When choosing your wedding dress the first hurdle will generally be finding the best shape to compliment your body. Although us women all have the same bits, we do hold our bodies differently so identifying your body shape is a good place to start.
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If you're unsure about which shape you fall under then don't feel embarrassed or shy about asking your bridal consultant on the day of your appointment.
The next step is to identify the difference between dress shapes and filter out the ones that will suit you the best. Remember that most wedding dress shops will offer a customisation service so don't be put off straight away if you fall in love with a dress but it's not quite the right shape. You may be able to make some adjustments to make it personal to yourself.
Wedding Dress Shapes
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The A-Line wedding dress, sometimes called a Princess gown, is probably the most classic cut. Fitted on the bodice with an A-shaped skirt. Nipping in the waistline this shape is great for most figures and it creates a good balance between the top and bottom of the body.
Best suited for: Most body shapes (definitely give this shape a go!)
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The Fishtail or Mermaid wedding dress is considered to be one of the sexiest Bridal silhouettes. It fits tightly from the top of the body down to the knee where it flares out dramatically. This style is great for girls who have plenty of body confidence and really want to show off their bum! Although very sexy, this shape is not always the most comfortable so do try sitting down when wearing it if you are considering choosing this for your big day.
Best suited for: hourglass and triangle figures. May also work well on a rectangle figure when a belt or detail around the waist is added.
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Sometimes called column, the sheath dress is great on slender figures of all heights. It is closely fitted, but not too tight, to the entire length of the body, really showing the body's shape. This style will add a touch of sexy to your bridal look if you are petite and worried about your dress wearing you instead of you wearing the dress. Although great on slender figures do be mindful that sheath dresses don't tend to be very forgiving if you have an area of your body which you are not so confident about.
Best suited for: Rectangle bodies and triangles
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When it comes to ball gown style wedding dresses, the bigger the better! Well fitted on top and kicking out from the waist. With much more volume than the traditional A-Line the ballgown is perfect for brides who want to make a statement and feel like they're in a fairytale! More volume can be added to the skirt using a hooped petticoat which your Bridal consultant can advise you on. Do be careful with this style if you are bigger on the top of your body or short in height as it can be sometimes be overwhelming and end up swamping you.
Best suited to: Rectangle, triangle, and round body shapes
Empire line dresses are nipped in just below the bust. From the bust the dress flows straight down to the hem making them ideal for flowing over the tummy, hips and bum and giving them a very romantic, timeless bridal look. This silhouette is incredibly comfortable to wear and is also great for pregnant brides as there tends to be plenty of room to grow allowing them to be purchased in advance.
Best suited to: Rectangle, Triangle, Round body shapes
Image credit: Dan Round Photography
Similarly to the fishtail, a trumpet dress will be fitted closely to the body from the top down. The difference between the two silhouettes is where they kick out. On a trumpet dress this will be somewhere on the thighs, before the knees. Again, this dress is very sexy but the higher flare on it makes it more suitable for girls who are a little shorter that a fishtail might be.
Best suited to: hourglass and triangle figures. May also work well on a rectangle figure when a belt or detail around the waist is added.
Focusing on the shape of your dress first and foremost will make your shopping experience a little more relaxing when looking for your dress but don't feel limited to the styles you know will suit you. Experiment with bridal accessories to compliment and alter the look of dresses that catch your eye and do take advice from the people around you.