So you’re looking for a wedding dress. Congratulations! Planning a wedding can be a thrilling experience, a time full of excitement, love, hope and potential. However, it can also be defined by a time where you have a multitude of stressful decisions to make.
Where to get married, who to invite, where to seat everyone so that your overzealous uncle offends as few people as possible, etc., are all decisions likely to add a pinch of stress and tension to the process.
On the other hand, trying to find your wedding dress should be a wonderfully fun, stress-free time. Many picture the process of finding a wedding dress as being compiled of exciting day-trips to bridal boutiques, trying on different styles, showing them off to your loved ones, all with a glass of champagne in hand.
When you finally find your dress, you might expect a movie-like sensation to ensue, as you slip into a beautiful gown, and you and everyone around you, ‘just knows’ it's the one. For some, I’m sure this idyllic dream has come true.
For others, however, wedding dress shopping can feel a little intimidating. With the plethora of styles, shapes, necklines, colours, and decorative details, when trying to decide what would suit you best, you might feel slightly paralysed by choice.
Insecurities also don’t help this process. Everyone has parts of their body that they dislike, and when looking for a wedding dress these insecurities are likely to be front and center. All of these things are then made worse by the pressure of it being one of the most important things you’ll ever wear.
That is why we are here to help. One of the most fundamental factors to consider when looking for your wedding dress is your body shape. So, to help with your search, we have compiled a list of the five best wedding dresses according to body shape.
Following, we’ve put together a useful buyers’ guide, to make sure that you have all the information you need at your fingertips when you’re searching for your perfect dress. If you keep these tips and tricks in mind, the process of finding your wedding dress is sure to be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
Best For Hourglass Figures
Women with an hourglass figure tend to sport a small waist, and proportionately larger hips and bust. If you have an hourglass shape, it’s best to look for more figure hugging styles of dress, to maintain your already perfect proportions!
To make sure you keep this balance, you should avoid dresses that add weight to one either your bust or your hips. If you still need a bit of inspiration, check out the dress below, which is the ideal shape to show off your curvaceous figure in an elegant and timeless way.
BEST FOR HOURGLASS FIGURES
This dress is the perfect example of a dress that will look incredible on an hourglass figure. The mermaid shape of the dress, which follows your curves until it subtly flares out around the knee, gives you an opportunity to show off your figure in a classy and timeless way.
With its delicate lace detail, and decorative waist-band, you will look perfectly proportioned and wonderfully elegant.
The sweetheart neckline also helps to keep your body in proportion, and provides the opportunity to show off a bit of bust, but in a modest way. Sweetheart necklines are super flattering and delicate, making this dress an ideal choice.
- Mermaid shape - flatters your hourglass figure perfectly.
- Sweetheart neckline - provides an elegant way to show off your curves.
- Waistband - draws the eye to your waist and helps keep your figure in proportion.
- Delicate lace detail - gives this dress a timeless elegance.
- Shape - might be too figure hugging and revealing for some.
Best for triangle figures
A triangular shaped body, also known as the pear-shaped figure, is one where the shoulders and/or bust are proportionally smaller than the hips, bum and legs. If you have this body shape, you likely also have a narrow waistline, which is a great asset!
If you have this shape, you should opt for a dress that draws attention to your smaller upper body and waist, and distracts from your bottom half.
Having a small bust is also a great asset when looking for a wedding dress, because it means you can have all the detail and embellishment you would like on the top of your dress, which can help you ooze finesse and elegance. Just check out our favourite triangle-friendly dress below.
BEST FOR TRIANGLE FIGURES
The asymmetrical neckline of this dress makes it an ideal choice for a triangular shaped figure. By placing more emphasis on the top half than the bottom, an illusion of proportional balance is created, evening out your larger hips and legs.
As a bonus, the tie at the waist will highlight your gorgeous features!
