Choosing the right wedding dress is not easy. Most brides will try on dozens of different dresses before finding their dream gown. However, you can avoid a lot of dressing-room frustration by seeking out the right wedding dress for your body shape right from the beginning.
Read on for The Knot’s guide to the most popular styles on the market for women of every shape and size.
The ball gown
What is it? The number one distinguishing trait of a ball gown is its very full (aka huge) skirt. This creates a fairy-tale silhouette when paired with a fitted bodice and a cinched waist.
Best for: Brides with boyish figures. The fullness of the dress will make you look curvier.
Avoid if: You’re a petite bride. You’ll get swallowed up by a dress this voluminous.
What is it? This shape is defined by a slim, tapered, curve-hugging skirt that follows the line of the hips and thighs and flares out below the knee.
Best for: Brides with hourglass figures who want to show off their curves.
Avoid if: You know you don’t want something tight; this style is constricting.
The column dress
What is it? This formfitting style follows the body’s natural line and doesn’t flare out. It’s also referred to as a sheath.
Best for: Petite women, since this slim shape adds length. This silhouette also looks great on brides with sleek figures.
Avoid if: You’re pear-shaped (when you’re small on top but more rounded on the bottom). This silhouette will make you look unbalanced.
The drop waist
What is it? This silhouette is exactly as you would imagine—it drops and flares out slightly below the waistline around your hip area.
Best for: Brides who want to flaunt their trim middles and shape, since it hugs your waist and hips.
Avoid if: You have a boxy figure—it might make you look like you have less curves.
The A-line gown
What is it? As its name implies, this cut is narrow at the top and extends out along the body in the shape of—you guessed it—an “A.”
Best for: All body types. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular skirt silhouettes—it’s super-flattering on almost everyone.
Avoid if: You’re looking for something really sexy.
The trumpet dress
What is it? A straight-lined skirt subtly flares from the knee toward the hem in a trumpet shape.
Best for: Curvy brides who are looking for a formfitting dress that’s slightly easier to move in.
Avoid if: You’re not comfortable with clearly showing off your shape or if you have an apple or boxy body type.
Finding the right wedding dress for your shape doesn’t have to be difficult. A great tip is to think about the style of your favourite (and most flattering) dress and seek out something similar. You’ll know you’ve found your dream dress when you look in the mirror and see a huge smile staring back at you.