How to find the perfect wedding dress to suit your body shape

You will probably have an idea in mind of what sort of wedding dress you would like, and you should try on the style you have in mind, because even if you  have followed all the expert advice, sometimes you will put a dress on and regardless of the ‘rules’ that may say it won’t suit you, it could defy all those rules and look fabulous, and even if it doesn’t, at least you will have had the chance to see it on and not wonder what your ideal dress may have looked like.  However, if you have no idea of the sort of dress you would like or what styles are available, here’s a quick guide to what styles suit what shapes.

The traditional Full Skirt Dress

This is the perfect style for those who are slim and have a full bust since it balances our your shape.  Some stylists say this is not a good shape for wide hips as it will emphasise them, but if you choose a style like this one with tulle overskirt then it’s not obvious what’s hips and what’s skirt! It’s not a good style for small busted or petite shapes though as it can make you look smaller.  If you love the fairytale style then -->Hollywood Dreams --> design the most beautiful princess dresses and have stockists across the country.  This dress is the Izzy dress from the Valencia collection.  

Empire Line Dress

This is a great style for petite brides and those who have a small bust as the dress starts below the bust line which gives the illusion of a bust and elongates the body to give the illusion of height.  It’s also good for those with wider hips as it helps to conceal them especially if you choose a floaty fabric like this one pictured.  This is a style that suits most body shapes and will both enhance your assets and conceal those parts your not so keen on.  This is a very romantic style of dress that is ideal for a summer wedding.  This is the Juliet dress from Sarah Houston.


A-Line Dress

This is a dress that suits those will a slim upper body and waist but bigger hips and thighs (the traditional pear shape) as it is fitted at the bodice and then flares out gently to an A-line skirt.  It’s great for curvy figures to show off your bust and slim waist, but not so good for those who have a bit of a tummy to cover up or those with a small bust as it will draw attention to that area.  This dress is from Alfred Angelo who design dresses for every shape and size and are available across the country.


Column Dress

This style of dress is perfect for those who are slim and very happy with their body as it hugs the figure pretty much everywhere!  It works for tall figures to give a gracious look but also works well for petite figures too as the long slim line elongates really well.  Jenny Packham designs these high glamour, red carpet dresses to perfection. 


Bias Cut Dress

This is another style for the perfect figure although this style skims the body from top to toe rather than hugging it like the column dress does.  Again it will suit both all heights as it has an unbroken line and is ideal for a sophisticated chic wedding. This is the Bali dress from the Belle Epoque collection by Ian Stuart.

These are the most common dress designs, but there are plenty of varations on the main shapes such as mermaid and asymetric and as well as this each shape of dress will come with different necklines that will certain shapes, sleeve styles and of course train lengths.  It’s worth doing a bit of homework on the internet and looking through magazines to get an idea of what style you would like before going wedding dress shopping so that you don’t waste time and money since some designers and boutiques will charge you just to try the dresses on!


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  1. Thank you for this excellent posting. Lots of great information about finding the perfect fitting gown. Also, really enjoyed the photos you posted.

    • Humbug Bride says:

      Hi Kim,

      If you liked the photos I’ve posted some photos of beautiful wedding dresses on my blog.

      Take a look if you have a chance!

  2. Love your design choices to depict styles that work with various shapes. And you are right, about the fact that rules sometimes can be broken. The mermaid style for example, usually looks best on someone tall and slender to average in size.

    But I have seen some plus size and short brides pull this style off successfully. It all depends on their proportions and the wedding dress scale in the design.

  3. kikka214 says:

    great!however how about women who aint that slim or petite. what would the ideal style be?

  4. Humbug Bride says:

    Please take a quick look at my blog. I’m aiming to cover the nitty gritty of wedding planning and covering such topics as where to put that scary uncle on the seating plan. My blog is:

    A sweet, new perspective on how to make your wedding not suck.

    Let me know what you think!

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