Choosing the perfect wedding gown for your shape

From ball gowns to empire cut, there are many different styles of wedding gowns available to brides.

But how do you know which style will flatter your figure the most? Follow Bride Tasmania’s guide to finding the perfect gown to suit your shape.

For pear shaped brides

What to look for: A skirt that gradually flares out in an ‘A’ formation from the natural waist to the floor, highlighting the narrowness of your midsection and floating away from the hips and thighs.

Opt for sturdier fabrics, such as duchesse satin and taffeta, as these won’t cling. A spaghetti-strap bodice or a V neckline will also highlight a more slender upper body.

For apple shaped brides

What to look for: A dress that cinches in at the smallest point on the waistline, then flares out into a gradual A shape. Opt for a bodice with a lot of texture to it, like ruche or lace detailing, that will camouflage and fit snugly, creating a corset like effect. The most slenderising neckline for you is one with a deep V, which will draw eyes toward the vertical, not the horizontal.

Avoid trumpet dress styles, which emphasize the area where your body is widest and flare out at the legs and the knees, where you are most slender.

For tall brides

What to look for: A simple silhouette. Look to emphasise your natural shape, so every aspect of the dress, from the lower waistline to a floor-sweeping hem – needs to reflect your longer proportions. If you’re wearing long sleeves, they should go past the wrist.

For straight up and down brides

What to look for: A dress that will create curves. Try a sheath dress in a lightweight charmeuse that’s cut on the bias; the curving side seam will give you a curvier silhouette. Or look for a ball gown that cinches in at your natural waist and descends into a full, flowing floor-length skirt.

If you have a small bust, look for a bodice with some ruching to create volume.

For petite brides

What to look for: Trumpet, sheath, and modified A-line gowns. Find a style with a waistline above your natural waist, to make the lower half of the dress appear longer, making you look taller. The fabric is up to you – you can pull off a high sheen. But the detailing should be small (no huge bows) and limited to the bodice, to draw the eye upward.

Be wary of dresses of ball gowns as it’s easy to get lost in the voluminous skirt.

For bustier brides

What to look for: A dress with a scooped neckline. It will open up your face and display your décolletage without showing too much cleavage.

If you love the look of strapless gowns, choose one that has a slight dip along the neckline, like a sweetheart, rather than a style that goes straight across, which will make your bust appear larger.

For petite chested brides

What to look for: A ruched bodice. Extra fabric up top will help fill out your upper body and create the illusion of curves. Lightly padded halter styles will also do the trick.

The right bra will always provide a nice boost, but as many wedding dresses are strapless or backless, your underwear options may be somewhat limited. Instead, try self-adhesive silicone bra cups.

For plus-sized brides

What to look for: An Empire dress with a skirt that begins just under the bust and flows into a gradual floor-length A-line.

Make sure the Empire seam does not start on the chest and that there is no pleating of the fabric. The dress should play up your shape; so don’t let it be too loose.

Find fabrics like satin that provide structure, rather than anything too flowy. If you love the romantic look of airier fabrics, choose a gown with a stiffer base, then add an embroidered tulle overlay.

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