown, empire or princess-style dresses with fuller skirts, as this may make you appear bigger in these areas and will be less flattering to your shape.

RELATED TO: In Praise of the Plus Size Gown

Look for: Instead, look for dresses that hug and show off those gorgeous curves such as a silhouette or mermaid style. Also, a sweetheart or plunge neckline may work better for you than a halter or high neck dress, as this will keep you balanced out and flatter your bustier assets.

Etoile by Enzoani dress from Divinity Bridal
Alimentari dress by Georgia Young from The One

The Pear Shape

If you have a pear body shape, you tend to have hips that are wider than your bust area and a defined waist. You may have very feminine neck and shoulders and be smaller in the chest area with a petite and narrow build.

Avoid: It’s best not to go for empire dress styles as they may hide your dainty figure and can create the illusion that you are bigger in size than you are in reality.

Look for: Wedding dresses that are more fitted to your shape such as a sleek silhouette or fishtail/mermaid dress. Sleeved dresses are also a good option to balance out your smaller shoulders with your wider hips.

Modeca dress from Snowdrop Bridal Couture
Nicole Spose dress from LA Bridal House

The Triangle Shape

If your shoulders and upper body are proportionally bigger than your lower body, then you probably have a triangle shape. You may have broad shoulders with a slimmer waist and smaller hips, giving you a column shape.

Avoid: Stay clear from strapless, off-the-shoulder or halter neck dresses as this can highlight your wider shoulders and may have you looking out of proportion.

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Look For: Opt for a symmetrical or v-neck style as this works perfectly with the inverted triangle shape. Fuller straps and sleeves also flatter your figure and make your shoulders look more subtle. You may also want to look for dresses with more detail such as lace or embellishments as this will help you appear broader and more fully balanced.

Adina dress by La Sposa from Marie Me Bridal
Style TBCNI 109 by Luce Sposa from The Bridal Company Northern Ireland

The Oval Shape

The oval body shape, which is often referred to as apple, is seen on brides who have a larger bust, narrow hips and a fuller torso area. You have a more rounded shape midsection and tend to have slender legs and arms.

Avoid: Halter or high neck gowns run the risk of drowning you out in the chest area and give your other areas little to no definition. Stay clear of dresses that draw attention to your waist and pleat patterns as they are less flattering for your figure.

RELATED TO: What Shapewear Do You Need For The Perfect Bridal Silhouette?

Look for: Look for styles that have a subtle or straight shape such as an empire or A-line dress. These styles, with flared skirts that flow through the waistline, will give the illusion of a curvier and more balanced shape. Dresses with lower necklines and more detail on the chest area will also draw the eye upwards and away from the fuller midsection area of your body.

Athene dress by Eddy K by Bridal from Tamem Michael
Billie dress by Randy Fenoli from La Bella Sposa

The Rectangle Shape

Brides who have a rectangle body type, which is also called the banana shape, have a straighter figure with shoulders, waist and hips being all within the same width. You may also be tall, have little waist definition and a smaller bust.

Avoid: Try to avoid figure hugging dresses such as mermaid, fishtail or silhouette styles as this will highlight your straight shape and give you less definition. Also, high necklines may make you appear longer and less balanced in shape.

Look for: A-line, empire, ball gowns and princess-style dresses are your go-tos – these styles with a fuller bottom will help bring more definition to your shape and create the illusion of a curvier figure.

Tara Lauren dress from Beau Bridal
Zavana dress from Romantique Bridal

Still looking for your dream dress? Check out all our bridalwear suppliers HERE

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