Finding the perfect wedding dress can range anywhere from super exciting to very special to extremely overwhelming. You’ve probably been thinking about it, and maybe even pinning the best styles, for years! We’re here to help make sure the experience is on that super fun and special side!
With a bit of knowledge about your personal style, preferences, shape, and body type, it becomes much easier to find the one that makes you feel all the *heart eyes* for yourself on your big day. Read on to learn about which dress styles are the best match for your figure and which dresses you may *potentially* want to avoid.
All of the Beautiful Body Types
In fashion, it’s generally recognized that five main body types define the female figure— Hourglass, Triangle, Round/Pear, Diamond, and Athletic/Rectangle. Every single one of these body types is beautiful and each has different silhouettes that complement that body type. Let’s go over what each of these body types means and how you can dress your best to accentuate your best features.
1. The Hourglass Figure
Made famous by Marilyn Monroe, an hourglass figure has balanced proportions of chest to lower torso, with a defined midsection in between the two. Just think of Scarlett Johansson, Megan Thee Stallion, Kate Winslet, or Meghan Trainor as prominent examples.
Best Dress Shapes: Show off those curves by opting for designs that flatter your best angles, such as mermaid or body con dress styles. For hourglass figures, it’s essential to keep the body’s silhouette proportional by avoiding excess material around the upper and bottom half of the body. Choose sleeves with a fitted design, necklines that aren’t top heavy (such as scoop, v-neck, off-the-shoulder, or sweetheart necklines as opposed to halter tops and wide necklines), and dresses that draw in the material around the waist (such as paneled, tapered, or belted waistlines).
You Might Avoid: Any gown styles that add a lot of extra fabric to the bust or butt, considering you already have a defined shape there!
2. Inverted Triangle
The inverted triangle body type is known for having a broader shoulder with a slimmer hip and lower body ratio, which gives it the illusion of an upside-down triangle. A standard physique among runway models and athletes, this body size is most commonly found in taller women with legs for days. Think glam Amazonian warrior. Celebrities with the inverted triangle body type include Zendaya, Angelina Jolie, Naomi Campbell, and Gal Gadot.
Best Dress Shapes: The goal for styling this body type is to balance the broadness of the shoulders with the more slender hipline by adding more weight to the bottom half of the silhouette with an A-line or ballgown dress. The best top silhouettes for this body type are asymmetrical, v-neck, and scoop neck.
Relatively fitted sleeves look great on this body type, although looser fabrics around the arms are ideally suited to this body shape too. Choose details that pull the eye downward such as a fuller gown or princess dress.
You Might Avoid: Dresses that have too many garnishes or overly emphasize the upper shoulder area or wide necklines such as square cuts and off-the-shoulder.
The round or pear body shape is defined by hips that are larger than the bust or shoulders with arms that are typically slender. People with this body shape tend to have full or muscular legs with a smaller bust and upper torso. If you find yourself as a person who has been known to have those “apple-bottom jeans,” then this is likely your body shape. Celebrities with this body type include J. Lo, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian.
Best Dress Shapes: The pear shape requires the opposite proportional emphasis than the inverse triangle. That is, the goal of the pear-shaped body is to balance the attention around the wider hip and bottom area with the smaller upper body. Create a more balanced silhouette by creating more volume around the upper torso!
Necklines that add bulk to the upper body are best for this body shape, including wide collars, neck embellishments, sweetheart, off-the-shoulder, and square necklines. Additionally, detailed sleeves can attract the eye to the upper body, so look for structured, puff, and flutter sleeves. Fitted or flared dresses such as the mermaid style help balance the wider hip ratio, so look for dresses with a broader shape at the bottom.
You Might Avoid: Dresses with thick fabrics and dresses with a dropped waist. Any silhouette with a straight cut will hide your beautiful waistline and could make you appear heavier than dresses that cinch around that gorgeous midsection!
The Diamond or Apple body type includes women with an average to larger bust and a larger midriff section. This body type often has more slender legs with a less defined waistline and relatively narrow hips. Celebrities with this body type include icons like Adele, Drew Barrymore, Kelly Clarkson, Quinta Brunson, and Mindy Kaling.
Best Dress Shapes: Styling the diamond body type involves creating a more defined waist and adding curves and fullness to the lower body. Highlighting the bust or the legs is your magic, so consider low or wide necklines such as v-neck, sweetheart, and scoop neck, and opt for silhouettes like A-line, ballgowns, and empire waistlines.
You Might Avoid: High-neck or halter-neck gowns that can cause the chest area to look disproportionate. Fitted sleeves and fit & flare gowns can also draw more attention to the waistline.
5. Athletic or Rectangle
The rectangle body type has equal proportions along the waist, hip, and chest areas. Think ballerina, athlete, or model for this particular body type. Rectangular figures often have a long torso and larger height than average, sometimes giving the appearance of a straight-line figure. Accentuating curves and avoiding “sameness” in lines is critical to give your body greater definition. Famous celebrities with a rectangular frame include Hilary Duff, Queen Latifah, Cameron Diaz, and Megan Good.
Best Dress Shapes: Because rectangular bodies are so well balanced, finding a way to break up the uniformity of the torso and define the waistline can be fun! Wearing well-structured clothes that add depth and dimension to both the top and bottom are key. Choosing a round, sweetheart, v-neck, or off-the-shoulder neckline will be just *chef’s kiss*.
Similarly, sleeves that are less fitted and add dimension are perfect for the rectangular body, as are full or layered gowns. Opt for fitted, flared, waist-defining dresses such as princess-style dresses and A-line or empire ball gowns.
You Might Avoid: Boxy, straight-lined, mermaid, or mermaid shape styles.
By understanding the basic rules of symmetry, anyone can successfully create a stunning silhouette on their wedding day. But want to know a secret? The rules are, there are no rules! Except that YOU love your gown and feel good in it!
It’s important to remember that although these tips and tricks are helpful, what matters most is how your wedding dress makes you feel, so don’t skimp out on the perfect dress just because it doesn’t “match your body type!” Not sure about your body type? Our stylists are here for you to help you find the dress that makes you feel like the queen you are!