From the bride’s point of view, choosing her wedding dress is not only the most exciting part of her wedding, but also the first thing on her mind and shopping list. Whether you have or not had a clear picture of your perfect dress etched in your mind forever, the key to finding it is research.
So unless you are one of those girls that tries wedding gowns on for the hell of it when it comes to actually trying on different gowns, bear in mind that your dream dress may not actually suit your body type! As with all fashion, certain styles suit certain body types better than others. Your aim is to highlight your best features and camouflage any imperfections.
To begin the search, look through directories like this one, websites and online blogs, when you see something you like, reference it, gather as many pictures as you can so that you can shortlist them later.
Tips for making your shopping experience rewarding.
1. Make a shortlist of stores and designers to visit. 2. Choose three designers whose gowns appealed to you, and arrange a time to meet with them. 3. Shop with an open mind, and take advice from the designers, they are experts. 4. Never say never to trying a dress on that you wouldn’t normally go for. 5. Take a couple of people with you, feedback is crucial. 6. Choose a dress colour that suits your skin tone. 7. Try your dress on with your shoes prior to purchasing. We have outlined a range of ‘normal’ body shapes below; find your body shape to get an idea of the styles that were made for you.
BODY SHAPES 1. Petite – A petite body type best suits an A-line gown with a neckline that is either off-the-shoulder, scooped, or a gown with shoestring straps. However, steer away from a full-figure A-line gown, underskirts and gowns that have a lot of fabric and are flowing and elaborate in detail. 2. Voluptuous – A voluptuous body type has a pronounced bust with proportionate hips and a defined waistline. The key in finding a perfect dress for this body type is the neckline. The most flattering necklines are strapless, sweetheart, off-the-shoulder, or something high so it takes the focus off your bust. The best silhouette for the skirt of the dress is A-line or ball gown. 3. Pear – If your body type is pear shape then an A-line or empire line gown will suit you the best and preferably strapless, as your aim is to shift the focus to your top half. You want to avoid anything that draws attention to your bottom half. 4. Broad – If you have broad shoulders your aim is to take the focus off them, so don’t select necklines such as off-the-shoulder, halter and shoestring straps. Try an empire or Basque style gown that is strapless or you can also select wide straps to narrow the look of your shoulders. 5. Lean – A lean body type can suit almost any dress style with the decision focusing on the neckline as it’s more about covering any obvious imperfections in your collarbone and arms. You should avoid anything that showcases your upper body, like off-the-shoulder and halter styles and instead choose a dress with wide straps or a wrap. 6. Full-figure – If you are full-figured the most flattering silhouette is an A-line or ball gown style. Steer away from gowns that are sheath or mermaid and any necklines that have shoestring straps.
GOWN STYLES A-line is the most versatile body type style. It is fitted around the bodice and it flares out into an ‘A’ shape as it falls to the ground Basque Waist Silhouette – A Basque waist is the whole focus of this silhouette as it’s a bodice that finishes with a ‘V’ point at the front that is lower than the natural waistline. Empire Waist Silhouette – An empire waist starts high just beneath a fitted bust-line with a seam that falls directly below and forms a skirt with a slight flare. Ball Gown Silhouette -A ball gown style is the most traditional and elaborate of gown styles. It has a full skirt and a fitted bodice which defines the waist. It is also referred to as ‘Cinderella’ style. Sheath Silhouette- A sheath gown falls straight down from the neckline to the hem as it closely follows the shape of your body, accentuating your torso, waist and hips Mermaid Silhouette – A mermaid gown is figure hugging starting from the top going all the way down to your mid-thighs and then flares out.