Which Wedding Dress Style is Right for Me?
Buying a wedding dress can be a minefield, you want to ensure you look and feel your absolute best, but, oh my goodness, what a choice! There are literally thousands of different dresses out there, all vying for your attention with their “pick me, pick me!” prettiness, so how do you choose?
Some of you will know, instantly, what you want – the style, the fabric, the length, the shape – it will be obvious to you! You know exactly what dress you want and you’re going to have it, just try and stop you! You find a stockist, you arrange an appointment, you excitedly try the dress on… and then, you see yourself in the mirror – oh, no, that’s not a good look on you! You hate it, it shows all the different lumps and bumps you were hoping to hide, the neckline’s wrong, you look really short, or you look bigger than you’d hoped… so, you’re back to the drawing board. Where do you go from here?
Well, firstly, don’t panic, you WILL find your perfect dress, I promise, you just need to find a style that suits your body shape, and that makes you feel like the best version of ‘you’.
Whittling Down Your Wedding Dress Choices…
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Do I like flirty and flouncy, or sleek and unfussy?
- Where am I getting married? Eg, church, stately home, woodland, etc…
- Do I like shiny, matt, lace, texture?
- Do I enjoy getting dressed up, or am I more of a ‘jeans and wellies’ girl?
- Am I a traditional girl, or more ‘out there’?
- Ivory, white, or a colour?
- What areas of my body do I love? Which areas would I like to conceal?
These questions, (and others like them,) can help you decide on the style of dress that will suit your personality, venue, and body shape, and can help to make your bridal gown buying experience more enjoyable.
Still unsure which style will suit you? Here’s a handy guide to help you:
Wedding Dress Styles
This style is ideal for those who wish to accentuate their top half and flatter their hips/bottom. The skirt flows gently out from the waist, skimming the hips and helps to balance out your body shape. A Bardot, boat, or other wider neckline will also help to give the illusion of a wider top half and help with balancing. An A-Line shape can also provide shape to those with more athletic body shapes. This style of gown suits pretty much everyone!
A ball gown has a much fuller skirt than an A-Line so they’re great for making a dramatic statement. They balance out the body shape of bustier ladies and create curves for those with a more lithe body. Be careful if you’re petite, though, as this style can swamp you and make you look shorter.
An Empire line dress has the skirt coming from directly under the bust. As such, these dresses can be great for those with a bigger tummy, or pregnant brides, especially if they are made from a floaty fabric such as chiffon. Those who have a less defined waist or are petite will suit an Empire line dress as the eye is drawn upwards making the body seem taller.
These dresses are classic and elegant and are ideal for those with a slim/athletic build. They also add height as they draw the eye vertically so they are great for petite ladies. A column dress will show every curve so you could end up looking unbalanced if you are ‘pear-shaped’ or busty, and they also enhance every imperfection so may not suit those wishing to disguise certain areas.
These dress styles are very similar to each other and are defined by a figure-hugging top half and a skirt that flares out from the knee. A trumpet style tends to have a skirt that continues the straight lines from the top of the dress that flares out to form a trumpet shape, whereas a mermaid style tends to have a fuller skirt. These styles create a slimming effect for hourglass figures and are good for petite ladies as you don’t get lost under masses of fabric. If you are unhappy with your bottom, or you are ‘pear-shaped’ you may not like this style as it draws attention to your lower half. You may also find that this style does not flatter you if you are a rounder shape.
This shorter dress style is increasingly popular, especially with older brides and those looking for a more ‘quirky’ bridal gown. The hemline tends to fall between the knee and mid-calf length, and usually features a full skirt which can help balance a curvier top half. This style highlights your ankles and lower leg so it will draw attention to these areas, and they are not ideal for very petite ladies as they can highlight how short you are, although wearing heels can help elongate your legs.
Other Wedding Dress Design Features to Bear in Mind
- Ruffles, pleats, gathers, embellishments, and other fussiness draws the eye, so will emphasise these areas.
- Structured bodices create smooth shapes and keep any “wobbly bits” under control.
- Illusion necklines can minimise a larger bust, without covering it up.
- Horizontal features/lines draw the eye sideways which can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what you are aiming to achieve. For instance, a sparkly belt can create a waist where there isn’t one, but a seamline across the hips could make your bottom look bigger.
Once you have a better idea of what you like/don’t like/want to achieve you are in a better position to go dress shopping. Keep an open mind when you see the dresses on their hangers and be guided by the consultant – a lot of dresses can take on a whole new life once they are on, and styles you never thought you’d wear, may turn out to be perfect! It is also best to limit the number of loved-ones you take with you to one or two people who know you and your style very well, so you don’t become overwhelmed by lots of conflicting opinions – you want to enjoy the experience, not become stressed out!
If you follow the above advice you won’t go far wrong, and I hope it helps make choosing your bridal gown a little easier. Of course, these are only guidelines and not set in stone! At the end of the day, so long as you feel a million dollars when you have your dress on, you are making the right choice.
Good luck, and happy shopping!
View our range of bridal gowns here.