Which wedding dress silhouette is right for me?

There are many things to consider when choosing your dress such as your budget, the venue, theme and what bridal style you love. But do you know which wedding gown silhouette suits your body shape best?
Body types are not an exact science, but there are proven ways to finding the dress that fits you perfectly and make you feel like a billion dollars.

This has very little to do with your weight or size, but rather about your body’s proportions, and your confidence. We will explain below, so read on!

The first thing I asked myself when I started to search for my wedding dress was “Which dress do I most like the look of?” But at the bridal salon, I discovered that not only must I like what the dress looks like – but also how I feel wearing it. That swoon-worthy, body-hugging designer gown from Instagram made my pear shaped hips seem somewhat even more “pear-y” and I felt a bit self-conscious in the dress, which was indeed incredible to look at, but ultimately wasn’t made for my figure. But there were so many other incredible dresses there too, and when I selected a Fit and Flare gown, which had a more forgiving fit, it simply clicked.

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Why is the wedding dress silhouette important?

Before you fall in love with the look of a particular dress, your first question to yourself should always be: “Does this design make me feel great in my own skin, and proud of who I am?”

Choosing the best silhouette can have a big effect on your confidence and ultimately how you feel walking down the aisle, posing for the photos and when and celebrating at your reception. The right dress will be easy to wear, amplify your natural beauty and when you don’t feel awkward in the gown, you’ll ultimately radiate happiness. So this could be quite a big deal, as you can understand!

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It can be important to think about the silhouette when:

  • You have features of yourself that you are especially proud of and want to enhance, and want to make sure dress doesn’t hide or steal the attention from those features.
  • You have problem areas you would like to disguise, and you want to know what dress can best steer the attention away from those areas.
  • You want to feel harmonious in your gown and 100% in your element
  • Your aim is to celebrate your body regardless of its shape, and to make the best of and highlight what you love about your body
  • You don’t just want a beautiful dress, but also a dress that makes you feel like a bombshell.

How to choose a wedding dress for your body shape

To establish which shape best describes your, begin by taking your measurements of your shoulders, waist, bust and hips, then use the guide below to find the perfect silhouette for you.

Select your body shape to find the best silhouettes for you

-Larger upper body
-Broad shoulders
-Slim hips and legs

-Hips larger than bust
-Defined waist
-Slim shoulders

-Straight sides and few curves
-Waist isn’t well defined
-Slim hips and legs

-Bust and hips are balanced
-Rounded bottom
-Defined waist

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Dress advice for Apple body shape

An Apple shape means your chest and waist has a larger circumference that your hip measurement. Your shoulders are about the same width as your bust and waist and your bum is less full. Your thighs are slim and your legs, bust and arms are your best assets.

Aim: To define a waist, elongate the torso and create fullness at the hip area.

Additional dress tricks: Drama on the skirt pulls attention down. Try a dress with sheer side panels or a deep neckline that will taper to the center. Don’t be afraid of flaunting your legs with a slit, hi-lo hem line or a sheer/ partially sheer skirt.

Avoid: the mermaid style, which flares out from the knee, and the Drop waist.

Best silhouettes: A-line, Fit and Flare and Ball gown. A wide flare balances out the upper body. Go for a standard A-line as opposed to Slim or Modified.


Dress advice for Pear body shape

Hips that measure wider than your bust, a shapely bum, fuller thighs and well defined waist can indicate a Pear body shape.

Aim: Balance your hips and your shoulders while showing off your waist. Make the best out of your decolletage and bust to celebrate your womanly shape.

Additional Dress tricks: The key here is to accentuate your top half. Focus can be drawn to the upper body with different designs such as ruffles, 3D elements, a striking neckline or voluminous sleeves.

Avoid: A Drop waist or Modified Aline where the bodice ends on the hips could make them seem wider. You might find the Mermaid a bit hip-skimming, but it all depends on your confidence!

Best silhouettes: Aline, Ball gown and Fit and Flare


Dress advice for Straight body shape

Your hips, waist and bust don’t differ much in circumference, and you have an athletic build or boyish dimensions.

Aim: To create volume both at the bust and at the hips, define the waist and make the most of legs, back, decolletage and arms.

Additional Dress tricks: Create a more rounded bust with a sweetheart or scoop neckline. An open back design or puffy sleeves will also create curves. Eye-catching couture details such as graphic lace patterns, sculptural fabric gathers and ruffles add shapes.

Avoid: The drop waist silhouette, as it could create a longer torso. A Sheath or too minimal look could highlight the straight lines.

Best silhouettes: A-line, Separates and Fit & Flare


Dress advice for Hourglass body shape

Your waist is the smallest part of your torso, and you have hips and shoulders in proportion.

Aim: To enhance your best features and hug your silhouette in the right places. You can wear whichever dress style you like, but it would be a pity to disguise with too much volume. Explore dresses that really reflect your personality whether they are traditional, modern, romantic or high-fashion.

Additional Dress tricks: Even if your body proportions are well defined, shape wear and the power of a good bra should never be underestimated. They can make a big difference to the fit and feel of the dress.

Avoid: You are easily able to to wear most dress silhouettes as long as you feel great and comfortable, however a Ballgown or Empire silhouette would hide your best features.

Best silhouettes: Any, but to celebrate your figure choose Mermaid, Fit and Flare or Sheath. If you prefer a non-fitted style, try Drop Waist, or a Slim or Modified A-line.

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Editor

Jo Malin created this blog for modern couples who yearns for the extraordinary. Based on her sheer love of transparent planning advice, artful styling and contemporary bridal looks, she writes for the freedom of getting married the way you want. When she is not editing the blog, you can find her sketching and sewing for the new label Sheer Bride, vintage shopping, building a ceramic sculpture or walking on the beach.

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