As disappointing as it is, the fact is that there is no universally flattering style of wedding dress (though the A-line comes close.) With a little knowledge about what you want and what the best styles are, you can pick out a flattering dress online or in-store with much less time and trouble than you would going in with no knowledge of what to look for.
The A-Line – A Slimming Illusion for Full Figures and Pear Shapes
Though not universally appealing, the A-Line does come close. If you’re ever hesitant to buy a dress for fear it won’t be flattering, look for an A-Line. This style has a slightly looser fit and a classic “wedding dress” shape.
The A-Line also lengthens the figure, making petite brides appear taller as well. For curvier brides concerned about revealing too much, the A-Line has enough volume to smooth out the figure but not so much as to add excess bulk.
The Sheath – An Uncomplicated Shape for the Petite, Modern Bride
Whether you’re looking through a selection of off-the-shoulder, sleeveless, or long sleeve wedding dresses, you will doubtless come across a sheath dress or two. While not nearly as popular as the more voluminous options, it’s an excellent choice for any bride looking to have an uncomplicated, minimalist wedding or stand out in contrast to an over-the-top ceremony.
This shape is somewhat “unforgiving” and can leave any bride with significant curves left with a less-than-flattering fit and silhouette. For petite brides, however, this shape flatters and elongates the figure.
The Mermaid – Embrace Hourglass Figures and Tall Brides
A mermaid dress is perfect for those already blessed with a perfectly balanced hourglass figure. It’s a hard shape to pull off without that, but it can be done if you truly want to walk down the aisle in a dress with this iconic shape. However, you will need to find a good tailor and work with them to reach your ideal shape and fit.
The Trumpet – Show Off a Curvy Figure or Create One
Alternatively, if you’re a pear-shaped bride that wants to show off your curves, a “Trumpet” shaped dress is similar to a Mermaid style. But, the flare at the bottom starts closer to the knee than the ankle. This gives you a similar silhouette to the Mermaid but helps balance out your curves, showing them off in their best light.
For those with slimmer hips, a trumpet can also create the illusion of an hourglass figure with the right application of volume and sculpting. Experts recommend getting a fitting as close to the wedding as possible, especially with a form-fitting dress.
Ball Gowns – Add Volume to a Slim Figure
If you want drama and volume, a ball gown may be the only way to go. For tall, thin brides, the ball gown will provide a balanced silhouette and fill out your figure compared to the other options. Not only that, but it can give brides with broader shoulders the chance to have an hourglass silhouette.
The Best Dress for You May Not Be the Most Flattering
Many will want to choose a dress that fits their shape better than any other. However, some people have been dreaming of walking down the aisle in a hot-pink ball gown since they were four, no matter their current height. Choosing a dress that speaks to you is key to having your best wedding and keeping pre-wedding stress at bay. Always put your opinions and preferences (and those of your partner) first so that you have no wedding-related regrets in the future.