Know your shape, buy your dress!

Since the earliest days of our childhood we girls have been dreaming of our idyllic wedding day, fantasizing about playing the part of the fairytale bride and wearing the perfect wedding dress. Naturally every beautiful, blushing bride wants to look and feel her spectacular best in the most exquisite dress imaginable. But no matter how opulent, expensive, or en vogue that exquisite dress is, if it doesn’t suit your body shape then it’s never going to be the perfect wedding gown you’ve always envisioned.

However, following these few simple rules on the styles of wedding gowns which will enhance and flatter your figure, will ensure you look and feel every inch the fairytale princess on the most important day of your life.


Svelte hips and legs, and a fuller upper body with a lack of waist definition are the key features of the apple-shaped figure, so if this is your body shape you should aim to find a bridal gown which minimizes your stomach, creates a waist and makes the most of that stunning slender lower body.

Phenomenally flattering, infinitely graceful and perfectly suited to your shape, the A- line gown ticks every single box. The fitted bodice of an A-line dress helps to shape the upper body, giving you a more distinct waist and simultaneously streamlining your tummy, and the skirt flaring out gently from the waistline will create volume at your hips and thighs, emphasizing your figure’s slimmest features. Empire line dresses fitted just under the bust with a softly flared skirt which skims gently over the hips and bottom is also ideal for the apple-shaped bride.

Gowns with either scoop or V-shaped necklines are best for apple-shaped brides, as higher necklines which completely conceal the voluptuous curves of your bust will make your upper half appear heavy and shapeless. Opt for dresses with embellishments such as embroidery, ruffles, and lace appliques on the skirt to draw attention to the slimmest part of your body.

Apple – Ivory corseted dress from Gallery Serpentine Australia

A line dress gallery serpentine


Beautifully curvaceous and perfectly proportioned, the hourglass body shape is characterized by a slender, defined waist, voluptuous curves, and alignment between the hips & shoulders. With such a fabulously feminine silhouette a dress which follows the natural contours of the body and enhances those incredible curves is ideal for the hourglass bride.

Elegant mermaid or fishtail style bridal gowns, which caress your gorgeous curves and flare out from the knee creating volume at the hemline, are a sensational choice if hourglass is your body shape. Fitted to emphasize the balance between the proportions of your statuesque figure, mermaid style gowns will accentuate your willowy waist and showcase your feminine curves, with the flared hemline adding a sophisticated flourish to enhance your alluring silhouette. Classic 1950s style dresses with their nipped-in waistlines, sweetheart necklines and full skirts, are also perfect for brides with an hourglass figure, and any hourglass-shaped bride will look resplendent in a chic column gown which hugs her every curve!

Any detail which draws attention towards the hourglass bride’s defined waist, such as an embellished waistband, or a floral corsage will ensure her wedding dress is infinitely more flattering.

Hourglass – Chrissy Wai-Ching’s ‘Flame Zolotova’


Inverted Triangle

Defined by broad shoulders which extend past the lines of the hips, and gorgeous, enviably slim legs, the inverted triangle body shape always benefits from the addition of a little extra volume at the hips and bottom, in order to create the appearance of alignment with wider shoulders.

Gowns with stylish peplum detailing at the hips are perfect for doing this, as the peplum exaggerates the fullness of the hips so they appear balanced with your shoulders, which is exactly what you want if your figure is inverted triangle. Bridal dresses with tiered skirts are also ideal for this body shape as they create volume around the lower half of the body and simultaneously draw the eye downwards, away from the broadest part of your figure.

Dresses with thick shoulder straps are brilliant for breaking up the expanse of an inverted triangle’s shoulders, though if you’d prefer a gown with sleeves opt for full length as even the most delicate of chiffon ¾ length or cap sleeves will emphasize the width of your shoulders.

Inverted Triangle – Tiered skirt from Singapore Brides Steampunk photoshoot

Tiered skirt gown inverted triangle


Classic pear-shaped silhouettes are, quite simply, the exact opposite of the inverted triangle shape, with full, curvy hips and thighs, a narrow waist and slender bust and shoulders typifying the pear shape. So, when selecting a wedding dress to suit a pear figure, the aim is to find a gown which draws attention away from the fuller hips, bottom and thighs, whilst accenting the lithe waist and torso.

Empire line dresses are the epitome of elegance and the ideal style and fit for flattering pear figures. Fitted just under the bust they will highlight your willowy torso, whilst the subtly flared skirt flowing delicately from just above your natural waistline will help to minimize the fullness of your hips and thighs, making them appear slimmer.  A-line wedding gowns are also perfect for flattering the pear figure.

A variety of necklines are beautifully suited to the pear body shape, so you’ll look impeccably stylish in everything from off-the-shoulder and scoop neck gowns, to dresses with asymmetric necklines.

Pear – Amanda Wakeley gown

Empire line gown pear shape


A wonderfully graceful, willowy frame, the rectangle figure lacks natural curves, so any bride-to-be who is blessed with this particular body shape will want to find a wedding gown which creates the illusion of a fuller bust and hips, whilst accentuating her sylphlike waist, stomach and shoulders.

This is the perfect figure for working an exquisite princess-line wedding gown. The A-line gown’s more dramatic (but equally stylish) little sister, a princess-line dress has an incredibly voluminous full circle skirt which will instantly make the hips, bottom and thighs of a rectangle-figured bride appear more curvaceous. Like the hourglass bride, rectangle-figured women will look sensational in mermaid style wedding gowns which will accentuate the hips & bust, as well as showcasing that tiny waist.

Selecting dresses with detail and embellishments around the bust, hips or bottom will help to create curves on your rectangle figure, whilst cap sleeves or off-the-shoulder straps will extend the lines of your shoulders, giving you an hourglass-shaped silhouette.

Rectangle – ‘Lutea’ gown from Alessandro Couture

Princess gown rectangle shape


So which shape are you?

Author: Deirdre Rocks

NB: Featured image: – Photographer: Tim Walker