Choosing Your Dress

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So you’ve got the ring, celebrated your engagement and are now starting to think about the venue, the date and most importantly the dress. This is a mind field: do you want A-line, princess, mermaid? You want to feel and look your best on your big day but where do you start? First step is to know your styles:

Ballgown

Suits: All body types

ball gown

This style pairs a fitted bodice with a dramatic, full skirt. It’s a very flattering look for those with a big bust or broader shoulders as it evens out your top and bottom half. This style is perfect for brides who dream of a classic fairytale wedding. Combining a lace-up bodice and a full, pleated or gathered ballgown skirt will really nip you in at the waist.

Princess
Suits: All body types

spaghetti straps
Princess is not to be confused with ballgowns. A princess line dress uses princess seams which go from the top of the dress to the hem and are long and curved, meaning there is no defined waist. The seams hug tightly to a woman’s curves, giving a tailored look that is very flattering on bigger busts as it slims the torso and gives more room in the chest area – but looks universally good.

A-Line
Suits: All body types

aline
Simple to explain: called this because it resembles the letter A: it has a fitted bodice through to the waist and then it gets fuller from the waist to the hem. The skirt is less pouffy then a ballgown and widens gradually. If you are a pear shaped bride this style will particularly suit you. The A-line shape skims over the hips, making the waist seem smaller and leading the eye to the bust. Petite brides can use the A-line style to elongate the body especially if you avoid strapless styles.

Column/Sheath
Suits: Slender, athletic figures

sheath
A slim-cut style that drapes straight down from the neck to the hem. It looks fantastic on tall or short lean figures, be wary of some sheath dresses as some fabrics can be very unforgiving as it has little stretch. A column or sheath dress follows the body’s natural shape so is a fantastic choice if you want to show off your figure. Many of the latest collections of sheath dresses are detailed with lace or embellishments which help to conceal areas you are conscious of.

Drop Waist
Suits: Smaller hips and longer torsos
On a drop waist dress, the waist falls below the natural line to the mid-hip. An exaggerated drop waist is typically seen on mermaid and trumpet dresses where the waist line is at mid-thigh or below the knee.

Empire

Suits: brides looking to cover their waist or wishing to create a bigger bust

Empire dresses have a high waistline that starts just under the bust. The skirt is normally long and flowing, which skims the body, emphasises the bust over the waist and helps lengthen the body.Empire line dresses are perfect for slim brides with a small bust, and for petite brides who want to appear taller. It’s forgiving around the legs and hips as it draws attention away from them.

Fishtail/Mermaid
Suits: Hourglass figures

mermaid
This style is fitted down the bride’s body and flares out at or below the knee. This creates a sleek “mermaid” tail shape and is fantastic for emphasising curves. The key difference between a mermaid and trumpet dress is where the flare begins. For the trumpet/fit-and-flare dress it’s mid-thigh, whereas a mermaid dress flares dramatically below the knee. A choice of lace as your main material will detract from any lumps and bumps and make this figure-hugging style more forgiving. It also benefits from a little added height, so add a pair of comfy heels you can wear all day.

Fit-and-Flare/Trumpet
Suits: Hourglass and pear figures

fit and f
This style comes somewhere between an A-line dress and a fishtail dress. The fabric is fitted to the body from the bodice down to mid-thigh where it flares out to the floor in a “trumpet” shape. This style dress is easier to move in as the flare comes above the knee.

Short/Tea-Length
Best for: Petite brides or destination weddings
These are quite simply dresses with a shorter hemline. A tea-length dress will sit between mid-calf to just above the ankles, while a mini dress will be mid-thigh.