wedding dresses

What is the best wedding dress for my body type?

Today we ask one of the most important questions in your wedding dress shopping journey: “How do you find the perfect dress for your body type?” We recommend starting with the right silhouette for your body shape, whether that be an hourglass, small-chested, petite, pear-shaped, tall and slender, athletic, or busty. You’re not likely to fit squarely into one category, but you can combine tips from each style to find the perfect wedding dress for your body type, no matter your shape!

Along with finding the most flattering silhouette for your frame, you’ll want to remember these pointers when going into your bridal shop appointment:

  • Trust your bridal consultant. They may pull a gown outside of your comfort zone, but they are trained in helping brides find “The One”.
  • Do your hair and makeup before a bridal appointment–it will be easier for you to imagine the whole look for your big day.
  • Shop with your trusted bride-tribe only. This decision is already filled with trepidation!

Now to answer the daunting question: “Which silhouettes work for my frame?” Let’s start with these simple tips to help you find the perfect wedding dress for your body type.

The Best Wedding Dress for Your Body Type

The best wedding dress for your body type is the gown that you love and adore. If you’re having trouble deciding, however, you may wish to explore the following recommendations: 

For the Hourglass Figure

Work your womanly curves in a bodycon bridal gown or hide your hips in a big ball gown — either way, your gown should show off your trim midsection.

  • The Mermaid Gown – Choosing a mermaid gown is a perfect way to celebrate your curves. If you have an hourglass figure, this type of dress follows the natural and feminine contour of your chest, waist, hips, and thighs before flaring out below your knees. Some brides feel like they should hide their curves with a less form-fitting dress, but the extra volume may hide their beautiful figures. We also recommend trying on a mermaid dress when you go shopping even if you don’t have defined curves because this dress can accentuate your waist and give the illusion of an hourglass figure. 
  • Tea Length – Increasing in popularity, especially among brides who are planning a low-key and relaxed wedding, the tea length wedding dress usually features a fitted torso, tapered waist and a flaring skirt that ends around the knees.
  • A glitzy belt detail is a glamorous way to highlight your tiny waistline. 
  • This ethereal fit-and-flare dress accentuates hourglass curves.
  • An exaggerated dropped waist and oversized tulle skirt keep all eyes on the feminine form.
  • The cinched waistline of this Marchesa stunner plays up your small midsection in the most subtle way.
  • Fit-and-flare is three words you should get very familiar with. It’s a curvy girl go-to silhouette.
  • Hourglass is one of the only body types that can pull off a true mermaid silhouette — a style that flares out just below the knee.
  • For an unexpected take on a dropped waist design, asymmetrical tiers are a fun, yet glamorous choice.
  • Hourglass is one of the only body types that can pull off a true mermaid silhouette — a style that flares out just below the knee. 
  • For an unexpected take on a dropped waist design, asymmetrical tiers are a fun, yet glamorous choice. 
  • Love the idea of long sleeves and a curve-hugging floor-length skirt with only a hint of skin at your skinniest bit showing. 

For the Pear Shape

If you’re slim on top but rock some fabulous hips, I recommend a flowing gown. Look for a unique top that cinches at your slim waist, and a skirt that gradually flows away from your body. This silhouette will instantly flatter your figure and allow you to radiate with confidence. An A-line is a great place to start when you’re a Pear. If you’re trying to hide those hips, stay away from extreme fit-and-flares. The fitted silhouette and full skirt will only accentuate your lower half.

  • A High or Wide Neckline – Women with a pear-shaped body have a smaller chest and shoulders and wider hips and thighs. To balance out this type of figure, draw attention to your shoulders. One easy way to pull eyes upward is with a high neckline. An illusion neckline with a sheer fabric overlay extending from the bust to the collar looks elegant, while a halter top can be trendy. For a romantic and classic look, you can’t go wrong with an off-the-shoulder dress.
  • Ball gown – If your hips are wider than your shoulders, or if you have rounded hips and thighs with a defined waist, then you most likely have a pear body shape. Look for a wedding dress that draws attention to your waist while also highlighting your lower half. A bodice that shapes and defines your midsection and a skirt that flares from the hips and thighs will not only make you feel like a princess but will also create a wow-worthy entrance. 

For the Petite Bride

What to consider for a petite bride: 

  • A-Frame with a V-Neck. If you’re in the 5’4″-and-under club, the letters A and V are your best friends. A-line dresses cinch at the waist and flare out, but not quite as much as a ball gown. While A-line dresses are flattering on nearly every body type, they especially complement smaller frames by giving definition to your waist and bust. If you’re on the shorter side (curves or not), a V-neck can add height to your figure by creating the illusion of a longer torso. Don’t worry if you have a smaller bust; silicone cups, which are stitched into many dresses, will help your chest look full and natural. The substantial straps on this plunging V-neckline gown draw the eye upward elongating your frame.
  • Petite brides should avoid overwhelming their small frame. Choose airy sheaths and structured trumpet styles over big, frothy ball gowns.
  • A form-fitting shell underneath a gossamer tulle skirt is the perfect way to wear a more voluminous silhouette. 
  • For petite brides, simple reigns supreme, and this chic silk crepe number is minimalism at its best. 
  • An empire waistline is a great style for petite figures. It creates the illusion of long legs. This dress type is known for its fitted bodice and waistline that hits right above the natural waist, with a loosely fitted skirt that skims the body. 
  • A dropped-waist or mermaid silhouette isn’t off-limits. Just opt for slim, more structured skirts over wide, poofy ones.
  • When done right, high-low hemlines can be an asset, and may even make your legs look longer. 
  • Skip 3D accents — like luxe blooms — in favour of intricate embroidery, light beading and one-dimensional appliques for design details that won’t overwhelm. 
  • A trumpet gown with draped lace ruffle and tulle skirt feels ball-gown-grand, while still maintaining the lengthening lines of a sheath. 

