By Patricia Canole
Now that you’re engaged you may be wondering how to select a dress that lives up to your dreams. To help, we’ve taken the mystery out of finding the perfect gown for three common body types—and left in all the magic!
- The A-line silhouette is a tried and true favorite for the diminutive figure because it lengthens thee whole body.
- Avoid column dresses and sheaths. You might think those cuts would make a slight figure look statuesque and sophisticated, but in reality they seem to shorten a small body even more. Also steer clear of dresses with layers of frothy tulle or very full skirt, because they can make a slight woman look almost child-like. For the petite figure, it’s crucial to keep the dress in proportion to the body.
- Longing to go strapless? That can be a tricky look for a petite woman. Be sure the dress doesn’t sit too far down on your torso. A better option for you may be sheer cap sleeves—which can give a feeling of a strapless dress. They also serve a practical purpose: A petite woman often has to reach up to dance with her husband and you don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions!
- Don’t be afraid to show skin—or even go strapless. Say yes to décolletage and no to high necklines. If you’d rather not go strapless, consider other skin-baring styles that flatter curvy figures, such as deep V-necks or scoop necks. In contrast, high necklines can make your bust look too heavy. Other necklines to avoid: off-the-shoulder and boatneck, both of which can make your shoulders look wider and your frame larger than it is.
- A princess-cut or A-line dress is guaranteed to look good on a larger woman. These gowns feature vertically seamed panels that begin at the shoulder or below the bust and widen toward the hem. This shapes creates an elongated look and doesn’t have any specific definition in the waistline.
- For women who are several sizes larger on the bottom than on top, the rule for finding a flattering wedding gown couldn’t be simpler. Focus on the upper body: the objective is to direct attention to the slimmer top half.
- Don’t be shy about baring your delicate arms, shoulders, back and décolletage. To create the effect, look for a gown with interesting details on the bodice; they will draw attention upward, away from your hips.
- Try to avoid skirts that have pleats or bunches of fabric gathered at the waist. That kind of detail will only add volume at the hips, just the area you want to downplay.