It’s time to go bridal shopping… but knowing what dresses to look at or even try on can be a tad overwhelming when it’s your very first time. As a designer I always get asked- What dress shape will suit my body? With so many gorgeous options available from extravagant full skirts to elegant fitted silhouettes, we definitely understand why it can very easily become confusing. Don’t be afraid to ask your designer or bridal consultant for their guidance and advice on what dress silhouettes, necklines, fabrics and embellishments will best suit your body and height. But don’t forget that when bridal shopping it’s also very important to think about the context of your wedding. Where are you having it? What will the weather be? How formal or big is your wedding? These are just a few important factors that will help make bridal shopping a little bit easier. Afterall, we know that functionality may not always be a bride’s number one priority, but just think about how difficult it would be walking along the sandy beach ceremony in a glamorous ball-gown or a super tight fitted dress with no stretch. But don’t worry fellow brides, this is why we’ve gathered some of the World’s most common and popular dress styles and we’re going to help you find out which is the perfect one for you, your figure and your wedding. Let’s go!
Designer: Tom Sebastian
SOFT A-LINE GOWN
If you’re after something super dreamy and romantic, then we’ve found the perfect gown for you. The soft A-line style gown features a beautiful fitted bodice and a soft and flowy skirt that drapes effortlessly from the waist to the floor. It is extremely similar to a typical A-line gown, except it generally showcases less volume in the skirt and will often be made from a lightweight and sheer material such as a chiffon or tulle. The soft A-line gown is most suitable for brides who have a pear, hourglass or apple shaped body. For anyone with wider hips and a curvier figure, this gown won’t emphasise those common areas of concerns, which a larger skirt can generally do. The subtle fullness can also provide enough coverage for brides who are a tad self-conscious of their lower stomach and legs without completely losing your whole figure amongst layers and layers of fabric. Because of its lightweight nature, it is also particularly suitable for brides who are tying the knot during the warmer weather. Whether you’re having an outdoor garden theme, a sandy beach ceremony or a destination wedding, the soft A-line gown is super dreamy, comfortable to wear and really easy to carry.
Designer: Gali Karten (Burano Collection)
For brides wanting to really show of their figure with a contemporary and elegant style wedding dress, then look no further, the mermaid style gown is the one for you. This stunning silhouette features a fitted bodice and a bodycon styled skirt which flares out seamlessly from just under the knees. The mermaid gown is often confused very easily with the trumpet style dress, and for good reason; the two styles are extremely similar. In fact, the only major difference is that the trumpet style flares out from above the knees and the mermaid flares out below, showcasing a more figure hugging silhouette. This elegant dress style looks incredibly beautiful on anyone with an hourglass body shape as it really allows you to show off your figure and curves. The mermaid style gown also looks incredibly gorgeous on brides who tend to have broader shoulders. The fitted silhouette and dramatic flare at the bottom of the skirt, tends to draw attention away from the top which can help counter-balance the wider shoulders. For brides with a pear shape body type, you can also carry this style extremely well. If you don’t want all the emphasis on your hips you can add some simple cap sleeves or an off-the-shoulder feature to balance the whole look.
Designer: Lee Petra Grebenau (Alice gown from the Fields of Pearls Collection)
If you’re after something classic, extravagant and extremely glamorous then we’ve found the perfect gown for you. The A-line style gown is definitely the new ball-gown. With more brides opting for less formal and less traditional weddings, we can definitely see why this A-line style gown has become increasingly popular. The A-line gown features a fitted bodice with a gorgeous skirt that drapes outwards from the waist, creating a medium level of fullness. For brides that aren’t too tall but would love to feel like an absolute princess for a day, then this gown has the perfect balance of extravagance without the multiple layers of heavy fabrics. We absolutely love the A-line style gown as it suits almost every body shape and height. That’s right! It can look particularly gorgeous for brides that have a pear, hourglass, rectangle or apple shaped figure. It can provide a great level of coverage for brides who would prefer to cover their lower stomach and thighs. It’s also a lot more versatile, comfortable and functional in comparison to a big ball-gown. The A-line gown is often made from various materials, such as soft and romantic tulles and organza, to structured and contemporary Mikado or zibeline. The beauty of an A-line dress is that this style can be made from such a large range of fabrics, allowing you to really customise your bridal gown to make it truly one of a kind.
Designer: Dany Mizrachi
Are you getting married in a modern ballroom reception or a gorgeous vineyard estate? The ball-gown style is one of the most well-known bridal styles as this incredibly gorgeous silhouette has been around for centuries. Known for being worn to extremely lavish and classy events, this gown is definitely perfect for any bride who is walking down the aisle to say ‘I do’. The ball-gown style dress features a fitted bodice with an incredibly large and voluminous style skirt. For brides opting for this stunning gown, it’s important to note that you may be required to wear a separate petticoat underneath the gown to ensure it holds it shape. It’s important to keep in mind that the ball-gown style dress can very easily swallow you up with its multiple layers of fabric and intricate detailing and embellishments, so for all our short brides out there, this may not be the perfect one for you. It looks very beautiful when worn by a bride with an hourglass or rectangle shaped figure as the contrast between the fitted top and dramatic skirt can be a great way add or emphasise shape. It’s very easy for brides to fall into the trap of thinking that a ball-gown style dress will hide all your areas of concerns and curves. However, it can actually do the opposite and in most cases, will highlight those areas that brides tend to be a little self-conscious of. For this reason, it is advised to opt for an A-line or soft A-line gown if you still want to experience that princess-like feel.
