By Sonia Duggan
Even if you’ve imagined your future wedding down to the guest list, nothing will prepare you for the task of finding the perfect dress for your body type. Do your research and find a bridal shop that will cater to your needs and give you adequate time to try on dresses.
“The one thing women need to understand is that dress sizes are done very differently,” Janet Smith, co-owner of The Bridal Shoppe in downtown Wylie said. “Don’t worry about the size. It’s measured to your body based on what’s the largest portion of you.”
We’ve outlined the most common body types, and which dress silhouettes will best flatter that figure. Pick the one that most closely matches yours, have a budget, and find a shop that has the vibe you are looking for.
If you’re lucky enough to have an hourglass shape it’s best to accentuate your curves. “A mermaid or fit-n-flare dress is best to keep the shape of their body shown,” Smith says. Avoid a column, which falls straight and covers up your curves.
Apple or round shape
If you have this body type, don’t go for a fit-n-flare or mermaid style because it will shorten your body as well. “You want to elongate the center with an A-line,” Smith said. “Nice ruching will also help to give shape.”
Smith suggests an A-line or a ball gown style – depending on your size you can choose a style with or without all the extra layers. Strapless is good, just avoid halter styles and plunging necklines which can have the reverse effect.
“If you’re big, put on a belt,” advises Smith. “If you have a shorter torso go with a thin belt.” Other key styles include strapless, a soft A-line or asymmetrical ruching. Avoid clingy materials.
You’re smaller on top than on the bottom so you will look thinner in a ball gown. Smith said. “A sweetheart neck will give a look of a fuller bosom.”
If you don’t have a waist, try on dresses that create a triangle such as an off the shoulder, which gives the illusion of a waist. “Don’t pick a straight fit dress,” Smith says. “A-line will give more hip definition. Another option is a fit-n-flare with a belt.”
If you’re small in stature, your best silhouette is one that elongates your body and doesn’t cut you in half. A-line, fit-n-flare and princess cuts. Avoid a ball gown which can overwhelm a small frame.
Slim shapes have lots of options, though don’t showcase legs warns Smith. This body type looks good in A-line, ball gown or a fit n flare. “Bohemian styles look good on someone who has a good proportion of upper and lower body,” she said.
A small-busted bride should avoid dresses with a straight-across neckline, which creates a flatter look. The best styles include sweetheart or sheer necklines, off the shoulder, or a daring deep plunge.
Smith recommends brides attend a fashion show by Bridalshowsinc, the number one bridal show company in Dallas, to get an idea of styles and dresses on different body types.
“We want them to see what their body type is going to look like in a particular gown,” she said.