This simple dress lightly flows over all of your lumps and bumps, and will move in a wonderfully elegant way. The asymmetrical detail provides a modern twist to an otherwise timeless piece.
- Asymmetrical neckline - highlights the top half and helps give the illusion of a more well-proportioned figure.
- Waistband - sinches in the waist and draws the eye away from your bottom half.
- Simple material and design - gives a truly timeless feel and helps cover any lumps and bumps.
- Design - might be too simple for some.
Best for inverted triangle figures
Also known as the apple shaped figure, people with an inverted triangle shape have the opposite features to those with a triangular shape. The upper body, including the shoulders and bust, are proportionally larger than the hips, bum and legs.
To give the illusion of a better-proportioned figure, steer clear of strapless looks, as they will draw the eye to your wider shoulders. Instead, opt for a dress with fuller straps and a v-neck style to even out your figure.
Also look for a dress which adds more volume to your bottom half. Take a look at your favourite one below!
BEST FOR INVERTED TRIANGLE FIGURES
This dress is great for inverted triangular shapes. The ball gown style adds volume to your narrower hips, helping you look better proportioned.
The mid-size waistband draws just the right amount of attention to your waist, and makes it look very cinched. The plunge, V-shape neckline is the perfect way to show off some of your bust, without feeling as if it's too much.
The thick straps not only help conceal your wider top half, but also provide some very needed extra support and comfort.
Thanks to your larger bust area, some wedding dresses will make you feel particularly unsupported. With thick straps, however, you have the opportunity to wear a bra!
- Ball gown shape - helps even out inverted triangle body shapes.
- Plunge neckline - provides a great opportunity to show off your curves.
- Thick straps - offer support and help even out the figure.
- Waistband - makes the waist look cinched.
- Plunge neckline - might show off too much bust for some.
Best For Rectangular Shaped Figures
Brides who sport a rectangular figure, sometimes called the banana shape, have a much straighter figure. In essence, if you have a rectangular figure, your hips, waist and shoulders will be essentially aligned. Rectangular brides also tend to be tall and lean.
In this instance, steer clear of figure hugging dresses, as these will emphasise your lack of curves. Instead, look for dresses with a fuller bottom, and proportional detail, to help create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
An accentuated neckline will also draw the eye to all the right places! Have a look at our favourite dress for rectangular figures below.
BEST FOR RECTANGULAR SHAPED FIGURES
With its A-line style, which subtly flares out around the waist, this dress creates a wonderfully proportioned figure for rectangular brides. By enhancing your waistline, the eye is drawn to your newly formed waist to hip ratio.
The sweetheart neckline and detailed sleeves also serve to enhance the bust area, and so, with your newly formed waist, this dress creates the illusion of a perfectly proportioned figure.
The thick straps also make for a more comfortable option, and thanks to the subtle decorative details, this dress is a very stylish choice of wedding gowns.
- A-line shape - provides a rectangular figure with the illusion of gorgeous curves.
- Sweetheart neckline - draws attention to the bust to help proportion the body.
- Thick straps - offer support.
- Decorative detail - adds class and style.
- Details - might be a little too subtle and plan for some.
Best For Plus Sized Figures
Plus size women have more accentuated curves and also have a fuller midriff. If you have this body shape, you likely have a gorgeously rounded figure.
In this case, it's best to opt for a more structured dress, especially in the bodice area, to provide more control and sleekness. It is a good idea to steer clear of completely unstructured dresses, and this will likely be uncomfortable and not provide you with the support you require.
However, this doesn’t mean that, as a plus sized woman, you need to hide your figure on your wedding day. Sheer details and dramatic waistlines look incredible on women with curves! Just check out our favourite plus size friendly wedding dress below for some inspiration!
BEST FOR PLUS SIZED FIGURES
As an A-line dress, this gorgeous gown is ideal for plus sized women, as the flare draws the eye to the waist, and gives a cinched effect.
