Wedding Gown Style Tips

Photo by: iStockPhoto.

If you’ve ever watched “Say Yes To The Dress”, you’ve heard Kleinfeld’s Fashion Director Randy Fenoli (love him!) explain the difference between what a girl wants and what a girl needs in a wedding gown.  Most girls already have already envisioned their dream gown before they’ve even hit the stores.  I can say from personal experience that Randy is correct; I ended up purchasing a gown that was a complete 180° from the gown I had pictured for myself.  Now, that’s not to say that a girl can’t have the dress of her dreams; rather that she should be open to alternatives in order to ensure she wears something that flatters her figure and allows her to look her very best.

With what seems like my entire circle of friends getting engaged this year, I thought I’d share some wedding gown style tips I’ve compiled based on what I’ve noticed when dress shopping for myself and friends.

  • Pear-shaped: Try an A-line or ball gown with a natural or empire waist.  The narrowest part is just below the bust and the flowy skirt will take the attention away from your hips.  Instead, play up your arms, back and chest.  Avoid fitted silhouettes like mermaids and sheaths and drop waists.
  • Apple-shaped: Try an A-line or ball gown. A fitted bodice with flowy skirt will create a proportionate look.  Ruching is great if you want to conceal your mid-section. Plunging necklines like sweetheart and v-necks are great for drawing the eye away from the mid-section.
  • Hourglass: Go with a fitted gown and play up your curves.  Mermaid silhouettes and drop waists are great.
  • Rectangle (or straight-line): Gowns with defined waists will create waist definition.  Go ahead and experiment with different silhouettes with empire waists.
  • Petite: Avoid drop waists; these will make the lower part of your body appear shorter.  Rather, opt for dresses with a natural or empire waist; these will elongate your figure.  Halter necklines are also great and will draw the eye upward.  If you do decide to go with a ball gown, avoid large ones that your figure will get lost in.
  • Larger busts: square, scoop and v-necks are usually most flattering.  Be careful with strapless (as they typically aren’t as supportive) and necklines that are straight across (those tend to make you look bustier). Off-the-shoulder necklines are great as well.
  • Smaller busts: ruching and embellishments on the bustline will make it look fuller.

Disclaimer: There are exceptions to everything.  **These tips are only meant to be used as a jumping-off point.**  Wear what makes you feel your best.  For instance, I’m an apple shape and while I did go with a sweetheart neckline and lots of satin ruching, I ended up with a mermaid silhouette.  Once I saw photos of myself in the gown, I felt it was much flattering for me personally.  So definitely have your friends and family take pictures if you can.

Happy shopping!!

– Ashlee, Brunette Contributor