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Best Wedding Dress Styles that Flatter your Body Shape

As restrictions are lifting and you are ready to look for your perfect Wedding Dress, the fastest way to finding your dream dress is figuring out the right shape that highlights your best-loved features and conceals your less-favourable traits. While most wedding dresses look gorgeous on the hanger, the truth is that certain wedding dress shapes tend to flatter specific body types.

You've probably already gathered a pretty nice-sized wish list about your dream gown; so if you can narrow down your options before stepping foot in a dressing room, you'll have a much more pleasant, laid-back shopping experience.

It is all about balance; in simple terms you need to balance your body shape to appear to have a feminine hourglass silhouette. It is usually best to pick a dress style rather than a wedding dress fashion trend. A Line wedding dress styles suit everyone, but you may want to have something that flatters your shape even better.

But how do you find the best wedding dress for your body type? To get you started Forever Bridal and Formal have put together a list of body types and tips of suggested necklines and skirts that will make the most of your body shape.

Apple Shaped/Full Figured: Do you carry most of your weight around your middle, but have slim legs? Whether you want to create the illusion of a smaller frame or celebrate your curves, we've got you covered (or uncovered). A dress with a corset will give you that waist you’ve always wanted. An A-line dress will ensure you look balanced and slimmer, but if you have a bit of tummy an Empire waistline will conceal it nicely and create a lengthening effect. A lace illusion neckline is equal parts daring and demure, paired with a sheath silhouette and slight train are the ultimate trio to help you look long and lean. A dark coloured sash is a simple way to make your middle look trim. A scoop neckline shows off your voluptuous shape and lets you avoid a strapless bra! A basque waistline enhances an hourglass figure.

Suggested Necklines: Deep V-neck, Strapless, Sweetheart will accentuate your bust & curves.

Suggested Skirts: Empire, A-line, and Ball Gown will give you a slimmer looking waistline.

Hourglass Figure: Are your shapely hips and shoulders about the same size, and your waist well defined? Work your womanly curves - the goal is to accentuate your waistline, while trying not to add size to your hips and shoulders. An exaggerated dropped waist and oversized tulle skirt keeps all eyes on feminine form. Fit-and-flare are three words you should get very familiar with. It's a curvy girls go-to silhouette. Hourglass is one of the only body types that can pull off a true mermaid silhouette — a style that flares out just below the knee. Strapless, V-neck and scooped necklines work well with an hourglass figure. If you’re a slim hourglass you could carry off a shapely lace fishtail, otherwise go for A-line with lots of draping or ruching to detract from problem areas, or a ballgown, which will show off your tiny waist and your fabulous boobs! A glitzy belt detail is also a glamorous way to highlight your tiny waistline.

Suggested Necklines: Scoop, V-neck, One-Shoulder, Strapless or Halter. Suggested Skirts: Sheath, A-Line, Ball Gown, Dropped Waistline, Mermaid, or Fit & Flare

Inverted Triangle/V-shaped Figure: Are your shoulders wider than your hips? V-Shaped women will want to avoid a high neckline, turtleneck, big collar and stiff or bulky fabrics. You’d look equally fabulous in a straight dress or a full-on romantic ball gown. A V-neck, halter neck or a higher neckline work well to balance wider shoulders and your hips. Narrow wide shoulders with thicker, embellished straps. Avoid a wide neckline as this can make you look top heavy. If you opt for a straight dress, some sort of detail in the hip area, eg a bow, can add dimension. Wear a dress with a bolero if you want to cover up the tops of your arms.

Suggested Necklines: One-shoulder, Halter neck, Strapless. V-Neck Suggested Skirts: A-line, Mermaid, Fit & Flare, Ball Gown, or Sheath

Pear Shaped Figure: Do you have a small bust and large hips - lower half of your figure appears fuller, so it's important to create more balance. Add some style upstairs; choose wide necklines, puffy sleeves and tops that hug the shoulders. Tops with wide-set straps will also help to visually widen your shoulders and chest area. Show off your waist with details such as a jewelled belt or a contrast-coloured sash. Strapless bodices or spaghetti straps will draw attention to your fabulous top half, while A-line skirts will glide over larger hips. Diagonal draping on the bodice is very flattering, but avoid a halter-neck as this makes hips look bigger. The fishtail is an absolute no-no, but we say you’d look gorgeous in a prom-style hip-concealing dress with a full skirt. Go for it!

