At Bustles & Bows Bridal Boutique we get asked all of the time what style bridal gown works best on each body shape. Our answer is usually always the same – any of them! We never tell a Bride what she can and cannot wear based on just looking at her figure. We actually encourage brides to try it if they like it, no matter what the silhouette is!
Some people are shocked that a specific silhouette is not only meant for a certain body shape! Most brides come in the boutique looking for a specific dress or look and leaving with the total opposite, sometimes even loving what they said they did not want!
When a bride comes in to try on gowns, we start their search by asking what is on their gown “wish list.” Such as, what they do not want on the gown, what their venue is, and the wedding date, Based on the information given, we will offer suggestions of what to try. We also encourage the bride and her guests to go through our inventory to see if there is anything else that may catch their eye. Many brides find gowns on the line totally different from their original description. We always advise that when in doubt you should try it on, because they do look better on a body than sitting on a hanger. Once you begin trying on, you will then start to get a better idea of what looks good on you and what you like. Once your consultant sees what your style is, we will pull some more suggestions.
Here are a few quick tips & tricks to help you when shopping:
- If the bride is looking to minimize her bust we will suggest having straps. Even a one shoulder gown can do double duty by minimizing the bust and offering some extra support. There are also several modifications that can be done to make a dress that otherwise would not work, perfect by adding straps. Heavy busted brides should try to avoid gowns with small cup allowance such as a short empire and gowns that have an open or low back because then it is probably lacking in support.
- Keep in mind that when it comes to bridal, you are getting a gown that is constructed like nothing you have ever worn before. Our designers use multiple layers of fine fabrics, boning, molded bra cups, and underwire to create internal corsets. Therefore, bridal gowns fit differently. Many women do not want to wear strapless gowns because when they have worn strapless dresses in the past, they have had to keep pulling it up. With the right style, boning, and alterations you should not have that issue with your bridal gown.
- Ruching and draping is an amazing fabric trick that I call MAGIC! It looks great on all body styles!!!! It can hide the spots you want hidden while accentuating spots that you would like to show off!
- Avoid harsh lines or seams that can cut you off and make you appear shorter. Look for angles and gowns where the lines are asymmetrical because they will elongate you and balance out bigger skirts.
- Sweetheart necklines are super flattering on most, especially petite brides. Just taking away a couple of inches of fabric from the neckline will elongate the body and shows that there is still a bride in there. This neckline also allows you to go bigger on the skirt without getting lost in too much material or looking like a cake topper.
- Adding a belt at the waist is a great way to bring the waist in and accentuate your curves. This is a trick that we use on all body types, but especially helpful if you have a boxy figure.
- Certain fabrics are more flattering than others. Thicker materials tend to be more forgiving
No matter what, remember to keep an open mind and do not be afraid to try something on that is a bit out of your comfort zone. Have fun!!!! Always stay true to who you are and how YOU feel in each gown and the end result will be a breathtaking bride!!!!
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(thicker fabric/bodice construction/ruching) Style D1237 by Essense of Australia is constructed of luxurious Dolce Satin. We chose this example because it is a thicker fabric coupled with ruching so it camouflages any imperfections or flaws, and gives a fabulous shape to even the boxiest of figures. The addition of a one shoulder strap can also help support a heavier bust.
(straps/petite) Style 2054 by Anjolique Bridal features a sheer tulle v-neck perfect for a heavier busted girl who needs support, but doesn’t want too much fabric on top. This also makes it work for a petite girl who needs a more open neckline to elongate her body, but needs support, or just doesn’t want a strapless gown. The fabric is also light and flowing making it perfect for outdoor weddings.
(boxy/pear shape) – Style 8567 by Justin Alexander Bridal with figure flattering drop waist and modified ball gown skirt is perfect for the boxy bride with its waist cinching pleated belt. Also great for a pear shaped bride so she can show off her waistline and shape her hips.
(all shapes/ruching/draping) – Style D1154 by Essense of Australia features asymmetrical ruching and a draped skirt which is flattering on any figure and all heights. The self tie flower belt also draws attention to a narrow waistline, while creating it for boxy shapes.
(EVERY BODY) – Style D937 by Essense of Australia has simply everything for everyone. Ruching to hug every curve, while slimming and shaping the body while hiding all imperfections. A couture bodice shaper for an amazing fit and feel. A sweetheart neckline to compliment a fuller bust or open up a neckline for a petite frame. A modified aline skirt perfect for all brides, short or tall. This gown also has the option of detachable cap sleeves for support or church requirements.