How to Choose the Right Wedding Dress Style for Your Body Type


By Ronni Warshaw

Everyone thinks they know how to choose a wedding gown. What most women don’t realize is fabrics, style and measurements can influence the style of wedding dress that best complements a particular body type. This article will help you choose the right wedding dress style for your own body shape.

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The Full-Figured Bride

If you’re a full-figured woman, the best silhouette is the A-line style. A-line style lengthens the whole body without drawing attention to your waistline. The empire waist is another good choice. The empire is narrowest just below the bust, which conceals your waist and hips.

Many plus-sized girls tend to purchase wedding gowns that cover a lot of skin. If religion isn’t an issue, don’t be afraid to show some skin. Skin is sexy, and showing your arms and neckline can often make you appear slimmer. Deep V-necks and scoop necks flatter curvy figures, and always look best on full-figured women.

The Petite Bride

A-line wedding dresses are also flattering on petite women. As we stated earlier, this style lengthens the body. Sheaths seem to shorten a small body even more, so petite women should avoid sheath-style wedding dresses. Also steer clear of very full skirts, which will make you look ‘bottom heavy.’ You want to keep your wedding dress proportionate to your body.

Be careful with strapless gowns — a petite woman may have to lift her arms to reach up to her new husband (can you say ‘wardrobe malfunction’?). A cap sleeve gives the feeling of a strapless gown, and also serves the practical purpose of holding the gown in place.

The Large-Busted Bride

Off-the-shoulder gowns look wonderful on a full bust. It draws our attention upward, emphasizes the shoulders and minimizes the chest. Keep your skirt narrow. Wearing a full skirt will make you look large both on top and bottom.

The Bottom-Heavy Bride

Women who are larger through their hips and buttocks should look for a wedding dress that focuses on their upper body — preferably with a full skirt. Show off your arms, back and bustline.

A corset-style bodice with lacing will highlight your upper body. We want to draw attention away from your hips. Avoid pleats or gathered fabric around the waist. An A-line skirted wedding dress always works the best for this body type.

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The Warshaw family has been designing, manufacturing and retailing wedding attire since 1951. Ronni Warshaw’s online wedding shop, TheBridalWorld.com, has been helping brides choose the perfect wedding dress since 2001.