For the Tall Bride 

The Ballgown

It’s easy to feel like Cinderella in the perfect ball gown. If you’re a tall bride, why not embrace your height and feel like you’re in a fairytale with this dramatic style of a wedding dress? A ballgown may overwhelm shorter frames, but taller women can wear ball gowns with confidence. Throw a pair of heels on or go with flats – you make the rules on your wedding day!

For Plus-Size Body Types

Whether you want to create the illusion of a smaller frame or celebrate your curves, we’ve got you covered (or uncovered). Note at these key points for better choice: 

  • An empire waistline creates a lengthening effect while these fluttery chiffon sleeves act as the most ethereal cover-up. 
  • A lace illusion neckline is equal parts daring and demure, and it’s an especially slimming look when paired with a cummerbund-style waistline. 
  • Minimize your waistline with design details that draw the eye inward (think bodycon seams, but with crystals). 
  • A high neckline, sheath silhouette and slight train are the ultimate trios to help you look long and lean.
  • A dark-coloured sash is a simple way to make your middle look trim.
  • Intricate silver embroidery adds infinite allure but not a bit of bulk to a simple silhouette.
  • A scoop neckline shows off your voluptuous shape and lets you avoid a strapless bra!
  • A basque waistline enhances an hourglass figure. This modern, less severe interpretation gets it right.
  • Strategic draping on an unembellished gown can add drama and define curves. 

For Busty Body Types

If you’re a busty bride, you’ve got two choices: reveal or conceal. Either way, finding the right gown starts with pinpointing the perfect neckline.

  • A square neckline looks great on almost anyone, but it’s especially great for the well-endowed because it is not too revealing.
  • Strapless gowns can be tough for brides with a larger bust, but the straight-across version minimizes your assets.
  • If you’re set on a sweetheart neckline, try one with straps and a full skirt to balance your busty frame. 
  • Another sweetheart idea we love? A “modesty” lace detail that keeps your cleavage in check.
  • This structured off-the-shoulder neckline offers a subtle curve that minimizes a large bust.
  • Plunging V-necklines are typically too risquè for big-busted girls, but this more subtle dip gets it right.
  • Generally slinky material is a no-no for larger busts, but the draped cowl neckline makes this 20s-style gown more of a go-to. 
  • A subtle dip won’t hide your curves completely, but it will soften your sex appeal.
  • Illusion “skin-baring” details are a big-busted girl’s best friend. This sheer scoop neckline is every bit ethereal. 

For Lean-and-Straight Body Types

Because floor-length gowns were made with your model stature in mind, you’ve got lots of options to choose from. But, if you’re hoping to create the illusion of curves — we’ve got a few tricks.

  • Sheath – Straight body types have a sleek figure—your shoulders, waist and hips, are all generally the same width. A sheath silhouette is one of the best wedding dresses for this body type since it will flatter and enhance your natural shape by hugging you in all the right places. Sometimes known as a column dress, the sheath dress is a form-fitting style that follows the body’s natural line and doesn’t flare out. It’s often simple and elegant and can allow you to focus attention on your jewellery, hair or a dramatic feature of the dress (like a drop back or daring neckline).
  • A voluminous peplum skirt acts as a stand-in for curvy hips.
  • This sheath gets some added allure from intricate geometric design details.
  • Bodycon goes bridal with contouring seams that create “imaginary” curves. 
  • A sheath will accentuate your statuesque frame.
  • Consider a wedding dress with a slit to show off your great legs. 
  • A high neckline paired with a full, A-line skirt showcases and balances your height at the same time. 
  • The illusion neckline details on this gown, which leave just a hint of skin bare, highlight a swan-like neck. 
  • Go for an over the top ball gown (we love this ballerina-inspired style), and it won’t overwhelm your tall figure. 
  • With daring illusion panels, this lace sheath will let you flash a hint of those enviable legs.

For an Inverted Triangle Body type

  • Trumpet – Not to be confused with a mermaid, a trumpet dress will have a straight-lined skirt that subtly flares from the knee toward the hem in a trumpet shape. This wedding dress shape often isn’t as restrictive as a mermaid and maybe a good compromise if you want a form-fitting dress with a little more movement. 

For a figure with broader shoulders, you’ll want to opt for a wedding dress that balances your silhouette by bringing attention to your hips. Like a mermaid gown—although slightly more subtle—a trumpet wedding dress flares out from the lower hips/mid-thigh, emphasizing your lower body. You may also want to try a deep V neckline, which can also help balance your shoulders with your lower body.

After you’ve found what types of dresses best suit YOUR body, it’s time for the fun part, SHOPPING! Take your time to try on lots of different dresses (even of the same type) as slight differences in shape and fabric can make a big difference in how they fit.

Ultimately, choose the dress that makes you feel fabulous! Work with what you’ve got baby and wear white with confidence!

Scroll to Top