Choosing a wedding dress is, for most brides, unfamiliar terrain. Unless they frequent formal red carpet events, it is rare that women will ever wear such a fancy dress before, or after their wedding. The first part of finding the perfect bridal gown is working out what wedding dress shape suits your body. There are seven of them, each with their own characteristics.
The A Line is the most universally flattering wedding dress silhouette. It hugs the body from the neckline to the waist before flaring out in a full skirt which resembles a soft triangle. This wedding dress shape is easy to customise, can be worn with or without a train, and suits virtually every figure.
Where the A Line flares out from the natural waist, which is the narrowest part of the torso, the trumpet hugs the hip with the skirt flaring out at mid thigh. It is a fantastic choice for brides who have disproportionately long legs, or who want a way to balance a fuller bust without the restrictions of a mermaid style dress.
The princess line dress initially looks similar to the A Line, in that is fitted at the top before flaring out at the waist. The difference comes in the way the gown is constructed, as it has panels of fabric with seams that run from the neckline to the hem. These lines make petite brides appear taller, and curvy brides appear slimmer.
A ball gown is every princess ballerina fantasy you ever had in a grown up dress. It has two main parts: a tight fitting bodice, and an oversized, frothy, skirt – usually made of tulle, which may also have a satin overlay. You can hide a lot under all that fabric, making ball gowns perfect for pear shaped brides, and apple shaped brides who want to create the illusion of curves.
The sheath, especially when made from fabric cut on the bias, looks fantastic on slender and petite brides who want to visually elongate their body. It is the most unforgiving of wedding dress silhouettes and should be avoided brides who are top or bottom heavy, or who don’t want anything clinging to their torso.
Mermaid gowns, also called fishtail dresses, are hugely popular with brides who want to sashay down the aisle with va-va-voom in their step. The mermaid wedding dress clings to the body from the neckline to the knees before flaring out into a full skirt. They look fantastic on brides with hourglass figures, and those who want to create the illusion of a fuller bust.