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How to Find A Wedding Dress For Your Body

5 Common Female Body Shapes

Shopping for the Big Day

How many times have you attended a wedding and the bridal gown is wearing the bride, instead of the bride wearing the bridal gown? It really does not matter if the perfect wedding dress is considered "high fashion", costs a lot of money, or was made by Christian Dior himself; if it does not look right on a particular body size. One of the most important elements to finding the perfect bridal gown is first recognizing, what body shape looks best in what style of dress.

More often than not, by the time a bride is ready to shop for a wedding dress, she is completely overwhelmed from researching everything bridal that was physically possible. Many brides are easily enticed and quickly swept away by designer name or sale price. Also, there are brides who become entranced by dresses that sparkle; completely bedazzling everyone at the bridal shop into a haze, at which time every body then forgets to look into the mirror.

My advice to you, DON'T BE THAT BRIDE!

The Power of Knowing Your Body Shape

Peanut , Hourglass, or the "G" body shape: Over 75% of women fit into this body type dimension. Famous people with this body type are Marilyn Monroe, Pamela Anderson Lee, Anna Nicole Smith, and Tyra Banks. With so many great features associated with this body type, e.g. average to big breasts, broad shoulders, nip-and-tuck waistline, fuller hips and thick legs; choose a dress that will highlight some of the finer points. Brides with the Peanut, also known as "G" body figure, should be purchasing gowns that might be strapless, have a corset bodice, which will accentuate the waistline. Women with this body shape, look amazing in bisque and low dropping waistlines. Because of the way this body shape is portioned on top, brides with hourglass figures can wear full skirted gowns to slimming mermaid style of dresses.

Pear shape or "A" body shape: This body type usually has narrow shoulders or a rolled shoulder-line. This distinctive feature is why its called the A-shape. Whether a pear shaped bride considers her narrow shoulders and fuller hips a blessing or not, it is best to fit a dress that accentuates this portion of their body. Princess cut or A-line waistlines, were designed for and named for this particular shaped body. It was a way for dress makers to design patterns that would disguise the woman's fuller hips, while enhancing the smaller pear shaped proportions, in order to balance out the torso to bust ratio. A halter neckline always looks fantastic on this body shape. Famous princesses with this shape Princess Grace Kelly, Princess Kate, and Princess Diana. Famous family with this shape is the Kardashian's.

Apple or "D" body shape: D body shapes are known for their fuller waists, large bustlines, narrow hips, and flat buttocks. The most flattering dresses for this shape are the empire and A-line waistline dresses. Stay away from any type of gown with a drop waist line. They will only make you look thicker in the middle region. Straight dresses work well for this body type. The best type of neckline for this body type is the Queen Anne neckline but, true Queen Anne neckline dresses, are really hard to come by these days. Famous Roses with this body shape Rosanne Barr and Rosie O'Donnell. Famous Broadway Actress with this body shape Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Sting Bean or "T" body shape: Ladies that are considered the "T" body shape usually have a petite frame, their shoulders and hips line up symmetrically, tight flat tummy, round bottom, and thin legs. Because this frame is the most delicate of all the body sizes, they often are the hardest to fit. Dresses without a waist definition work wonders on this body type. Famous actresses with this body shape Calista Kay Flockhart, and Winona Ryder.

Carrot or "V" body shape: This brides figure features are square shoulders, long arms, average to small breasts, thicker or square waistline, small bottom, narrow hips and beautiful legs. Famous First Ladies with this body shape Jacqueline Kennedy and Nancy Reagan. Famous Actress with this body shape Angelina Jolie.


After Body Shapes Comes Color, Budget, Date...

Only after discovering your body shape (or having a good idea of what the right design is for certain shapes); is when to start looking for the complete ensemble. As one can read, there are many different aspects consider. Some of the other moving parts and pieces include:

  • Dress Color - Winter and Summer complexion brides look fabulous in ice white and gray tone dresses. While Spring and Autumn complexion brides look better in candlelight, ivory, or blush color gowns.
  • The Budget for the Dress - Designer wedding dresses can cost a bride upwards to $150,000 USD. The more realistic price point for a high fashion wedding dress is anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000. While many of the gowns featured by top name designers cost approximately $10,000 to $25,000 USD. No matter what budget number is set, there is a wedding dress for every price point imaginable. (My wedding dress budget number in 1994 was $1,200. I ended up buying my dream for a mere $412 USD). Another source to consider is, if a stock gown simply costs too much money, try looking into having a custom gown made.
  • The Wedding Date and Time - Before a bride even begins to think about buying a dress, she needs to at least, have an idea of what time of year, the event is going to take place. Date and time of a wedding, when picking out a dress is very valuable information to have established. Buying a dress designed for a formal affair for a mid-morning, garden wedding just might look a bit ridiculous. Date and time of the wedding, is essential when shopping for a bridal gown. Anyone who says otherwise is just wanting to make a sale. At the very minimum, at least have the time of year firmly established.

Having these decisions decided upon, before the bridal gown hunt begins, will provide the bride some breathing room and a great head-start, to finding her one and only wedding dress.

The Peanut Body

The Peanut Body

Friendly Tips

Big busted: Strapless bustier or corset bodices on big breasted women, tend to make women look top heavy. If the bride's cup size is a D or larger, stay away from strapless dresses. Wedding dresses that have a V, scoop, sweetheart or square necklines will enhance the bust line and figure much better.

Petite or String Bean body shapes: Not only is this body shape built straight up and down, a number of women with this body shape are also short and petite. Make sure to wear taffeta, crepe or silk- instead of a satin fabric gown. Satin dresses carry way to much fabric weight for this tiny size and frame. The heavy satin bridal gowns will only weigh the body down, and this body shape usually ends up drowning in dresses made of satin. Choose an empire or straight waistline. These will best enhance the smaller bust-line and make the bride appear taller.

Here's How to Properly Measure Yourself for Your Body Size


Julie Grimes (author) from Columbia, MO USA on February 06, 2015:

Hi I am Julie, thanks for stopping by and commenting on this hub. I really appreciate the feedback.

Nimblepins on February 03, 2015:

This was fun to read - I had flashbacks of choosing my wedding dress. There's so much pressure to look "perfect" when we're all so different. This is a helpful guide - I know brides-to-be need all the help they can get.

wedding services scotland on January 03, 2011:

This is an interesting approach. Perceptions of how one is viewed certainly does influence what we say and don't say.

mehao on May 05, 2010:

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meihao on April 27, 2010:

It’s no doubt that women love shoes, especially those famous brands shoes, such as Christian Louboutin,

Gucci, CHANL, etc. As a girl, I also like to buy beautiful shoes; and pumps are my favorite. i bought a

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EmersonPAULINE on March 01, 2010:

I will recommend not to hold off until you earn enough money to buy different goods! You should just get the home loans or bank loan and feel comfortable

Julie Grimes (author) from Columbia, MO USA on February 04, 2010:

Hi Hannah, I'm sorry that dress is a vintage gown from the late 1800's. Thanks for stopping by. Julie

Hannah on February 02, 2010:

I am curious about the bronze dress you have pictured here. Who designed it, and are there any more photos of it? Is there a website I can go to, to buy it? I'll check back now and again. I hope you can help! It's a beautiful dress. :)

Julie Grimes (author) from Columbia, MO USA on January 12, 2010:

Don't you know it! Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your website, and I liked what I saw. Very nice.

Sell Wedding Dress on January 12, 2010:

I love people that use different styles of wedding dress, white can be so boring.

Gaget Girl from UK on July 24, 2009:

Wow those are some beautiful dresses!