4 Tips to Choose a Bridal Dress That Complements Your Body Shape

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Body Shape

Finding the perfect bridal gown is not just about picking the latest trend or a beautiful design; it’s about choosing a dress that truly celebrates and flatters your unique body shape. 

With an array of styles, silhouettes, and fabrics available, navigating the shopping experience can be as daunting as it is delightful. Fret not, below, we offer four tips to assist every bride in selecting a bridal dress that will not only complement her body but also enhance her natural beauty.

Understanding Your Body Shape

Before you even step foot into a bridal boutique, it’s vital to have a good understanding of your body shape. In broad terms, there are five main body types: hourglass, pear, apple, inverted triangle, and rectangle. 

Ensuring you know which category you fall into is essential, as this knowledge is the foundation for the tips that will follow. Here’s a quick guide to identifying your silhouette:

  • Hourglass: Your hips and shoulders are roughly the same width, with a well-defined waistline.
  • Pear: Your hips are wider than your shoulders, and you have a well-defined waistline.
  • Apple: Your shoulders and midsection are broader than your hips, with little waist definition.
  • Rectangle: Your shoulders, waist, and hips are about the same width, and your waist is not well-defined.

Tips for Different Body Shapes

The following sections provide tailored guidance on choosing wedding gowns for each specific body shape. Feel free to experiment and find a style that marries your personal taste with these recommendations.

Tips for Hourglass Body Shapes

Brides with an hourglass figure are privileged as most dress styles tend to flatter their proportions. The key is to highlight your defined waist without adding too much bulk to your hips or shoulders. 

For you, the best choices are sheath dresses, mermaid or trumpet gowns, and gowns with corset or basque waists that will emphasize your natural curves. Opt for fabrics that skim the body rather than ones that add volume, as excess fabric can overwhelm your silhouette.

Tips for Pear Body Shapes

Pear-shaped brides should look for styles that balance their silhouette by drawing the eye upward. A-line or princess dresses with fitted bodices and flared skirts do just that, as do ballgowns with voluminous skirts. 

Steer clear of clingy fabrics that can emphasize your lower half. Instead, choose materials that drape over the hips and emphasize the tightness at the waist. A scoop neckline can also draw attention to your shoulders and face.

Tips for Apple Body Shapes

Brides with an apple shape should aim to create the illusion of a defined waist. Dresses with A-line or empire silhouettes work well for apple shapes, as they flow gently over the midsection without clinging. 

A v-neck can be quite flattering, as can a dress with a higher waistline that is positioned just under the bust, which will highlight the slimmest part of your torso. Incorporating a sash or belt above the natural waist can also help in defining this area.

Tips for Rectangle Body Shapes

For brides with a rectangular shape, the aim is to add curves and definition to the waist. This can be achieved with trumpet or mermaid gowns that hug the body and flare out at or below the knee, as well as ball gowns with a natural waist. 

A dress with a cinched waist or a sash/belt can create the illusion of a more defined waist. Look for fabrics with some stiffness and structure, as they can help in creating the desired curves.