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Finding Your Perfect Fit: Wedding Dress Styles For Body Types

When it comes to selecting your wedding dress, you should choose a style that makes you feel beautiful, unique and unapologetically yourself! But with so many types of wedding dress styles to choose from, it’s understandable to want to narrow down the list. Finding your perfect bridal gown could take a few trying-on sessions, so knowing what gown shapes and styles complement your body type can help you find your dream wedding dress quicker. 

The thing to remember is that there is no such thing as the best wedding dress style for your body type. While there are certain wedding dress styles that particularly complement each body type, this doesn’t mean that only women with that body shape can wear that dress shape. Everyone’s body shape and personal style are slightly different, so a wedding dress that is supposed to be ideal for your figure could be the complete opposite of the look you want to go for. 

We’ve put together a general guide on the types of wedding dress styles that complement each body type, but remember that this should not be taken as the gospel truth! You can wear whatever wedding dress style you want on your big day, and if you’re still unsure of what style to go with, we can work with you in our studio to find your perfect gown.  

Hourglass figure

Hourglass body types have a well-defined waist, with hip and bust measurements that are roughly even. When it comes to narrowing down wedding dresses for an hourglass figure, go for gown styles to complement your natural curves. Look for corseted or structured wedding dresses, particularly if they have a fitted design around the waist as this will celebrate your feminine shape. In comparison, dresses that are loose and hanging may not make the most out your natural figure. You could even go for a strapless wedding dress, drawing attention to your décolletage while adding interest through beaded bodices or feminine necklines. 

minimalistic off the shoulder wedding dressbeaded top sweetheart neckline strapless wedding dress

Women who have an hourglass body shape often also tend to have larger busts. If you’re wanting to minimise the appearance of your chest, opt for straight-across and soft scoop necklines. While sweetheart necklines work well if you want a more romantic look, soft scoop wedding dresses are extremely flattering for bigger busts as it keeps the hips and chest balanced. Wedding dress accessories such as belts can be used to highlight your waistline while adding in subtle detail into your bridal outfit. 

Our Reflection Collection is made up of minimalistic, elegant wedding dresses, designed in clean silhouettes to complement your shape. In particular, our off the shoulder wedding dress Sander and beaded bodice bridal gown Asta (pictured above) are especially flattering on hourglass body shapes. While our structured wedding dress Ivy from our Winter Capsule Collection offers the perfect fitted silhouette to celebrate hourglass figures.

Pear-shaped body

Pear-shaped body types are similar to the hourglass figure, in that you’ll have a well-defined waist, but your upper body will be proportionally smaller and slimmer than your lower half. You are likely to have a smaller bust, slim arms and shoulders. For pear-shaped figures, look for wedding dresses that will balance out your upper and lower body. High, wide or illusion necklines will draw attention to the shoulders, helping to pull the eyes upward. Empire line or soft A-line wedding dresses are also complimentary for this body type, as they are not too fitted at the bottom of the gown but still celebrate your figure. Sleeves and shoulder detailing on gowns such as cap sleeve wedding dresses work well to balance out narrower shoulders and slightly wider hips (as beautifully demonstrated by our brides Lorna and Gemma pictured above).

 

sleeveless v neck empire wedding dress with lace overlay

The illusion necklines and silhouettes of our Juno and Maya wedding dresses (pictured above) from our Identity Collection both complement pear-shaped figures. The high necklines and soft A-line shapes of Amber, Auden & Luna from our Clerkenwell Collection (pictured below) also flatter pear-shaped women who are looking for a romantic, vintage bridal style.

sleeveless boat neck romantic wedding dresslong sleeve boat neck romantic wedding dress

beaded boat neck romantic wedding dress

Petite figures

Women with petite figures are often smaller than average in their body shape and stature. This does not mean, however, that all petite women have the same body shape. As petite body shapes vary so much, you shouldn’t feel you have to choose a bridal dress designed specifically for petite women as it may not necessarily suit your individual figure. Since you can have your wedding dress adjusted to fit your body shape perfectly, there’s no need to worry about choosing a dress that is too long for you. However, as a general rule of thumb, for petite figures look for wedding dresses with design elements that visually elongate your shape.

minimalistic simple silk wedding dress

A-line wedding dresses with v-neck cuts help to give definition to the waist and bust (as shown above in the photo of our gorgeous bride Abby in her bespoke design dress) while also adding height to give the illusion of a longer torso. The designs of our Harper and Aurelia dresses also help to lengthen your body in the same way, with beaded and lace detailing for added allure. 

Empire waistlines also lengthen the look of your legs by visually streamlining your figure. The minimalistic wedding dresses in our Reflection Collection are perfect examples of this in practice, as the clean, continuous lines in their simple design help to elongate your figure. If you are more athletic in build and want to create the illusion of a more curvy, hourglass shape, form-fitting shapewear underneath a tulle skirt will give the appearance of a more voluminous silhouette.

simple short wedding dresses

Tea-length dresses such as our short lace wedding dress Poppy from our Clissold Collection and our bespoke design dress for our real bride Amy (pictured above), are great for pulling off a retro-inspired look. Square necklines are also complimentary for petite women, such as our Etienne dress from our Reflection Collection.  Sensual bias cut dresses with no waist seam also work wonders, as they are often fitted on the hips but soft on the waist. This classic cut can be found from across our bridal collections, and is a popular choice amongst our real brides.  

For petite figures, look for wedding dresses with intricate embroidery and light beading, as these design details won’t overwhelm the overall look of your dress and will add subtle feminine touches (such as the delicate glass beading of our Luna dress, worn by our beautiful bride Francesca below). 

high neck sleeveless princess modern classic wedding dress

Athletic, tall builds

For women who are athletic in build and tall in height, look for wedding dresses that make the most out of your stature. Embrace your shape and make your height a beneficial feature with a ballgown dress, such as our Alexandra gown from our Winter Capsule Collection (pictured above). If you’re looking to give the illusion of curves, a halterneck wedding dress like our Dalia gown from our Reflection Collection will do the trick. Gowns with high necklines, such as our Freida, Wren and Joy bridal dresses from our Identity Collection, also help to give your figure more of an hourglass shape – lean shoulders carry this look particularly well!

 

Embellishment around the bust and neckline in ‘V’ and ‘U’ shapes complement athletic, tall builds as these necklines will add more angles to your body shape (instead of dresses that go straight down). Gowns that incorporate sheer overdresses with V necklines, such as our Clarice and Liberty dresses (pictured above), add a timeless elegance to your bridal look. While intricate, geometric lace details incorporated into the design of bridal toppers, jackets, capes and dress sleeves will give added allure to your dress. 

For statuesque women with smaller busts, you can also make the most out of your back with a backless wedding dress. Our Tilda dress from the Pavello Collection, Otto and Zoe from Reflection Collection (pictured above) all have backless designs. If bridal gowns aren’t your thing, go for an alternative wedding dress idea by choosing a jumpsuit instead! A bridal jumpsuit like Hadley from our Identity Collection and Mila from our Reflection Collection will use your long legs to your advantage! 

In need of some wedding dress inspiration? Browse our wedding dress styles and bridal collections for plenty of ideas on gown shapes, styles and designs. If you are looking for expert advice on choosing a wedding dress, arrange an appointment with our highly experienced and insightful team at our London studio. We ensure that each of our brides feels beautiful and completely themselves in their dress, striving to give each individual a personal and tailored experience with us.  

 

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