Your wedding day is the one time in life where your dress takes center stage. Such an emphasis on focus on your ensemble creates some real questions about how to find the best wedding dress for your body type.
At Fame and Partners, our entire brand is centered on creating customizable clothing that works with women’s bodies, styles and preferences, so we deeply understand the importance of finding the ideal wedding dress for your body type and shape.
To help guide you through this wonderful—but sometimes overwhelming—process, we’ve put together a guide designed to help you find the perfect wedding dress for your body type, personality and style.
Types of Wedding Dresses
When it comes to wedding dresses, there are a myriad of styles and silhouettes to choose from. Before you head to the racks or fill your online cart, make a point to narrow down your search. We’ve broken the most popular wedding dress shapes down to their core, simplifying things to help you decipher which silhouette appeals most to you.
Wedding Dresses By Body Type
Now, we want to preface this list by saying it is impossible to create a single list that captures all body types. Bodies are diverse, unique and beautiful and impossible to distill into neat, numbered boxes. But in an effort to lead you toward the silhouette most flattering for your body, we’ve selected the five most common body types and their best pairings.
An hourglass figure is best characterized by a wide bust, narrow waist and wide hips. When most people think of an hourglass figure, they think of Marilyn Monroe, and like this screen icon, hourglass shapes are classic, timeless and look amazing in the right dress.
What Works: If you have an hourglass figure, you’ll find that your shape is best accentuated mermaid dresses do that extremely well. Mermaid dresses feature a sleek bodice with a subtle flare at the bottom, highlighting your waist and lower body.
Fitted sheath dresses also work well with hourglass bodies because they don’t have a ton of structure, meaning they hug your body, accentuating your curves and proportions.
What to Avoid: In short, any dress that hides your waist is a big no for people with hourglass shapes. We would suggest avoiding ball gowns due to the fact that these dresses tend to be fitted at the top and then offer a dramatic flare around the waistline. While ball gown dresses are stunning in their own right, they don’t pay homage to the shape and curves of an hourglass body.
Straight body types usually have hips, waists and chests that are all equally proportionate.
What Works: Straight body types look great in a range of dresses, but the two that really stand out are the sheath and ball gown. Like the hourglass body type, sheath dresses tend to hug your body. With straight, or rectangular body shapes, this means that you will get a sleek look that still offers style and dimension.
Ball gowns offer dramatic bottoms and create a dynamic, princess-like aesthetic that works great with this shape and figure.
What to Avoid: When it comes to straight body types, you’re going to want to try and avoid jumpsuits and separates. Jumpsuits tend to look a bit boxy on women with straight body types and can distort your silhouette. With separates, or dresses that feature separate tops and bottoms, you also run the risk of ending up with a silhouette that falls flat.
Pear-shaped bodies feature a smaller bust and waist and wider hips and legs. Pear-shaped bodies feature gorgeous curves and proportions that deserve to be celebrated and accentuated.
What Works: When dressing a pear-shaped body, you want to look towards A-line or ball gown options. These dresses will highlight your waist and legs and draw attention to the beauty and dynamism of your proportions.
What to Avoid: If you have a pear-shaped body, you’ll want to avoid ball gowns and other dress styles that hide or distort your lower half. When people with pear-shaped bodies wear dresses that are too bottom-heavy, it takes attention away from their gorgeous figure and tends to create an unflattering silhouette.
If you have an athletic build, you are more muscular and less curvy. Athletic bodies are strong, fierce and beautiful.
What Works: Women with athletic bodies should aim for an A-line or ball gown dress. These dresses will accentuate the lower half of your body while giving you a sleek and refined silhouette up top. Jumpsuits also work well with athletic builds and tend to be both flattering and defining in all the right ways.
What to Avoid: This body type should avoid sheath dresses as they often flush out athletic bodies or appear ill-fitting. When you have an athletic build, it’s best to look towards options with more structure and shape.
Petite sizing is designed to accommodate shorter builds for women 5 foot 4 inches and under. Petite bodies are small yet powerful and look stunning when paired with the right dress.
What Works: If you’re petite, stick with a sheath or A-line dress that will accentuate your body, add an elongating effect and allow you to truly shine at the altar. We especially love A-line dresses for petite women due to the dramatic effect they can produce without being distracting or overbearing.
What to Avoid: Petite brides can get lost in ball gowns or dresses that have too much volume, so it’s best to stick with something more sleek and subtle.
Your Ultimate Wedding Partner
At Fame and Partners, our customizable wedding dresses allow you to dictate the finishing touches of your wedding look. We design the dresses and jumpsuits and then you pick the final features like the neckline, sleeve type and length. The result? A wedding dress that reflects your uniqueness, brilliance and style.
It’s your wedding and we invite you to treat that aisle like a runway. Live boldly. Dress intentionally.