In my head, when I’m rocking a cigarette pant on a Monday morning on my way to work, I’m totally Audrey Hepburn and when I’m strutting my stuff on a Saturday night in a bodycon dress and heels, I think I’m Kim Kardashian. In reality, I’m more like something in between Kim Kardashian and Audrey Hepburn. Identifying your silhouette is crucial to choosing, or designing, your wedding dress.
Once you’ve decided on the tone or mood of your wedding, for example, formal, elegant and sophisticated or cute, casual, ditsy vintage tea party, then it’s time to jump into the fluffy, frilly, lacy world of wedding gowns! You want something utterly flattering for your body shape, something which highlights your best assets and skims over anything you want to conceal. This week’s article will show you how to spot your silhouette! I’ve drawn some sketches of designs you might want to look at when you come in!
1. If you’re hourglass or pear-shaped
Aren’t you a lucky woman?! You have the most coveted body type going. For you, an A-Line shaped dress, which flares out from your naturally tiny waist down to the floor will perfectly showcase your stunningly small middle, bursting away from your curvaceous hips and thighs. A thick, structured fabric like duchesse satin or taffeta will be particularly flattering on you as they’ll skim past any areas you don’t want fabric clinging to. If you have a really dainty, slim upper body then spaghetti straps or a V-neckline bodice will highlight how slender you are. When dressing for the tone and mood of your wedding, a classic A-line shape suits a more formal wedding, especially when made out of the stiffer taffeta group of fabrics, if your wedding is a more relaxed celebration then the silhouette also lends itself beautifully to being made out of more casual materials like eyelet lace or raw-silk shantung.
2. If you’re busty
Dresses with scooped necklines will draw attention up to your face by displaying your décolletage instead of highlighting your cleavage. If you have visions of yourself swirling around the dance floor in a strapless dress then choose one with a sweetheart neckline, or a slight tuck or split in the neckline as a strapless dress which goes straight across your torso will make your bust look even larger and might even create the appearance of the dreaded boob shelf! Try to avoid dresses with a sheen like organza, satin or silk, as well as ruched fabrics, on the bodice too as this will draw even more attention to your chest.
3. If you’re plus-size
Empire dresses, where the skirt of the dress begins directly under the bust line,flowing softly and gradually to the floor in a relaxed A-line, will flatter and elongate your body. Try to avoid pleated fabric, which is very similar to maternity wear as well as the waist line starting on the chest, as it has a tendency to be clingy. The dress should be perfectly structured to your body, supporting your figure in the most flattering way. If it is too loose, it has an unfortunate tendency to add pounds. Structured, stiff materials like satin and taffeta, rather than anything looselike chiffon, will help to support your body. However, if you wanted a more romantic bohemian look to your day then you can add an embroidered tulle overlay on top of a stiffer base to create your perfect look.
4. If you’re apple-shaped
If you carry all of your weight around the middle, or just don’t have a well defined waist, then a dress which pulls you in at the waist before flaring out into a soft A-shape will flatter your body by creating the illusion of feminine curves. When choosing your bodice, lots of texture will camouflage anything you want to conceal. A tight fitting bodice will work, like a corset, to cinch in your waist at the smallest point. A deep V neckline will draw the eye upwards vertically lengthening your torso, which is extremely flattering. Trumpet dresses are to be avoided as they will emphasize the widest parts of your body and will cover you up where you are at your most slender.
5. If you’re tall
A simple silhouette will emphasize your natural shape, but bear in mind that you will need to reflect your longer proportions by having a lower waistline, a floor-sweeping hem and if you’re wearing long sleeves, they should finish after the wrist. You want to avoid looking like you’ve borrowed someone else’s dress! Keep it simple with the finer details too, let your statuesque beauty speak for itself. You don’t need frills, ruffles and heavy beading; you’re an Amazonian goddess!
6. If you’re athletic with a straight up and down shape
Creating curves is easier than you might think! A sheath dress made from a light, floaty fabric, such as charmeuse, which has been cut on the bias, with the curving side seam on the hip, will give you a silhouette that even Kim Kardashian would envy! Alternatively a ball gown dress cinching you in at your smallest point before exploding into a beautiful full, floor-length skirt will show off how slender you are and will create the illusion of full hips. If you have a small bust then you can create the illusion of a generous bosom with some ruching or lots of detail on the bodice.
7. If you’re petite
Creating the illusion of height is probably one of the trickier illusions to pull off when dressing a bride for her big day, however it is possible! Trumpet, sheath, and modified A-line gowns where the waistline sits just above your natural waist will make the lower half of your body appear longer. You’re not limited in the least by types of fabric. You have complete free reign! You could even pull off the shiniest, high sheen fabrics. The only thing to approach with caution is the detailing. Try to keep that petite, you don’t want to look swamped by a huge bow! Another simple tip to make you look taller is to keep most of the detail on the bodice. This will help to draw the eye upward by elongating your body. The most flattering dresses for people who are short and sweet are full length and cut at the smallest point of your natural waist. Dresses with dropped waists will make you look shorter by making your legs look smaller. You could easily get lost in an enormous princess style ball gown so keep it sleek or A-line if possible. If you’re having a very casual, informal wedding, or maybe this is your second wedding, also try to avoid a dress where the hem hits you on your calf as this too can make your legs look shorter than they really are.
8. If you’re small chested
It is so easy to create the illusion of a generous bust. Rather than being reliant on chicken fillets in your bra on your big day (not so romantic later on in the evening, when you want to consummate your marriage!) try a ruched bodice. The extra fabric up will add depth to your bust area and will creating extra curves. You could also have extra padding sewn into the bust of your dress! We always recommend investing in a brilliant bra and pants set before your big day. It helps when choosing your dress and of course, you want some lovely lingerie for the main event. A bra with adhesive silicone cups, like those made by NuBra, is much more effective than rubber chicken fillets of old!