When helping a bride find her wedding gown, we often encounter a bride who says she doesn’t know what looks best on her body. If you google “what looks best on my body type”, you will be inundated with how to decide your body type and what you should wear based on that. We don’t play by those rules because there is always an exception.
We encourage a bride to bring pictures of dresses she loves to give us an idea of her style then, using them as a guide, we pull gowns that will look great on her. The wedding and reception location sometimes also play a role, but, ultimately, the style of dress should be based on what looks best and makes you feel like a beautiful bride.
If there was a universal silhouette, it would be the A-line. An A-line dress is flattering to every body style because it is fitted through the bust and waist then graduates out at an angle to the hem of the gown. Style 8627 from Justin Alexander is a perfect example.
Ball gowns seem to have a bad reputation. Brides sometimes think you have to be very tall to make it work. Choosing the perfect dress is all about proportions. If you are vertically challenged (as I am at barely 5′), a ball gown is certainly an option if the bodice is short and ends at the natural waist. On the other hand, a tall bride can not only wear a ball gown, but a drop waist can be especially thinning on her. Style 8502 is a silk chiffon ball gown from Justin Alexander that has a natural waist.
The same basic concept is applied to a mermaid, trumpet or fit and flair. Proportion-wise, a simpler style may help to elongate a bride’s silhouette if she is small. Sometimes we will have a bride say she would like to wear a fitted style, but she is concerned about her curves. Asymmetric draping, or ruching, goes a long way to cover those places on our bodies we like to mask.
The last style is a simple sheath. Fitted in the bust and waist, a sheath falls straight to the floor. A sheath style can be flattering on most body styles as well. They are typically a simpler silhouette and can appeal to more mature brides or those planning a destination wedding.
The best advice we can give when shopping for your wedding gown is to keep an open mind. Sales associates will use your pictures as a guide, but more often than not, a bride will ultimately choose a gown that is completely different than her original thought. Most of all, enjoy the shopping experience!