Shopping for a wedding dress is one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, but it can easily become one of the most stressful. How do you find the perfect dress with so many options, styles and designs? The key to narrowing down your choices is understanding your body type. To help you in your search, we’ve categorized the most common body types and the wedding dress styles that compliment each figure. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to wedding dresses; you’ll know that you’ve found ‘the one’ when you don’t want to take it off!
Table of Contents
The 5 Common Body Types
While this is not an exhaustive list, most brides fall into one of the figures listed below.
The 5 common body types:
- Apple- Often considered “top-heavy,” apple body types have broad shoulders, a wide torso, and a thick waist.
- Pear- The defining feature of a pear body type is the waist, which is wider than the bust. Similar in shape to a triangle, this type has well-defined curves.
- Hourglass- The hourglass shape is the most coveted because of its balanced figure, which features a defined waist and even shoulders.
- Inverted Triangle- Inverted triangle types have broad shoulders, a wide back, and a full bust.
- Rectangle- Women with a rectangle shape have balanced hips and bust, but lack definition in their waistline.
Veils are a classic accessory for your ensemble. Shorter veils generally add more personality and have a retro look; longer veils are more traditional. Try different lengths with your stylist to see which one compliments your gown.
The 6 Common Wedding Dress Silhouettes
To help you in your search for the perfect dress, we’ve compiled the 6 most common and classic silhouettes:
- Best for: Apple, Pear, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle, Hourglass
It’s no wonder this classic style has been a go-to for countless women of all body types throughout history. A-line dresses feature a fitted top and a flowing skirt below a cinched waist that looks especially flattering on inverted triangle figures. The elongated, slender look of this traditional bridal dress has a slimming effect on fuller body types and apple and pear shapes. A-lines can also accentuate the waist of brides with narrower rectangle figures.
- Best for: Pear, Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle
Another classic bridal style, the ball gown offers bust support that elongates the torso and a full skirt that accentuates the waist. Pear shaped or slender brides with a full bust may find this style especially appealing. Though common for elegant weddings, ball gowns can be as understated or detailed as you want to highlight your figure. If you’ve dreamed of wearing a princess-esque dress on your wedding day since childhood, consider trying on a few ball gown styles. But be careful if you’re a petite bride; the amount of material on these large dresses may create an overly voluminous look on your small frame.
Fit & Flare
- Best for: Inverted Triangle, Rectangle, Pear
The fit and flare dress derives its name from its snug bodice and wide skirt, which flares at the hip. Because of its versatility, it’s a great choice for inverted triangle, rectangle, and pear body types. It brings balance to broad-shouldered frames and definition to figures that lack curvy waistlines or hips. Although similar in style to the trumpet and mermaid dresses, the fit and flare dress offers more legroom, making it the optimum choice of the three for brides who want to get down on the dance floor.
Your body type comes in to account when considering what style of bouquet you choose. For example, shorter brides should stick with small bouquets, while taller brides should get something larger.
- Best For: Hourglass, Pear
Highlight your curves with a figure-hugging mermaid dress. This romantic style flaunts your shape, providing support for full-figured, slender hourglass and pear body types while flaring out at the knee for a full skirt or train. Mermaid dresses can be flattering on tall and petite brides alike. They’re also a common go-to for both casual and fancier weddings due to their ability to be dressed up or down with elegant or classic details. Keep in mind that this style is very constricting.
- Best For: Hourglass, Rectangle, Pear
The trumpet dress is for brides who want the figure-flattering outline of a mermaid style with more mobility. Trumpet dresses hug your contour, accentuating the bust line and hips. These dresses typically have more skirt than mermaid styles and flare from the knee to the hem, creating a trumpet shape. It’s an ideal style choice for tall, hourglass, or curvier brides who want a ball gown look without a full skirt.
- Best For: Hourglass, Rectangle
Sheath dresses follow your body’s natural contour and don’t flare out. This classic shape is best for no-fuss brides who opt for classic, simple styles. The sheath style can accentuate slender, rectangle body shapes and hourglass figures for brides who don’t want a form-fitting look. Petite brides can also take advantage of this visually lengthening look.
No matter what your shape or style, remember that your wedding dress should make you feel beautiful inside and out. Don’t settle for less when it comes to your big day–your dream dress is out there waiting for you.