Tips & Advice on the dresses
Knowing your Body Shape
Do you know the difference between a triangle to an apple? Don't worry if you don't, but it can help you in deciding upon what dress may suit your shape.
Below, left to right: Apple, Triangle, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle & Hourglass
The silhouette tends to be heavier in the bust and torso area, rounded shoulders with thinner arms and legs - The Key here is to define your waistline and balance the the body line throughout as a V shape on top, with an A shape on the bottom so the waist appears as the smallest section (TIP: Corset backs are great to help accentuate a thinner waist). Sleeves also work, if you wish to cover your arms. If you are petite, and want sleeves, it's worth looking at illusion type sleeves to avoid the 'dress wearing you' look and consider 'less is more' in general, opting for delicate designs over heavily designed fabrics.
Best Styles: A-line, Empire Waist & Ballgowns
Less flattering styles: Mermaid, Trumpet & Sheath
In terms of neckline, we want to enhance the bust area and create an elongated torso. V-Necks are a great option, as not only do the thicker straps help to create an instant V on top, but they also make your torso area appear longer.
Best Necklines: V-Necks, Sweetheart, Plunging
Less flattering necklines: Strapless, spaghetti straps and off-shoulder straps.
Flattering Fabrics: Laces, Tulles, Structured Satins & Taffeta's
Less flattering Fabrics: - Clinging Crepes & Silky Fabrics if unstructured
Ideas for Apple Shapes
The silhouette tends to hold most of its volume on the hips or legs, with a narrow waist and wide hips. - The Key here is to draw attention to the upper half of your body - having embellished areas on the upper half is a great option or an asymmetrical design can help achieve a very proportionate look. To also help with balance, consider thicker straps or cap sleeves to create a top 'V'. If wish to show off your hips and tummy, but create balance - consider a fitted or sheath dress with over-sized sleeves, cap sleeves or off-shoulder to help balance the V on top. Shorter brides might consider avoiding large off-shoulder sleeves, which can overpower them, and opt for more delicate fabrics, floaty skirts and vertical lines on the upper half to elongate the body.
Best Styles: A-line, Empire Waist, Asymmetrical, Sheaths, Ballgowns, Ruffled skirts
Less flattering styles: Short skirt styles, which draw attention to the lower half and dropped waist line dresses.
In terms of neckline, we want to use fabrics and shapes to create more width on the upper-half if it helps to balance out the lower-half.
Best Necklines: V-Necks, Plunging, Boat Necks, Scoop necks, Puffy Sleeves & Off - Shoulder
Less flattering necklines: Strapless & spaghetti straps
Flattering Fabrics: Most fabrics for A-lines- if you wear a sheath or fitted style, and you wish to disguise the tummy area, opt for structured laces. If you wish to flaunt your tummy & derriere, consider unstructured silky fabrics or crepes
Less flattering Fabrics: - Fabrics with heavy crystal from top to bottom, or heavy designs on the bottom half only
Ideas for triangle Shapes
Inverted Triangle Shapes
The silhouette tends to have wider shoulders and back compared to their hips, and usually have a small waist. The Key here is to avoid dresses that are heavily embellished around your neckline and instead draw attention to that amazing waist and create curves on the lower half - Mermaids are a great choice if you have some height, as they create curves on the lower half whilst balancing the shoulders. Topping with a belt will enhance a smaller waist. Ballgowns and A-lines also work wonderfully as the larger skirt creates symmetry with your shoulder line. Be mindful if you wish to have sleeves - sleeves can add extra width to the top but can balance out if they are longer sleeves with an A-line, ballgown or perhaps a fitted dress with an overskirt as this all adds volume to the bottom. If you are on the petite side and not particularly heavy on the bust area, plunging V Necks on a sheath or slender A-line will elongate your torso
Best Styles: A-line, Mermaids, Ballgowns, Ruffled skirts, Sheaths, Tea Lengths
Less flattering styles: Empire Style
In terms of neckline, V-Necks are a great option as the vertical lines balance out the width of the shoulders.
Best Necklines: V-Necks, Plunging, U-Necks,
Less flattering necklines: Off Shoulder, Cap Sleeves, Scoop Necklines, Boat necks
Flattering Fabrics: Most fabrics - Be mindful of using fabrics that enhance areas you love (slinky & crepes are great for this) or to hide areas (structured laces & taffeta)
Less flattering Fabrics: - Fabrics with heavy embellishments on the upper half along the neckline - keep the focal point on the waist.
Ideas for inverted triangle Shapes
The silhouette tends to have proportionate bust and hips, but a less defined waist. The key here is to create a defined waistline and add curves to the upper and lower body that are in proportion to each other. A fitted sheath with a V-Neck and sleeves can help create volume on both parts. Adding a belt will enhance waist definition. A-lines work wonders too - consider off-shoulder sleeves if you wish to create a romantic and well-balanced look. If you opt for a higher neckline, consider sleeves or a scoop neck to add width. For petite brides, a fitted sheath or floaty A-line with a V-Neck or slight cap sleeve will create a beautiful balance of fabric and skin.
Best Styles: A-line, Trumpet, Ballgowns, Fitted Sheaths
Less flattering styles: Empire & Column
In terms of neckline, we want to create curves. Use fabrics and embellishments that create interesting features. An embellished bust line can also help create added texture.
Best Necklines: Scoop, Off-Shoulder, V-Necks
Less flattering necklines: Strapless, Column (anything that is straight with no definition)
Flattering Fabrics: Consider fabrics with interesting details to the neckline, waist and/or hemline
Less flattering Fabrics: - Best to avoid fabrics that have strong vertical features
Ideas for rectangle Shapes
The silhouette tends to have a proportionate (or very close to proportionate) bust, hips and a smaller waist, for example B36 W26 B36. The key here is to show your proportions rather than cover them- Hour glass shapes look amazing in the 'less is more' minimal styles (Pippa Middleton as an example) but generally suit most styles. Taller brides can really show off their curves in a sweetheart necked full Mermaid style dress that clinches in at the waist. If you wish to show off your tummy and derriere, consider slinky sheaths or off-white crepes. Petite girls can show their curves with fitted sheaths that are strapless or some pretty minimal spaghetti straps. There are endless options for hour-glass shapes, though it is worth noting that overly embellished & fabricated gowns may drown out your figure by adding unnecessary weight to areas that are already balanced.
Best Styles: Mermaids, Trumpets, Sheaths, A-lines, Ballgowns
Less flattering styles: Empire & Column
In terms of neckline, this will mostly depend on how much you wish to show. For larger chests, an illusion style dress with a sweetheart neckline will keep you feeling comfortable but still enhance your shape.
Best Necklines: Sweetheart, Strapless, Scoop, Off-Shoulder, V-Necks
Less flattering necklines: Heavily fabricated necklines may lose your shape
Flattering Fabrics: Consider fabrics that are more delicate or minimal if you are petite or wish to show off your body, like satins, crepes, chiffons, or lightly laced. If you would prefer to have more structure and hide a couple of things, opt for laces, taffetas, satins and tulles with a corset back to really emphasize your waist
Less flattering Fabrics: - Stiff fabrics that do not fit the upper area - this can off set the balance.