Wedding Gowns for Body Shapes & Silhouettes

Dressing for your shape isn’t about following fashion trends, it’s all about the balance, balance, balance!  In the way that not everyone can carry off fitted leggings, sleeveless tops or patterned jeans, not all wedding gowns will suit every bride.  Any body shape can be dressed stunningly, the most important thing is to consider what shape you are and choose the most flattering dress silhouette to accentuate your best body features.

When choosing a wedding dress, brides should consider the 3 ‘F’s’, Fit, Flare, Fabric. Is it the right fit? Does it add flare by accentuating the right body parts and creating the illustrious illusion of balance? Is the fabric the most flattering to your body shape?

Apple Brides – Slim Legs, Slim Thighs, Full Bust and Full Waist.lark_bridal_2014_Cherise

Opt For – Apple brides should veer towards lighter fabrics, such as Organza, that will skim the body rather than hug it.  Choose an open neckline to help add some balance, a V-neck or sweetheart neckline creates the illusion of slender shoulders and draws attention away from the mid-torso region.  Dresses with shoulder and neckline embellishment dramatically flatter Apple shaped brides as it draws attention to the decollage. Also, don’t forget Apple brides legs are their best assets, consider a shorter dress, tea-length style, to accentuate slender calves and thighs.

Avoid – Apple brides should avoid gowns with dropped waists, mermaid or fit-to-flare silhouettes and certainly rule out high necklines.  This accentuates your least flattering points and avoids un-balances the body shape. Apple Brides should also avoid waist embellishment and any type or heavy, fitted fabric that will cling to their torsos, accentuating their widest point.


Hour Glass Brides – Full Bust, Full Hips and Small Waist

Opt For – Hour Glass brides should opt for a fitted bodice with embellishment focused on either their bust or waist (not both!) to ensure maximum accentuation of their best assets.  A structured A-Line or ball-gown silhouette helps to further accentuate your waist while balancing their hips.  A sweetheart, high or V-neckline with any sleeve option (strapless, capped, long, scooped or short) are most flattering on hour glass figures. For very slender hour glass brides, a fitted, structured dress in a fit-to-flare or straight silhouetted can also be most flattering.

Avoid – Hour glass brides should avoid any all over heavy embellishment as it overpowers the accentuation of your curves.  Hour Glass brides should also consider avoiding any straight bustline gowns as this cuts the curves as opposed to naturally continuing them.


Inverted Triangle Brides – Broad Shoulders, Slim Waist, Slim Hips and Slim Legs

Opt For – Inverted Triangle Brides should opt for fuller skirts to balance the shoulders and emphasise the waist, creating a symmetrical silhouette focussing on their best body elements. A sweetheart or mild V-neckline helps create the illusion of more slender shoulders. Lace, Tulle and Organza are most flattering on Inverted Triangle bodies, creating a look of structure whilst avoiding the over emphasis a clingy fabric can create.

Avoid – Inverted Triangle Brides should avoid slinky silk dresses that will cling to the body.  Off shoulder, Cap and Full length sleeves should be avoided as they create a sense of top heaviness.  Similarly, dropped waist gowns and mermaid or fit-to-flare gowns should be avoided.


Athletic Brides – Minimal Curves, Straight in line

Opt For – Athletic Brides benefit from an easily accentuated body shape where it all comes down to the neckline and embellishment choices to create a sense of balance. The best silhouettes are mermaid, fit-to-flare and ball-gown as they naturally showcase a slender body and create an illusion of a waist. A scoop, crescent or sweetheart neckline helps to create curves and flatter any brides decollage and neck.  Consider embellishment, two tone effect or coloured belt at the waist for maximum impact in creating balance with a small waist. Fabrics including Lace, Silk, Satin, Organza, Tulle and Charmeuse all work on Athletic brides.

Avoid – Athletic Brides should avoid a straight neckline as it draws attention to minimal curves and creates and illusion of further broadened shoulders.

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Pear Brides – Slim Shoulders, Slim Torso, Slim Waist, Full Hips

Opt For – Pear Brides should veer towards a ball-gown silhouette or dress with a heavily detailed waist to accentuate a small waist and balance wide hips.  A strapless sweetheart neckline works best on a pear shaped bride, accentuating the decollage and lengthening the neck whilst creating an illusion of on-top curves and balancing the wider hips.  An embellished bustline can further help accentuate this.

Avoid – Pear brides should avoid fit-to-flare and mermaid silhouettes as these shapes draw attention to and emphasise the hips.  High necklines should be avoided as it minimises the ability to create balance between the wider hips and slender shoulders.


Even within these body shape classifications every bride is vastly different and has their own feelings on body parts they would most like to hide or accentuate. With such choice in wedding gowns fits, fabrics and flares, make sure that you avoid the most fashionably ‘in’ gown and instead, choose the one that makes you feel your absolute best and accentuates all your best elements for your big day…

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