No matter what size you are, finding a gown to fit you perfectly and flatter your body shape can be quite the challenge. With a limited number of bridal boutiques stocking curvaceous-friendly gowns, it can often be difficult to know what styles and design features will suit you best. When scouting for the perfect wedding dress, it is always a great idea to speak to a design specialist to discuss your goals and bridal vision. A bridal designer or dressmaker will be able to guide you with selecting the correct fabrics and design elements to complement your figure, your personal taste and your wedding day theme. Every bride deserves to feel classy, elegant, comfortable and confident in their wedding dress, no matter what size or height they are. So, to all of our beautiful curvaceous brides out there, we’ve gathered our top 10 favourite bridal looks to flatter and flaunt your curves. We discuss the best bridal dresses for plus size brides, fabrics and laces on the market, dress silhouettes, tips and tricks on finishing’s and so much more.
Designer: David’s Bridal
If you’re after a wedding dress that is super dreamy and romantic, then look no further. The soft A-line gown is known for its flowy and feminine aesthetic. A soft A-line often features a fitted bodice and a soft skirt that drapes naturally from the waist to the ground. In most cases, the skirt is made from a delicate and lightweight fabric such as a sheer tulle or luxurious silk chiffon. These fabrics create a beautiful drape and airiness to the gown, which is perfect for any bride getting married during the warmer climate or tends to get hot and flushed easily. One of the most admired features of the soft A-line gown is that it doesn’t cling to your body which is perfect for any bride who is a tad self-conscious of her stomach and/or legs. A common mistake that most plus-sized brides make when selecting their dream gown is to opt for a dress that has a large skirt, hoping that the volume will hide their curves. However, in most cases a large, puffy skirt such as a ball-gown will only accentuate and emphasise those certain areas of concern. For brides wanting to feel like a princess without the heavy bulk and puffiness, then this soft A-line gown is the perfect one for you.
Designer: David’s Bridal
2.TRUMPET OVER MERMAID
If you’re a curvaceous bride then you should be proud to flaunt those curves. Most plus-sized brides are quite anxious to try on a gown that’s fitted, with the fear that it’ll highlight all their personal areas of concern. However, the trumpet style gown (also commonly referred to as a fit and flare) can actually be extremely flattering. The fitted style can give the illusion of longer legs, along with highlighting your gorgeous figure. It can be a great way to accentuate your waistline and draw more attention to your top and bodice. In fact, the fit and flare style is one of the most popular silhouettes for curvier brides. When opting for a fitted gown, it’s important to be aware of proportion. The trumpet style gown features a beautifully fitted bodice which hugs tightly around the hips before draping effortlessly to the ground from the mid thighs. This soft transition allows brides to comfortably move as their knees aren’t restricted. Along with this, having the flare come out from above the knees will ensure that the gown doesn’t shorten you and will in fact elongate the natural body beautifully. A mermaid style often showcases a dramatic, tight silhouette with an exaggerated flare from just under the knees. Whilst this is also gorgeous, it can sometimes be too restrictive and a little less contemporary.
Designer: Martin Thornburg
3.MATTE OVER SHINY FABRIC
When selecting a fabric for your custom gown it’s important to keep in mind the finishing of the material. There are often various options to select from, including matte, subtle sheen and sateen (which is a luxurious satin shine). Any fabric that has a glossy surface can often highlight lumps and bumps that you may not feel comfortable showing. A satin shine is often more suitable for dresses that showcase a fuller skirt and one that isn’t figure hugging. For brides that opt for a fit and flare, column dress or sheath style gown, then consider selecting a matte fabric for your gown. A matte finish is not only extremely sleek and elegant but it is a perfect way to achieve a more modern and sophisticated look. It is often quite easy to find a matte fabric, especially as most fabrics nowadays showcase a matte alternative. From lightweight satin, sheer and delicate matte georgette to a heavier and stretchy crepe, there are so many options to select from depending on your gown and body shape. Another great finish to consider as an alternative to a strong shiny satin is a material with a subtle sheen. This means that the fabric has an understated glow when the light hits the surface. A great fabric which showcases this is a pure silk faille. The subtle shine allows brides to add a touch of formality without highlighting and emphasising their greatest areas of concerns.
