Wedding Gown Fashion

Determining the Best Wedding Dress Style for Your Body Type

Every bride wants to look her absolute best on her wedding dress. Find out which wedding dress style is best suited for your body type.

Before choosing a wedding dress style it’s crucial to first determine which type of body type you are. Some dress will look stunning on one body type, but simply wrong on another. Basically, there are four body types that are described below: pear-shaped, rectangle shaped, triangle shaped and hourglass shaped.

You may already know what body type you are. For others, it may take a bit of investigation. To determine your body style you’ll need to stand in front of a floor length mirror and take a good long look at yourself.

Determining Your Body Type

Drawing an imaginary line across your shoulders and hips, you need to determine if your hips are wider than your shoulders, or vice versa. Next, you need to determine if your waist is well defined or not. Once you know these facts, you can use the information below to determine which body type you are and consequently which dress styles are best suited for your body.

Pear Shaped

Pear-shaped is the most common body type of most woman - meaning that the width of the shoulders is smaller than the hips. There is usually some definition at the waist.

  • What to Try: An A-line dress is usually the best shape, as it floats away from the lower half of the body. For the neckline, strapless, V-neck and scooped necklines work best. Diagonal draping across the bodice can look quite flattering.
  • What to Avoid: Avoid and skirts that are too full or bulky, as they will add weight to the body. Mermaid style dresses will be unflattering. For the top, halter and high-cut necklines should be avoided as they can make the hips look bigger.

Rectangle Shaped

Women with rectangular body shapes have hips and shoulders that are generally the same width across. There may not be many definitions at the waist.

  • What to try: Look for dresses with structured corsets and full skirts which will help to add shape to the body. Keep necklines wide and add detailing above or below the waist. A V-shape around the waistline will also help to define the waist and hips.
  • What to avoid: Avoid halter necks and high necklines which make the shoulders look small and will not flatter the waistline. Straight cut skirts run the risk of making the body look “boxy”.

Triangle Shaped

This is really an inverted triangle shape, where the shoulders are wider than the hips.

  • What to try: Straight cut or bias cut can look quite lovely in this body type and will look great with full ball gown styles. Bustles and bows around the hip area can also add shape to the lower body. Halter and higher-cut necklines can flatter the shoulders and make them appear smaller.
  • What to avoid: Avoid tops with fancy sleeves or wide necklines as they will emphasize the width of the shoulders. A very low-cut neckline should also be avoided to not look “all top” and no bottom.

Hourglass Shaped

With the hourglass shape, the hips and shoulders are about the same width and there is a well-defined waist.

  • What to try: A strapless, V-neck or scooped neckline will flatter this body type. Off the shoulder, styles can also work but keep the neckline low. An A-line skirt is always a good choice for this body type. The mermaid style dress can also work on thinner, hourglass-shaped women.
  • What to avoid: Bias cut or straight cut won’t enhance the natural curves of the hourglass shape unless you are very tall and slim. Bulky, gathered skirts can also make the hips appear too big. Empire styles will hide the best features of the body.

By determining which body type you have, you can easily figure out which dress style is best suited for your body. With the dress style in mind, you can focus all of your attention on finding the right dress design. This should make dress shopping that much easier.