Suggested Necklines: V-neck, Wide-set or Spaghetti Straps, Strapless Suggested skirts: A-line, Ball Gown, or Empire

Lean & Straight/Rectangle Shaped Figure: Are you straight up and down, with hips and shoulders the same width and no definition at the waist? Your body is well balanced but could use a little something to bring out the curves. Creating the appearance of a curvier waist and bottom will enhance your femininity nicely. Go for an over the top ball gown, it won't overwhelm your tall figure, s voluminous peplum skirt acts as a stand in for curvy hips. A sheath will accentuate your statuesque frame or consider a wedding dress with a slit to show off your great legs. A high neckline paired with a full, A-line skirt showcases and balances your height at the same time. While a halter neck makes shoulders look narrow, which doesn’t flatter the waist, our advice is to go for a sweetheart or wide neckline to look super gorgeous. A straight dress will make you look boxy, but a corseted bodice with a ‘V’ shape at the front will give you a nice bust shape and create the illusion of a smaller waist. Details like sashes and brooches at the waist add definition.

Suggested Neckline: Scoop, V-neck, Strapless or One Shoulder. Suggested Skirt: A-line, Sheath, Mermaid, or Ball Gown.

Large Busted Figure: If you're a busty woman, finding the right gown starts with pinpointing the perfect neckline that will accentuate your feminine qualities better than others. You've got two choices: reveal or conceal. While much of this is down to wearing the right bra, a square neckline is especially great for the well-endowed because it’s not too revealing. Plunging V-necklines are typically too risquè for big-busted girls, but a more subtle dip gets it right. Opting for an off the shoulder style or one shoulder detail atop a straight bodice neckline is perfect for a bigger bust, adding that little bit of added security. Strapless gowns can be tough for brides with a larger bust, but the straight-across version actually minimizes your assets. If you're set on a sweetheart neckline, try one with straps and a full skirt to balance your busty frame.

Suggested Neckline: Subtle V-neck, Off The Shoulder, or Square. Suggested Skirts: Ball Gown or A-line

Petite Figure: Petite brides should avoid overwhelming their small frame - simple reigns supreme. A form-fitting shell underneath a gossamer tulle skirt is the perfect way to wear a more voluminous silhouette. Substantial straps on a plunging V-neckline gown draw the eye upward elongating your frame. An empire waistline is a great style for petite figures. It creates the illusion of long legs. A dropped-waist or mermaid silhouette isn't off limits. Just opt for slim, more structured skirts over wide, poofy ones. Choose airy sheaths and structured trumpet styles over big, frothy ball gowns. Create the illusion of a fuller bust line with a rouched or embellished bodice, or play up your youthful figure with some eye-catching style.

Suggested Neckline: Halter, One shoulder, or Sweetheart. Suggested Skirts: A-line, or Ball Gown.

For even more about Wedding Dress FAQ’S

We hope our expert guide helps you to score that perfect wedding dress that flatters your figure. Well, what are you waiting for?

Forever Bridal & Formal is a locally owned boutique-style store on the inner northside of Brisbane offering a fantastic selection of unique styles from Australian designers, and we import our own brand with “one-of-a-kind” dresses especially suited to our local clientele. We pride ourselves in our personalised service and care more about the fit and style to suit each client, rather than the brand or just the latest trends.

If you are excited to choose your ideal wedding gown, get in touch with Forever Bridal & Formal in Stafford, Brisbane to book an appointment. With off-the-rack dresses, and our ability to customize with our own in-house seamstress, we cater for brides of all ages, sizes, and cultures. Call us today to find out how we can help you choose the dress you need to look a million dollars on that all-important day. Tel: 3175 4525 or email

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