Designer: Ricca Sposa
The trumpet shaped gown, also commonly known as the fit and flare, is one of the World’s most popular go-to bridal styles. This stunning dress features a fitted bodice with a body hugging skirt. It is also known for its dramatic flare which often comes out from above the knees or the mid thighs before draping effortlessly to the floor. The trumpet gown is a great style for any bride who is wanting to show off their gorgeous curves and figure in a classy and contemporary look. The trumpet gown looks incredibly flattering on any bride with a curvy, hourglass or pear-shaped figure. It is also suitable for any height, whether you’re short or tall. Keep in mind that if you are shorter a great way to elongate the body and to prevent the dress from making you look shorter is to ensure that the flare starts from anywhere above your knees. When opting for any fitted silhouette it is always important to ensure you can move and sit down comfortably. A great tip to know when custom making your very own trumpet gown is to lift the flare higher to allow for more movement in your legs. Another great tip is to ensure that you select a material with some form of elastane. A stretch fabric will allow you to comfortably move without any restriction.
Designer: Netta Benshabu
From the pebble beaches of Italy, to the outback, country style wedding, this stunning dress has become increasingly popular for all types of venues and seasons. The sheath style gown can also be referred to as the column style dress for it’s simple straight-cut style. It will often feature a fitted bodice and a skirt that drapes naturally from the waist to the ground. It can be modified to be slightly more figure hugging around the hips, but generally it is known for its relaxed and comfortable nature. No matter what height you are, the sheath gown looks incredible on all but it’s important to keep in mind that this gown isn’t exactly known for hiding those common areas of concerns. With its simplistic and contemporary cut, it is often most flattering on brides with an hourglass or apple shaped figure. It doesn’t add fullness or bulk around the waistline like a ball-gown and will not emphasise your hips like a fit and flare. This style may seem simple but when made from a beautiful fabric, lace or beading it can look incredibly glamorous, sophisticated and very elegant. When opting for a sheath gown, have fun modifying it to suit your body shape by playing around with the flare of the skirt and the train length. These are great ways to make this straight-cut style a touch more formal and unique.
Designer: Dana Harel Design (Colette gown)
THE HIGH-LOW GOWN
The high-low hem is a fun asymmetrical style that falls slightly shorter in the front and longer in the back. This unique style is commonly found in everyday-wear and formal, occasion-wear, however more recently it has become increasingly popular within the bridal industry. The high-low style can also be known as the mullet style gown and is perfect for brides who are getting married along the sandy beach, grassy fields of the countryside or a relaxed garden wedding. The best feature of this gorgeous gown is that it’s suitable for almost everybody, no matter what your body shape or height is. Keeping in mind, that for all our short brides out there, the length of the front is quite important as it can make you look even shorter if it’s not cut at the right height. A general rule to follow is that the more leg you show (the higher the front is) the more elongating it will look. Don’t worry brides, this doesn’t mean you need to turn your wedding dress into a mini skirt. Consider having the front sit around the knee area or slightly below to give the illusion of a taller figure. This fun gown is perfect for a less formal wedding, however to glam it up, consider adding a gorgeous lace, touch of 3d florals, a sparkly embellished belt around the waistline, a large statement bow at the back or an intricate scallop lace edging around the hemline.
Designer: Jenny Yoo
EMPIRE LINE GOWN
An empire line is a gorgeous classic and elegant style gown, that is perfect for any bride wanting to achieve a vintage or more traditional bridal look. This style is quite rare to find in bridal boutiques nowadays, but it was definitely a popular and well-admired silhouette back in the 19th century. So, what exactly is an empire line? An empire line is a dress that features a fitted bodice which ends just underneath your bust, giving a high waisted appearance. The skirt is generally an A-line or sheath style which drapes effortlessly from under your bust to the ground. This may not be a contemporary style but this stunning gown suits everybody and anybody, no matter what your height or body shape is. This silhouette tends to highlight and draw more attention to your bust and décolletage area which is great for brides who are a tad self-conscious of their stomach or legs. Because of the cut of the dress, it’s important to note that this style will make your bust look slightly bigger in size, so it is best suited for any bride that has a small to medium chest. This style also doesn’t cut in at the waistline like most bridal gowns do, so to all our pregnant brides out there, this style is the perfect one for you.
Designer: Doris Wedding
DO YOU NEED HELP FINDING YOUR PERFECT GOWN TO COMPLEMENT YOUR BODY SHAPE AND WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE YOUR VERY OWN CUSTOM GOWN? Contact us today, for your free in-store design consultation and our over the phone styling advice service from our lovely team of designers!