Belle of the ball gown

If you’ve ever dreamt about walking down the aisle radiating like Audrey Hepburn as Princess Anne in Roman Holiday, chances are you’re picturing yourself in a dramatic ball gown wedding dress.

But is it the best silhouette for you? After all, there’s a fine line between looking like a princess straight out of a fairy tale and a victim of “dress wearing the bride” syndrome.

A ball gown wedding dress has a defined, horizontal seam attached to a full, flared skirt. This type of gown usually has a crinoline (also called a petticoat or slip) to stiffen the skirt and give it that standout round shape. On formal, traditional wedding ceremonies, ball gowns are an ideal style that lends a romantic, regal effect.


Ball gown wedding dresss Stockist: Charlotte Balbier. Price: £1,780

Hiding bulges and bling 

Ball gowns generally look good on most body types, and they are a fantastic choice if you want to hide your lower body bulges or give the appearance of wider hips.

Short, petite women should stay away from ball gowns because the extra weight can be cumbersome and appear to overwhelm you. On the other hand, big women might look even bigger with the explosion of fabric.

Pulling off a ball gown can be especially tricky, because with the wrong choices, you can cross the line into tacky territory. The one key thing to remember is that less is more. A ball gown is already a statement piece in itself, so resist the temptation to pile on the wedding bling and risk looking like an over decorated Christmas ornament. Keep accessories to a minimum by opting for simple, fine jewellery or pearls. No chunky bracelets and please, stay away from the tiara and gloves – leave that to the Disney princesses.


Creating drama

Just like your subtle jewellery, your hair and makeup should be reined in for a minimal, classy look. Big poufy hairstyles and overdramatic makeup will certainly grab attention for the wrong reasons. For makeup, I strongly suggest leaning towards natural tones.

A simpler alternative to the ball gown minus the ample layers of fabric is the A-line design – a full skirt that falls from the waist like a letter “A”. This is a much easier style to wear, is very versatile, flatters most body shapes and sizes, and still turns up the drama.

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