Designer: Martin Thornburg
4.LIGHT EMBROIDERED LACE SCATTERED
When selecting a gown or customising one from scratch, consider opting for a beautiful embroidered lace. An embroidered lace is when a detailed pattern is embroidered onto a sheer mesh tulle base. The detail is slightly raised, allowing the design to really stand out. An embroidered lace is one of the most popular and contemporary laces out on the market at the moment and is often used by some of the World’s top bridal designers. It is commonly admired for its intricate floral and leaf designs and its romantic and lightweight nature. Whilst it is an extremely versatile lace, it is often utilised during Spring/Summer collections. When selecting an embroidered lace, avoid a full all-over pattern. A detailed floral lace all over your gown can sometimes appear quite overwhelming. Go subtle with your pattern and highlight areas that you love the most. For example, if you like your top and bust the best then add some lace or embellishments to that area to really show it off. Avoid laces that are thick and heavy as this will only add extra bulk to the appearance of your gown. This means, try to stay away from thick cotton laces, heavily beaded laces or guipure laces. It’s best to keep the pattern smaller in size and light in weight. Sequins can be a great addition if you are a lover of sparkle and want to add a touch of glam.
5.OPT FOR STRETCHY AND SUPPORTIVE FABRICS
Plus-sized gowns are like any other dress, they require the correct corsetry and support for the style, along with the correct fabrics to enhance your vision and bring it to life. To provide a little more coverage and support to your dress, consider opting for a fabric with a great thickness and body. Consider a satin crepe, neoprene scuba, grace satin, silk faille, zibeline, Mikado, stretch crepe, just to name a few. A thicker fabric will not cling to your body or show up transparent in the sunlight like a lightweight material would. They are also well-admired for being able to smooth over and flatten certain areas of concern. Because of their weight, they can also be fused with various interfacings to provide extra stiffness and support. This Is particularly beneficial for a fitted gown or a fitted bodice. It is also quite necessary for a bride who has a large bust and may need extra support or if you select a lace or beaded material. It’s important to keep in mind that your embellished overlays will not sit nicely if you don’t have a solid fabric underneath. It is also a great idea to opt for a fabric that consists of elastane. This added stretch will allow you to comfortable move in your gown without any restrictions. It also allows the gown to mould to your figure much better, giving you a nicer finish and fit. Consider a stretch crepe, neoprene scuba or Stretch satin.
Designer: True Bride
6.THE BUTTERFLY SLEEVE
A common concern that most curvier brides address with our designers is that they don’t feel comfortable showing their upper arms. However, no matter what size you are this is often a concern for a lot of brides. It’s important to consider the climate and location of your wedding ceremony/reception when selecting the perfect sleeve for your gown. This stunning design by Daisy Brides showcases a soft and dreamy butterfly sleeve. The butterfly sleeve is a short and flowy flared design that drapes effortlessly from your shoulder and often finishes just above your elbow. When opting for a custom-made gown this can easily be adjusted to your personal preference. The butterfly sleeve is known for its romantic and feminine aesthetic and is suitable for almost every dress shape but is commonly incorporated into a dress with a soft and flowy skirt. This gorgeous sleeve is made from a lightweight and breathable material such as a tulle, silk chiffon, silk georgette or a silk satin (if you prefer for it to not be transparent). It’s the perfect addition for any bridal gown and is suitable for all seasons. It’s a great way for all of our Spring/Summer brides to incorporate a sleeve without having to worry about overheating and getting too hot.
