Wedding Dress Styles for Every Body Type

Welcome our newest guest blogger, Olga from Best for Bride! Here’s her take on wedding dress styles for different body types. Enjoy!


Wedding dress shopping is fun and exciting, only when you are prepared for it. One of the first steps in your shopping plans should be identifying what looks best on you from the available options.

Different wedding dress silhouettes flatter different body types. When you know the ones that are right for you, it will be easy to choose a dress that highlights your best assets and distract from the ones that you aren’t particularly proud of. Today, I’ll tell you about the different body types and the suggested wedding dress styles for each.

The Apple

apple dress

In this body shape, the shoulder measures more than the hips. So, the bust is prominent, whereas the hips are narrow.

Style suggestions: Keep the details above the bust line and below the hip line to avoid drawing attention to the bust and hips. Choose dresses with wide skirts that flare out at the waistline to camouflage the slighter proportions of the hips. The empire waistline which lies above the natural waistline, is a good choice as it creates the illusion of extra length. Ball gowns look good on apple-shaped brides, as they camouflage thin hips and balance the overall figure. A-line dresses are another recommended silhouette.

Stay away from both low and high necklines, as these emphasize the bust area. Also avoid fit and flare silhouettes like the mermaid and trumpet.


The Pear

pear dress

This body type is characterized by a prominent lower body, with greater measurements for the hips and waist, than the shoulders and bust.

Style suggestions: Since the upper half of this body type has smaller dimensions than the lower half, it is best to emphasize this area with a textured bodice that distracts from the lower body. Strapless necklines and one-shoulder styles draw attention to the neck and shoulder area, and look good on pear-shaped brides. A-line gowns that do not cling are also attractive. Another recommended silhouette is the ball gown, as a voluminous skirt that starts at the natural waistline will camouflage the ample proportions of the hips.

Styles to avoid are the sheath, mermaid and trumpet that draw attention to the hips and legs.


straight dress

Like the name suggests, these brides have few curves and the shoulders, waist and hip measurements are all comparable.

Style suggestions: A defined waistline will create the illusion of curves and break up the straight form  of this body type. Dresses with details in the waistline can achieve this effect easily. Ball gowns fashion a fuller figure, and are flattering on this body type. The sheath is another silhouette that creates a curvy appearance, when designed in soft, flowy fabric. Dresses with details around the natural waistline, such as peplum skirts and waisbands or embellishments also flatter straight body types. However, it is advised to avoid dresses with dropped waistlines, as they elongate the torso and will make you look leaner.



hourglass dress

With balanced proportions in the upper and lower body and a well-defined waistline, this is a body type that looks great in almost any wedding dress.

Style suggestions: The mermaid and sheath are two styles that will help you flaunt your body curves if you are an hourglass. Although there is nothing wrong in choosing it, dresses with empire waistlines and no noticeable waistline will not do justice to your well-proportioned figure, as they distract from your slim mid-section.  Most neckline and sleeve-lengths look good on these brides. Nevertheless, V-necklines and strapless styles are particularly fetching.


petite dress

Petite women have a well-proportioned, but short body frame. The short stature often makes it necessary for these brides to choose dresses that are specifically designed for petite body types, as it isn’t always easy to alter regular wedding dresses to fit petite women without introducing numerous tucks and seams. This can, in effect, ruin the overall finish of the gown, and make it look totally different.

Style suggestions: Petite women look great in dresses that help them look taller than they actually are. Empire waistlines are flattering, as they elongate the torso. Another recommended style is the trumpet, where the dress emphasizes the natural curves and opens into a thick skirt at the knees. This will also create the illusion of height. Since petite brides have a small body frame, it is best to avoid dresses with big details like huge motifs, waistbands or heavy layers. Dropped waists should also be avoided as this detail can make you look even shorter.



These brides are characterized by a curvaceous figure. These women may also be taller than average.

Style Suggestions: For plus-size brides who are very curvy, dress details like the V-neckline will help you appear slimmer. Classic A-line gowns flatter full figures, and look good with strapless neck details. This body type can easily carry elaborate details like bows, pleats and embellishments.

Avoid dresses that do not fit well, as loosely draped dresses will make you look bulky. Do not choose fit and flare styles, unless you have a well-toned mid-section, or it will emphasize the thickness of that area. High illusion necklines and sleeves that distract from the thickest part of your arms will fashion a leaner look.


Author Bio:

Olga Pomeransky is a hard-core wedding fashion enthusiast and the district manager at the wedding dress chain, Best for Bride, since 2005. With her rich and varied experience in the bridal industry, creative streak and intense passion for everything wedding-related, Olga has immensely contributed to the growth and success of Best for Bride, which is now one of the leading bridal dress chains in Canada. Find out more about Best for Bride at their website, connect on Facebook or Twitter.


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Happy Planning!

– The Gala Pal Team




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