As we all know, there are so many wedding gown styles and designs, and that makes it more frustrating to know where to start from when shopping. It’s even more frustrating when you walk into a bridal shop and being asked ‘what kind of wedding gown are you looking for?’. Most brides have no answer.
If you’ve ever felt lost lost at where to start when choosing the style of wedding gown to buy, this post is for you. Wedding gown 101 starts by knowing the different bridal silhouettes or shapes, so that you start picturing yourself in them and imagining which ones will suit you.
Whether or not you’ve started familiarizing yourself with the different wedding gown silhouettes, this post summarizes everything for you by looking at each wedding gown silhouette and explaining the type of body shapes/ figures they look best on, and highlighting the body shapes that they don’t flatter. As you read this, be sure to note down the wedding gown styles that are most suitable for your own figure.
After reading this post, you won’t have to try on one million wedding gowns to find ‘the one’ – because you’d already narrow down your search to specific styles, and start from there. Now, let’s dive into it – helping you find the best wedding gown silhouettes that will flatter your figure. You’ll also see pictures of each style being explained. Read on to find out. Read on!
Explaining the Best Wedding Gown Styles for Each Body Type
1. Ball Gown Style Wedding Dresses: The Body Shape it is For & Who Should Avoid it
Also known as the ‘Cinderella dress’, the ball gown style of wedding dress looks good on many body shapes, but best for brides who are generally slender or for brides who are slimmer on top (i.e. pear shape with a slim waist and generally on the bodice area).
Who Should Wear Ball Wedding Gowns: If you have a straight-line shape and little or no hips, the full skirt of a ball gown will perfectly hide your lack of hips and generally enhance your figure. Ball gowns also suit curvy women – if you have curvy hips or big backside but don’t want to highlight it, a ball gown can help you hide your curves and keep them away from being the attention.
Ball gowns are not fitted below the waist and so are great for hiding fat hips or fat thighs if you don’t want to show them; so, if you don’t want a wedding gown that is fitted from below the waist (i.e. around the hips), the ball gown is a good option for you.
AVOID IF: The ball gown style is not suitable for women who are bigger on top, because the fullness of the skirt part of the ball gown can make you appear bigger (than you actually are).
Ball gown wedding dresses are not suitable for some short or (smallish) petite women because a very full-skirt ball gown can make it seem like the dress swallowed her and make the bride appear shorter. You want to look perfect in your wedding dress, and not looking like the dress is wearing you.
STYLING TIP: If you’re short or petite and prefer a ball gown style of wedding dress, choose one with a not-very-full skirt part, like the one this bride wore here. In short, if you have a small body-frame, avoid ball gown wedding dress styles, because it could overwhelm (or swallow) your entire frame, making it look like the dress is wearing you.
You want a dress that will flatter your body, and there are other silhouette styles to try – every woman’s figure has a wedding gown shape and style designed to perfectly suit her.
Appropriate for What Type of Wedding? Ball gowns are most suitable for formal weddings, big, society weddings or over-the-top owambe style weddings. That is not to say that (if you like) you can’t wear the ball gown or any type of wedding gown if you’re planning a small or low-key wedding – hey, it’s your wedding and we’ve seen many brides not follow the rules.
2. Princess-Cut or A-Line Wedding Gowns: Who Should Wear it & Who Should Avoid it
Also known as the Princess cut dress, the A-Line style of wedding gown looks good on all body types (petite, average, big) and shapes. The cut of the A-Line silhouette will make you appear slimmer and taller, and also look like you are more curvy at the hips – therefore, A-line gowns look good on smallish (petite) or slim brides.
The A-line cut also hides big tummy or big hips or large backside, making those from-waist-to-hips body areas appear smaller than they actually are.
Therefore if you have a roundish body or if you’re bigger below and want to look slimmer, choosing an A-line wedding gown will enable you to achieve that. Since this silhouette hides a big lower body, curvy brides who desire to hide their curves or make it appear smaller will find the A-line cut flattering on their figure.
Suitable for What Type of Wedding? A-line style of wedding gowns are suitable for every type of wedding ceremony, whether a simple low-key wedding or a small wedding or a big, society wedding or a luxurious owambe style wedding. However, A-line cut wedding dresses are most appropriate for formal weddings.
3. Sheath/ Column Wedding Dress Style: Best Body Shape for & Who Should Avoid it
Also known as column wedding gowns, sheath wedding dresses look good on any type of body shape but they look best on I-shaped slim women with slender figures. If you have a straight-line shape with no visible curves, wearing a sheath style wedding gown will create an illusion of curves where you have none (thanks to the curving part of the style).
WHO IS IT FOR? Sheath or Column wedding gowns look good on petite (smallish/ slender) brides who have small frames. That’s because the narrow/ straight-cut of the sheath silhouette wedding dress will make them appear taller than they actually are. If you have an hourglass figure (curvy) and want to show off your shape, a sheath wedding dress will also work for you – because it hugs onto the outlines of the body and highlights every curve.
AVOID IF: Sheath or column wedding gown styles do not look good on full-figured (plus size) brides. Also, women who have a pear-shaped figure (i.e. slim upper body and full lower body, with small busts and tiny waists) should avoid this style of wedding gowns, because it could make your already-big lower body appear bigger it actually is.
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