Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress Silhouette

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress Silhouette

There is a misconception that your weight determines what type of silhouette you can wear.  That is untrue.  It is your body type that determines the silhouette that will be the most flattering. The silhouette, when paired correctly with your body type, determines how a wedding gown fits and looks on you. There are plenty of silhouettes that, when done right, flatter and complement every body type. Here are the most common bridal gown silhouettes:

A-line or Princess
This silhouette is universally flattering with a fitted bodice and beginning right below the natural waistline, elegant, clean lines flare at the hips to narrow and elongate the torso. A-line gowns are also quite versatile. It is an especially good choice for the Triangle body shape. Just make sure it has a natural waistline-not dropped. Look for a strapless neckline or bodice with horizontal accent beading or embroidery. If you have an Inverted Triangle body type choose a Dropped or Basque waistline or a gown with an appliqué or decorative accent that draws attention to the hips and flows into a soft A-line skirt to balance your figure. Look for a v-neckline and close-to-the-neck straps to help visually slim your shoulders. While other silhouettes are dependent on the strength and texture of certain fabrics, the fabric your A-line gown is made from will depend on your personal preference. If you desire a soft, feminine shape, choose a light fabric like chiffon that can hang comfortably off the body. If you’re looking for something more refined and formal, heavier fabrics like organza can add structure and help maintain the A-line’s smooth, crisp silhouette.

Ball Gown
Also known as a Princess silhouette, it has a fitted bodice and a full, floor length skirt. It is a silhouette that hides the hips, if only because no one can see where they are, and creates an hourglass effect when combined with a larger bust. If you have an Inverted Triangle body type the Ball Gown to balance slim hips with wide shoulders However, if you have the Triangle body type, take care as the dress can appear bottom-heavy.  So balance the Ball Gown silhouette with straps that rest on the outside of the shoulders for symmetry, choose a skirt with less volume and use a light, airy fabric like chiffon for the train. Petites should be careful with this silhouette as its volume can overwhelm a small-statured bride.

The high-waisted Empire gown is all about Old World romance. The waist on an empire gown rests just below the bust, then flares out and flows freely. This silhouette gives the empire gown a more comfortable, relaxed charm than many other silhouettes – while still maintaining style. The halter top on an Empire gown draws eye to
focus on collar bone rather than shoulders and help visually balance an Inverted Triangle figure and is a good choice for a bride with a Rectangle body type.  Empire gowns can either enhance or de-emphasize the bust. While a sweetheart neckline on an empire dress will highlight your assets, a square cut across the front can help play down larger breasts without looking frumpy. An Empire silhouette gown, with a roomy cut can camouflage the tummy area and refocus it to your upper body-smiling face.. A free-flowing fabric like charmeuse in an empire silhouette can also hide wider waists and hips of a Triangle body type, as well as make dancing and sitting much easier.  This silhouette is best avoided by brides with an hourglass figure as it hides your curves. 

Fit & Flare
Fit and flare is one of the most popular silhouettes. It is usually broken into two separate silhouettes, the mermaid and the trumpet. A trumpet silhouette accentuates ones curves by having a fitted bodice and flaring out below the hip or at mid-thigh and can be the right choice for a bride with an hourglass figure. The mermaid silhouette has a closely fitted bodice which then flares out either slightly above or below the knee area. Fit and flare gowns aren’t for every body type. As a sleek, tight cut that flares at the knees, it’s not usually recommended for plus-size brides other than those with an hourglass body type. But that long line from the bust to the flare can look fantastic if you’ve got the height to pull it off. Just remember that the dress isn’t built with shorter, Inverted Triangle body type brides in mind — it might end up feeling more constricting and less flattering.

The sheath silhouette has straight lines with a slim fitting figure. This dress tends to be made with lighter fabrics. Choosing a wedding dress that shows off some your curves can be much better than trying to de-emphasize larger hips or breasts. Sheaths, which can fit closely against the body all the way from neckline to hem, can look fabulous on a plus-size bride (especially with the right body-shaping underwear). In this case, heavier fabrics like blended silk are better than lightweight ones, since sheath dresses are fitted to the contours of the body with seams. Brides with a Rectangle body type can wear loser cut sheaths and add a beaded belt to create a waistline and visually balanced figure.