Designer: Daisy Brides
7.THE FITTED LACE SLEEVE
For brides on the hunt for a little more coverage on their arms, we have the perfect option for you. We understand that not every bride feels comfortable wearing a strapless or sleeveless design, however wearing a full-length sleeve during the Summer time can often cause you to easily overheat and perspire. A great alternative is to opt for a fitted lace sleeve. A lace sleeve will consist of a sheer and lightweight tulle mesh base which allows for great breathability. It also will often consist of a stretchy elastane element which allows you to easily bend and move your arms comfortably. When selecting a fitted lace sleeve, it’s important to keep in mind that there are two options- An all-over lace sleeve or a partially appliqued sleeve. For brides wanting a breathable and airy option or a sleeve that showcases a little more skin, consider selecting a sparsely scattered lace pattern. Your dressmaker can cut around the individual lace motifs and hand stitch them onto your sleeve depending on exactly how much or how little coverage you would prefer. This option gives you more flexibility and creative control when designing the perfect sleeve addition for your custom wedding gown.
Designer: David’s Bridal
You might have noticed when bridal shopping that most plus-size wedding gowns showcase a gorgeous lace-up back. This stunning feature is a more traditional finish to a bridal dress; however, it is a perfect option for any bride that fluctuates in weight quite easily. The lace-up back is an adjustable closure method which is always tailored to your body shape. The criss-cross design can be pulled as tight or as loose as you prefer and can often relieve brides of that stress to maintain their weight leading up to their special day. The lace-up back is also a great way to add a little more shape to your gown and to show off your natural figure beautifully. The satin straps can help the gown and fabric to mould to your body in a much more effective way than a zip that is inserted into a standard pre-made gown. This design feature isn’t just used for functionality purposes; it can also create a stunning statement feature for the back of your gown. It is most flattering when incorporated into a dress with a flowy skirt such as an A-line gown or ball-gown. For brides wanting to add a real wow factor to their bridal look, consider removing the lining behind the criss-cross feature. This will showcase a touch of skin and can turn this traditional design into a modern and unique statement. This lace-up detail may seem simple but it creates the best bridal dresses for plus size brides.
Designer: Ladybird Bridal
No matter what size you are, it’s always important to flaunt and embrace your figure. A gown that suits your body shape is a great place to start. Try and avoid falling into the common trap of hiding amongst layers and layers of fabric and puffy skirts. That is why this stunning A-line style gown could be the perfect dress for you. For brides wanting to experience that princess-like feeling, then look no further. The A-line gown has a great level of fullness in the skirt without adding extra bulk around your waistline like a ball-gown. The design of the skirt can minimise those common areas of concern as the fabric will not cling to your body, hips or legs. The contrast between the fitted bodice and the flared skirt is also a great way to accentuate and highlight your waistline and draw more attention to your top. A belt can be a beautiful way to cinch in your waistline and add a touch of glamour and sparkle to your gown. When opting for an A-line gown, try and avoid gathering around the waistline, multiple layers of tulle or a heavy lace and beading throughout the whole gown. These little factors can often emphasise the hips and belly.
Designer: Ladybird Bridal
Finding the perfect neckline to suit your body shape is super important and not emphasised enough. The top and neckline is often the first area that your guests will see when looking at your stunning wedding gown. No matter what dress shape you’ve selected, the V-neckline makes for the perfect addition to complete your bridal look. The v-neckline is one of the most popular and universally admired designs as it suits almost everybody and every dress. The V-neckline is particularly flattering on a curvier bride or on a bride with a larger bust. When opting for a custom-made gown, the neckline can be easily adjusted depending on how much coverage or how revealing you would like your top to be. Just keep in mind that the lower the v, the less supportive this will be and it can also compromise your in-built corsetry. Speak to your designer for further guidance and advice. This stunning feature also looks incredibly beautiful on the back as well. The v-cut is very elongating, elegant and sophisticated in appearance. It is also quite a contemporary finish for brides wanting to achieve a sleek and modern look.
Remember, It is always important to be true to yourself when selecting your dream wedding gown. Ensure that your dress is comfortable, suitable for the weather and climate, and most importantly, that it makes you feel incredibly beautiful. We hope you enjoyed exploring our most recommended best dresses for plus size brides.
ARE YOU ON THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT FABRIC AND YOU WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE YOUR VERY OWN CUSTOM BRIDAL GOWN? Contact us today, for your free in-store design consultation and over the phone styling advice service from our lovely team of bridal gown designers who have been creating dream wedding dresses in Melbourne for the past 19 years!