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Great article to help your find your dream dress, click here

To get the perfect fit on your wedding day, it's essential to determine the most flattering shape for your figure. Not only will you feel more comfortable on your wedding day, but you'll look more beautiful than you ever expected.

wedding dresses ball gownSTEP ONE: KNOW THE SHAPES
Wedding dress silhouettes fall into four basic categories:

 

  • BALL GOWN
    The most traditional of all categories, the ball gown is typified by a full bodice and a waistline that leads to a very full skirt (photo 1).

     

  • EMPIRE
    The hallmark of the empire style gown is a high waistline (right under the bust) which falls to a slimmer skirt (photo 2).

    wedding dresses

  • A-LINE OR PRINCESS
    An A-line or Princess shape features vertical seams flowing from the shoulders down to a flared skirt (creating and inverted "V" -- or "A" -- shape (photo 3).

     

  • SHEATH
    The slim sheath silhouette closely follows the line of the body (photo 4).

    STEP TWO: ASSESS YOUR FIGURE
    Now that you've got the basic shapes down, use the descriptions below to asses your body type, then check out our lists of dos and don'ts for each one.

    bridal wedding dresses bridesmaid tuxedo rental dfw mid citieHOURGLASS
    You have a big chest, big hips, and a thin waist (i.e. curves in all the right places).
     

  • Dress Dos: An A-line dress or a gown with a dropped waist will show off your figure; pair it with a sweetheart neckline to exhibit your chest.
     

  • Dress Don'ts: A ball gown or empire waist silhouette may make you look disproportioned.

    SHORT WAIST
    Your body is naturally proportioned, except the small distance from your ribs to your hips.
     

  • Dress Dos: A princess-line silhouette -- fitted at the bodice and opening up gradually to a full skirt -- elegantly elongates your figure; if you love your shoulders, try a portrait or halter neckline.
     

  • Dress Don'ts: A sheath will make your short waist more obvious.

    THICK WAIST
    Same as above, but instead of a short waist, yours is undefined: the line from your shoulders to your hips is straight.
     

  • Dress Dos: An empire-waist gown will de-emphasize your waistline and give you a long, thinning look.
     

  • Dress Don'ts: A princess-line or basque waist will draw too much attention to your middle.

    wedding dresses A-line gownFULL FIGURE
    Full breasts, a bit of a tummy, round hips and butt.
     

  • Dress Dos: A ball gown will hide quite a bit, and an A-line silhouette looks great on everyone.
     

  • Dress Don'ts: A sheath will make you look heavier than you are; avoid spaghetti straps.

    PEAR SHAPED
    You're small on top and heavy on the bottom.
     

  • Dress Dos: A basque waist or strapless ball gown will cover your bottom half and focus on your better half; an off-the-shoulder neckline will make your top more in proportion to your bottom.
     

  • Dress Don'ts: A sheath, frankly, will be unflattering, and a V-neck will draw the eyes down.

    THIN
    Short or tall, you're not a fleshy woman.
     

  • Dress Dos: A ball gown will make you look like a beautiful ballerina, and the sheath was made for you.
     

  • Dress Don'ts: Almost all silhouettes will flatter your figure, but stay away from portrait, off-the-shoulder, or halter necklines if your collarbone is too bony.

    PETITE
    Description: You're not a basketball player.
     

  • Dress Dos: It's best to keep it simple -- when you're small, a big, elaborate gown can sometimes look as if it is wearing you rather than the other way around. A sheath or A-line dress will work well.
     

  • Dress Don'ts: Almost all silhouettes will flatter your figure, though a big ball gown may overwhelm.

    STEP THREE: GET GOING!
    Armed with the above pointers, you're ready to go shopping. Keep in mind that while your weight may fluctuate between the time you buy your gown and the day of your wedding, your actual body type will remain the same. So even if you're planning to drop 20 pounds before tying the knot, choose the dress that fits your body type today. Happy Hunting!

    -- Hollee Actman Becker

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