I was so excited when a recent bride asked me to write a blog on wedding dresses! Perhaps surprisingly, but I’ve had more and more brides recently asking for my opinion and advice on what the right dress for their particulrar style and shape is. Although I’m not married myself and so can’t speak from direct experience, I do see hundreds of beautiful brides with unique styles and shapes every year! Its probably my favourite part of the day , seeing the moment my brides walk out in their dress for the very first time- hair and makeup immaculately finished- its such a honouring moment for me, knowing I was part of creating such a stunning vision!
I decided to reach out to someone who has even more experience with dresses than I do, Paula Moore. Paula is a wedding designer creating Vintage-inspired bespoke dresses for today’s brides. The dresses are designed and handmade in Great Britain and are absolutely beautiful. What better person to advise on dress shapes than someone who not only sells wedding dresses but also personally makes them!
Below are some fantastic tips Paula has kindly shared for today’s blog.
There truly is a dress out there for every shape and size bride imaginable, don’t be overwhelmed by the choices. Follow a few simple rules and the leg work can be dramatically reduced.
No one knows your body as well as you do, the parts you are the most confident about and want to enhance, and the areas which you prefer not to emphasise.
If you are a lovely Rubenesque lady then go for a dress that has lots of structure and support in the bodice. Keep the structure and support running across the tummy and upper hips if you prefer a more tightly fitting dress. Alternatively stop the structure at waist level, go soft and floaty from this point down.
Sweetheart necklines will flatter a fuller bust, whilst a soft outer layer of rouching running diagonally across the bodice will help flatten the tummy. Alternatively, a lace overlay across the tummy will work beautifully.
Keep any shoulder straps very soft and let them sit on the outer edge of your shoulders. This will keep your shape beautifully balanced.
Athletic & Slender Figures
Slender body shapes look stunning in bias cut dresses with clean lines which drape closely across the body. Equally empire line dresses are perfect to showcase your slender frame. Keep away from heavy laces or rouched heavy fabrics.
Keep the bodice of the dress close fitting, then if desired, go for layers of super lightweight tulle on the skirt. For a touch of glamour a backless dress would work well.
If you want to give the illusion of having a few more curves, go for a structured bodice with soft rouched tulle across the bust line and hips with a mermaid hemline. Deeply plunging v necklines work well with a small bust.
I would recommend a tea length 1950’s inspired dress for shorter ladies. The key is not to overwhelm a small frame. Tea length dresses balance your upper and lower halves making you appear taller.
Keep things beautifully simple.
Sweet heart and necklines work well. Dresses which are shorter at the front and longer at the back will give the illusion of height.
An empire line dress will be perfect to elongate your frame and make you feel instantly taller. Equally, mermaid or trumpet skirts which flare at the knee or calf would also be a great choice. A slim fitting bodice will elongate your torso, whilst the skirt will draw the eye downward.
Keep your look clean and sophisticated. Go for styles you know will flatter your figure. Fitted bodices will help define the waist. Empire and shift dresses will skim over the waist elegantly. You may also consider shorter lengths, especially styling from the 1950’s specifically as it will allow you to showcase your lovely legs and great shoes.
Try not to show off too much cleavage, go for elegance instead. V necks, bateaus, high scoops and illusion necklines will work beautifully. Bolero jackets in lace will add sophistication. Think about alternatives to ivory and white. Gold, silver grey and antique shades will look stunning.