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Gown shapes are as diverse as brides themselves. Multitudes of options balance unique contours for the short, the tall, the lean or curvy, so guests exclaim over how marvelous the bride looks - and she is confident she does!
Start in the gown shop. Try on gowns with someone who is positively objective.
Bring favorite ideas plus an open mind. A professional gown consultant’s expertise can pull a matching style for you.
Look in the mirror from all angles. Snap pictures and take notes to sort features that flatter or detract.
Compare these five body shapes with yours. Build a base to discover a gown structured for your desired look and comfort. Each design complements a bride’s normal silhouette, but a professional may shape a dream gown into a fit you never thought possible.
A defined waistline sits between hips and shoulders similar in size. This figure indulges easy enhancement. All necklines seem to work. Glamorize an indented waist and let natural curves contour this figure-hugging silhouette. A mermaid gown delights in the line, a sheath accents it, a cinched waistline on a ball gown poufs into double (or triple) layering of fluffy tulle, crinoline or the like, and a low-flaring style guides an elongated central line. The drop waist features a bodice that fits to the mid hip.
Hips, and perhaps thighs, are wider than shoulders. Simple vertical, rather than horizontal, lines evenly shape curves. An off-the shoulder or “V” neckline frames the face. An A-line gown highlights an indented natural waist so an added detail, such as studded waistband or flowing sash, accents the top and lets the skirt flow gracefully. A trumpet gown is fitted throughout the bodice and the volume begins at mid-thigh.
Slimmer thighs counter a fuller chest, broader shoulders and less defined waist. The waistline, wherever drawn, grabs the eye. An empire waist eases lower flow, but a cinched waist slenderizes the silhouette to balance proportion. With or without sheer illusion, a deeply plunging neckline draws attention away from wide horizontal shoulders to flatter the bustline. A wide ribbon, slightly dropped waist, asymmetrical pleating or ruching focuses waistline interest.
Straight line extends from shoulders to waist to hips. Exult in a long, lean line or create geometric roundness with an A-line, frothy and flirtatious skirt or elevated empire waist for more skirt flow. Off-the-shoulder styles widen a top tier. Illusion pieces of embroidered lace play peekaboo with what may or may not hide under sheer fabric. A nipped waist artistically balances high and low canvases. New curves flow with soft, breezy fabric. A slit elongates a tall bride’s legs and contrasting sash trims a wide middle.
Inverted triangle shape
Shoulders are wider than hips. A scoop neckline outlines a lovely neck. Off-shoulder draping minimizes a generous bustline. Popular modesty and illusion pieces balance a slim bodice to move the eye down along neck-to-knee embellishment. A ball gown with a full skirt encourages flow, but a confident bride’s short gown or high-low skirt exudes fun with alluring attention to shapely legs and spectacular shoes.