Finding the right wedding gown is no easy feat. Once you begin your search for the dream wedding dress, you can lose yourself in a sea of white unless you know what you are looking for.

Fortunately, a little planning will greatly improve your chances of finding the right dress with minimum hassle. When you know your options and narrow down your search criteria to just what is best for you, you can complete the task soon. For this, you should first identify your body type and the wedding dress silhouettes that flatter it.

The wedding dress experts at Best for Bride ( have the following advice and tips to help you identify your body shape and the dress styles that will look best for different body types.

How to identify your body shape

In order to identify your body shape, measure yourself around the shoulders, bust, waist and hips and note these measurements. To do this right, take a look at this guide.

Once you have recorded your measurements compare the different sets to determine which body type best describes you.

Inverted Triangle: Also called the “apple”, this body type is characterized by shoulder and bust measurements that are at least 5 per cent more than waist or hip measurements.

Triangle: Here, the hip and waist measurements are at least 5 per cent more than the bust and shoulders. This body type is also called the “pear.”

Hourglass: This body-type has balanced proportions in the upper and lower halves, and a well-defined waistline. The shoulder and hip measurements are comparable and will not differ by more than 5 per cent. The waistline is 25 per cent smaller than either of these numbers.

Rectangle: The straight or rectangle body type has almost equal measurements for shoulders, bust and hips. Each measurement will not differ by more than 5 per cent from the others.

Plus-size: This type is characterized by body proportions that are larger than average, and corresponds to regular dress sizes above 14.

Petite: Petite women are shorter than 5’3”, with a well-defined waistline and balanced upper and lower halves.

Wedding dress silhouettes and suggestions for each body type

Your body shape is an important factor to consider when choosing your dress. This is because different silhouettes drape differently on different body frames. A figure-flattering silhouette will emphasize your best features while hiding less desirable traits. So, aim to choose a dress style that draws focus to your best assets, while balancing the overall proportions of your body.

Let us look at the popular wedding dress silhouettes.

Ball gown: This dress style has a fitted bodice with a defined waistline and a full skirt. It is voluminous and heavy, and is often associated with the princess look.


Trumpet: As the name suggests, the dress is fitted all the way from the bust to the waist and hips, and then flows out into a thick skirt at the thighs.


Mermaid: Another fit and flare style, the mermaid is similar to the trumpet. However, the skirt flares out only at knee level. The snug silhouette emphasizes the body curves while restricting movement to a certain extent.


A-line: A classic dress silhouette, the A-line resembles the shape of an A, with a snug-fitting bodice that flares out softly into a skirt that isn’t too heavy.


Sheath:Also called the column, this style simply drapes over the natural curves of the bride without flaring out at any level.

Best for Brides Wedding Dresses

Now, let us take a look at the dress silhouettes that would be best for each of the body types we just discussed.

Inverted Triangle: Dresses with thicker skirts will balance out the slighter proportions of the hips, thus creating the illusion of an hourglass figure. The ball gown is a good choice. Brides with this body shape can also consider A-line dresses with a textured skirt that adds more bulk to the lower half.

Triangle: Dresses that do not draw attention to the stomach and hip area, and preferably with a textured bodice to add the illusion of curves to the upper body are perfect for this body type. Ball gowns and A-line dresses that flow away from the waist without clinging to the hips look good on these brides.

Hourglass: This is a body type that can carry off almost any wedding dress. It is in fact, a body shape that can flaunt form-fitting dresses. The mermaid and trumpet styles draw focus to well-balanced proportions of either half. Brides with an hourglass figure can pay closer attention to the neckline and sleeves for the look they desire, while opting for any dress silhouette.

Rectangle: Dresses that create the illusion of curves, like the sheath and ball gown, enhance the appearance of the straight body shape. The dress should ideally feature a defined waistline, so it distinctly differentiates the upper and lower halves.

Plus-Size: A dress that fits well and doesn’t add extra pounds to the overall look is the right choice. Dresses with a raised waistline, like the empire style in structured fabric is a recommended choice.

Petite: Since petites have a balanced figure, they can carry off most silhouettes. However, they should aim to create the illusion of height by choosing suitable dress styles. Gathered waistlines that are higher than the natural waist do this. Bulky silhouettes like the ball gown and dresses with overbearing embellishments should be avoided, as this can be overwhelming on a small frame.


Author Bio:

This article was prepared by Best for Bride, a bridal boutique that specializes in dress collections for brides, bridesmaids and all members of the wedding party. Take a look at their website here to learn more about the collections they feature and the rest of the services they offer.