A Dress for any Body

by Melissa chmielewksi

Not everybody is meant to wear the same style of dress. Just as no two brides are the same, no two bodies are the same. Every woman is unique. To help make it easier for brides, we have compiled all the information in the same spot. We have laid out the different body figures, dress silhouettes, necklines and waistlines to educate brides. Below are recommendations of what silhouettes look best on which figure in our opinion, but don’t let us stop you! Wear the dress of your dreams, ladies!


Body Figures:  See which body type most closely describes your figure!

Apple:  Round through bust, waist and hips

Pear:  Wider in the hips and narrow up top

Inverted Triangle:  Much like Pear but wider through the shoulders and narrow in the hips

Rectangle:  Shoulders and hips are roughly the same size, but waist doesn’t drastically narrow

Hourglass: Curvy with a small waist with wider hips and shoulders

Banana:  Athletic, slim and straight silhouette


Dress Silhouettes:  Below are the basic shapes gowns are created in!

Sheath: Slim and straight, gently hugs the figure

Slim A-line: Fitted bodice that flares out softly from the waist down

Full A-line: Fitted bodice that flares out drastically from the waist down

Ballgown: Fitted bodice and a very full skirt

Trumpet: Figure hugging style that hugs down to the mid-thigh and then drastically flares away from the body

Mermaid: Much like the Trumpet style, hugs the figure until the knees and then flares away from the body

Disclaimer!: A mash up of Trumpet, Mermaid and a slim A-line provides the sought after “Fit & Flare” style. Keep in mind ladies these words are sometimes interchanged!


Necklines Commonly Found in Bridal Gowns

Bateau: Sometimes referred to as “boat neck,” follows the shape of the collar bone

Sweetheart: Like it sounds- just like the top of a heart

Dipped: Similar to the Sweetheart neckline but not as severe

Plunging: Sometimes referred to as V-Neck, dips drastically towards center of chest

Illusion: Usually in netting or lace, this neckline creates a subtle look of exposed skin while still being covered

Off the Shoulder: Shows off the collarbone and shoulders and typically sits just below the collarbone

High Neck: Covers up to the collarbone


Waistlines Commonly Found in Bridal Gowns

Empire: Just below the bustline

Natural: Waist is at smallest part of body

Dropped: Below the natural waist, close to if not on the hip

Basque: Curved down in the front center in a U or V shape


If your body is a…..

Apple: You will find yourself looking the best in a Ballgown or A-line silhouette.

Pear: You will find yourself looking the best in Trumpets, “Fit & Flares,” Ballgowns, and A-line silhouettes. Keep in mind with A-lines, the fuller the skirt the more it accentuates the tiny waist.

Inverted Triangle: You will find yourself looking the best in Ballgowns, Sheath styles and Empire waist gowns.

Rectangle: You will find yourself looking the best in A-line and Empire waist styles. Sheath styles may look nice on you as well.

Hourglass: You will find yourself looking the best in Trumpet and Mermaid styles and looking good in Ballgowns, A-lines and Sheaths.

Banana: Sheaths.


Shorter vs. Taller & Big Bust vs. Small Bust: No matter what you were given you should flaunt what you have! Our Suggestions:

Shorter Brides:  Empire, A-line and Sheath silhouettes.

Taller Brides: Ballgowns, Trumpets and Mermaid silhouettes.

Big Busted? A-line, Ballgown and Fit and Flare silhouettes with V-Necks, Illusions, or fuller Sweetheart necklines.

Small Busted? Choose a silhouette depending on your figure and height and pair your choice with Empire waist, Bateau and Off the Shoulder necklines. Explore the other necklines as well!

Shorter brides may find Empire dresses flattering because they elongate the body while taller brides may find the Ballgown look the best because it breaks up the body into two halves.