How to Thursdays: How to Select Your Wedding Dress!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Soooo one of the most important decisions you will make when it is time to start planning your wedding is...WHAT KIND OF DRESS YOU WILL WEAR!!  It's like the "Piece de Resistance" to your  entire wedding and should be one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning BUT it can be very tiring and draining if you are not clear on what you want and what works with your body shape!   Just watch TLC's "Say Yes To Dress" and you can get a sense of the stress that goes into picking that perfect dress.  Today I would like to talk about different body types and what silhouettes works best for those types AND next week we will talk about the different types and shapes of wedding gowns that are available!

First and foremost, it is important as a woman to understand your body type; what shapes and silhouettes flatters it and what DOESN'T.  To identify your body type:

1.  Stand in front of a mirror and draw an imaginary line from the widest point of your shoulders to the widest part of your hips.

2.  Identify if the line is A:  A straight line? Or  B: If  your hips are wider than your shoulders or
C: Vice Versa.

3.  Now take a look at the definition of your waist - how far from your imaginary line is the narrowest point of your waist?

Sounds complicated, let's make it easier, use these pictures below to determine what your body type is!!!!!

First is the Pear Shape, which is the most common body type! Hips are wider than shoulders and bust but the waist is pretty well defined.

Beyonce in Elie Saab
What Flatters: Strapless, V-neck or scooped necklines, possibly in off shoulder styles, to emphasize shoulders and make them look balanced with hips. A-line is the best shape, but avoid a really full skirt. Empress lines can also work well. Diagonal draping on the bodice is very flattering.

What to Avoid: Halter-necks or high cut necks make hips look bigger. Bias or straight cut dresses also emphasize hips, as do full, gathered or pleated skirts. Avoid any bulk around the hips. 
Pear Shaped Celebs: Beyonce, Shakira, Alicia Keys, Ashanti

Second, we have the Rectangle Shape where the hips and shoulders are about the same width and the waist is not AS defined.

Diaz in Chanel

What Flatters:Go for a waistline with a V shape at the front to create the illusion of a smaller waist. Structured and corseted bodices with fairly full skirts also achieve this effect. Empire line styles work particularly well as do bias cuts if you are tall. Keep necklines wide and use detailing either above or below the waist, not both.

What to Avoid: Halter necks or high necks make the shoulders look narrow and as a result do not flatter the waist. Avoid ruching or draping in the waist area. Straight cut dresses are in danger of making you look boxy.

Rectangle Shaped Celebs: Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz,  Nicole Kidman

Third body type is the Inverted Triangular (or Apple) Shape which is where the shoulders are wider than the hips and waist is pretty defined. This is the shape common with runway models.

Ciara in Emilio Pucci
 What Flatters: Bias cut or straight cut dresses can look very sophisticated, and this shape can easily wear very full ball gown styles. Halter-necks or higher cut necks balance shoulders and hips and flatter a smaller chest. Bustles or bows in the hip area can add shapeliness.

What to Avoid: Very low cut necklines can make you look "all top" unless carefully balanced. Avoid full or very fancy sleeves and wider necklines.

Triangular Shaped Celebs: Chanel Iman, Ciara, Naomi Campbell

Fourth body type is the Hourglass where the hip and shoulder width is fairly equal and the waist is very defined. Most women want this figure (I know I do...I am about 5,000 crunches away though, lolll!)

Hilson in Dolce and Gabbana

What Flatters: Strapless, V-neck or scooped neckline. Off shoulder styles work well but in any case keep the neckline quite low. A-line is a good shape; a shapely mermaid style works AMAZINGLY for hourglasses. Use ruching or draping to disguise less perfect bits!

What to Avoid: Bias cut or straight dresses don't suit the typical curves of the hourglass. Gathered or pleated skirts can make your hips look bigger than they are, so be careful. Empire styles will hide your best features.
Hourglass Celebrities: Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Keri Hilson

(Info above borrowed from!)

Here is an example of a bride who MASTERED her shape and found a dress that complements her shape PERFECTLY! She is considered a "pear shape" and completely OWNSSS her wedding dress!  We are also loving her wedding hairstyle!!!!!

Photos courtesy of Atunbi Photography

So as you can see there are sooo many types of body types! And there are different things that can be done to highlight and bring out your BEAUTIFUL assets that nobody will even notice or pay attention to the flaws! What kind of body shape do you identify with the most? What is your favorite silhouette? If you are unclear on what your body shape is feel free to ask questions for more clarification or email me at! Talk to me, I want to hear from ya'll!!

Stay Beautiful My Loves,

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1 comment:

Bex said...

omg! She really DID master it! wow, she looks STUNNING in that dress!

Great piece! Interesting topic!

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