Additionally, the bodice is very structured, which offers all the support you need, and potentially more, as it's possible to wear a bra with this dress! The top detail also adds structure to the shoulders, which is ideal for a plus size bride.
Thanks to the sheer and lace details, the vintage style, and the shorter length of this dress, this is a great option if you wanted to show off some personality and style!
The sweetheart neckline is also great if you want to show off your bust without showing off too much.
- A-line shape - perfect to show off plus size curves.
- Sheer and lace detail - offers an elegant but almost sexy feel.
- Structured bodice - provides all the support necessary for plus size brides.
- Shorter length - adds personality and style.
- Sweetheart neckline - is great to show off some bust without showing too much.
- Length/vintage style - might be too different for some.
To help you on your search for the perfect wedding dress, we’ve constructed a list of things that you should keep in mind. If you follow these handy tips and tricks, you should find your ideal gown in absolutely no time!
Obviously, considering what we’ve already discussed, the shape of your body is a super important factor when it comes to finding the perfect dress. If you’re unsure of your body shape, ask your close family and friends!
Once you know, make sure you’re not convinced to go for a dress that you know won’t suit your body type. Stay true to yourself, and limit the wide array of potential dress styles to the ones you know will work for you.
Comfort is a big deal on your wedding day. You will spend a whole day (and maybe longer!) walking, dancing, eating, drinking, and chatting with guests. It’s important that you are 100% comfortable, so that you can truly enjoy your whole day.
For physical comfort, dresses with straps and structured bodices are likely to be more comfortable, as they help with support themselves, and also mean you can wear some really supportive underwear too.
To make sure you’re comfortable, in the sense that you’re content with the way you look, write a list before you begin wedding dress shopping, compiled of things you like to wear.
If you only like wearing sleeve dresses, only search for sleeved dresses. If you need your bust to be mainly covered, only search for dresses with high necklines!
Though body shape is a great guide to wedding dress shopping, it is absolutely not the be all and end all. If you think your body shape is best suited to a ball gown, but you despise the large skirts and fairytale amounts of tule, then steer clear of ball gowns.
Your wedding day is one of the few days in your life where all eyes will be on you. As such, you have a rare opportunity to really show everyone your personality and sense of personal style. So, make sure you do so!
In line with the point above, your wedding day should be a day that you are fully confident and happy in yourself. Therefore, make sure you pick a dress that fosters this confidence!
If big, blingy details make you feel confident, go for a wonderfully embellished dress. If you have always felt confident in an unstructured, boho style, then make sure your wedding dress is similar.
Ultimately, this is your big day. You know what makes you look and feel best, so follow your gut! If you do this, and use some of our body shape tips above, you will blow all of your guests away with a wonderfully personalised and incredibly flattering dress.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know when a wedding dress is right for you?
So, you’ve found a wedding dress. It seems to look great, you’re happy with the detail, shape and style, and you feel comfortable. But is it the right one?
That's a good question, and one that, unfortunately, only you can answer. However, if you feel confident, comfortable, and as if you’re showing off your sense of style and personality, then it is likely the dress for you.
Other signs that you’re wearing your perfect dress are:
- You’re not concerned about your insecurities.
- You can picture yourself walking down the aisle, and dancing the evening away, in that dress.
- You can't get this dress out of your mind, regardless of how pressing other wedding related matters are.
- No one else’s opinion seems to matter to you (though it is always nice if someone in your entourage is shedding a tear or two).
How do you choose a wedding dress?
That depends on you. Some brides will spend a year trawling through all of the bridal boutiques they can find, trying on every single dress possible, so they can be completely sure of their choice.
On the other hand, to avoid the stress, hassle and cost, others order the first one they see. There is no right way to choose a wedding dress. However, if you follow your tips above, the process will seem more streamlined and less intense.
In particular, write down what you want and need from a dress. That way, you can narrow down a massive amount of dresses, and just focus on the ones that you know you’ll feel confident, comfortable and stylish in!