Choosing the best wedding dress for each body type

Wedding dress shopping is way easier when you know what to look for. While you might have been dreaming of a specific wedding dress silhouette since your teenage years, determining your body type is the best starting point in hunting for your perfect dress.

No matter how beautiful a dress can look in the shop window or on a website, you might feel uncomfortable in it unless it perfectly flatters your figure. Instead of accentuating your assets and disguising flaws, the wrong dress can hide your gorgeous curves and, for example, draw attention to your broad shoulders.

That is why looking for a dress that can best flatter your body shape is a good idea. This guide will help you to find the best wedding dress for your shape, so let’s delve in.

Why is it important to determine your body type before buying a wedding dress?

Knowing your body type can help you choose the best wedding dress silhouette to flatter your body shape and make you feel confident on your wedding day. Different body types have different proportions that can be highlighted or downplayed with the right dress style and design.

For instance, if you have an hourglass figure, you might want a dress to draw attention to your curves, such as a fitted trumpet or mermaid dress. On the other hand, petite women might find wedding gowns with simpler silhouettes that don’t overwhelm the frame particularly flattering.

Understanding what popular wedding dress shapes will work best with your figure can save you plenty of time. And not only that — knowing the best wedding dress style for your body type will help you save a lot of stress and avoid the disappointment of trying on dresses that don’t look the way you imagined.

How to determine your body type?

Body types depend on one’s shoulder, bust, waist, and hip measurements. They are generally divided into the following categories: hourglass, pear, inverted triangle, apple, and rectangle. Still, your body may fall into two categories, which is the case when you must consider both when shopping for your ideal wedding dress.

Long story short, let’s learn how to determine your body type.

Determine the body type visually

To identify your body type visually, use a full-length mirror and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart in front of it. For the most accurate results, wear an all-black tight-fitting outfit to help you see your shape more clearly. Evaluate your body from top to bottom and identify which part — shoulders, hips, or bust is the widest — this is the starting point in determining your body type. Compare your natural shape against the following descriptions to find out your type:


  • equal bust, shoulders, and hips
  • a well-defined waist


  • hips larger than bust
  • a more defined waist
  • very often, narrow shoulders

Inverted triangle

  • prominent shoulders
  • shoulders and bust wider than hips
  • poor waist definition


  • equal waist, bust, and hips
  • no definition in your waist
  • bigger bust
  • fuller midsection


  • equal bust, waist, and hips
  • little definition in the waist

Determine the body type by measurements

Still, it’s best to take measurements with a fabric tape measure for the most accurate results. Besides the tape, you’ll need fitted clothes like leggings, a top, a bra without padding, and a pen or a note-taking app open on your phone.

How to measure yourself accurately?

You must measure four points along your body: shoulders, bust (the widest part), natural waist, and hips (the widest portion). The tape should be parallel to the ground. Also, make sure you don’t squeeze your body. Write down your results.

Identifying your body shape based on your measurements

Now, let’s interpret the results:

  • You have an hourglass figure if your bust and hips are almost the same (within 5% of each other) and your waist is at least 25% smaller than your bust, shoulders, and hips.
  • You have a pear-shaped body when your hips are the largest of all four measurements (at least 5% bigger than your bust or shoulders) while the waist is the smallest.
  • You have an inverted triangle body type if your hips are the smallest and your bust or shoulders are more than 5% wider than your hips.
  • You have an apple body type if your bust, shoulders, and waist are up to 5% larger than your hips, with your waist being the same as your bust or broader.
  • You have a rectangular body shape if your bust, shoulder, and hip measurements are almost the same, within 5% of each other, and your waist is less than 25% narrower than your bust.

Finding the best wedding dress for your body type

Now that you know your body type, here’s the most exciting part — let’s figure out which wedding dress silhouettes can flatter you best and finally answer your question, “What type of wedding dress should I have?”

Hourglass figure

Brides with an hourglass figure boast a defined waist, wider hips, and a large bust. Of course, the perfect wedding dress for this body type should accentuate the curves, so look for close-fitting dresses, such as a mermaid or sheath gown.

Pear body shape

The pear shape means having a more prominent upper body, a defined waist, and a smaller bust. If you have a pear shape, the best wedding dress for your body type will depend on your preferences. If you want to accentuate your hips, consider a fit-and-flare silhouette. However, if you want to hide them, a ball gown with its voluminous skirt could be your way to go. Also, you might want to get a dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline to balance your shape.

Inverted triangle type of body

The inverted triangle shape features shoulders that are bigger than the lower body, meaning that the best wedding dress for your body type should be able to balance out this difference. In other words, you should look for wedding gowns that flare out at the waist, concealing narrow hips. A ballgown or A-line dress can perfectly cope with this task.

Apple or circle-shaped body

A prominent upper half, rounded midsection, and narrow hips make for an apple body shape. The perfect wedding dress for this body type should create added volume at the hips to balance out your shape. Again, an A-line or a ballgown dress can save the day, doing a fantastic balancing job. Also, you can consider an empire waist dress with a high waist that draws attention away from the midsection, concealing the problem areas.

Rectangle body shape

Ladies with rectangular body shapes have shoulders, bust, waist, and hips of approximately the same width. Some other typical features of a rectangular body shape are a little waist definition and a smaller bust. The most flattering wedding dresses for square body shape include A-line, empire, or ball gowns that can help create the illusion of a curvier body.

Most flattering wedding dress for other body features

Now that we’re done with the wedding dress shapes for body types, let’s explore how popular wedding dress shapes can flatter other body features.

Wedding dresses for athletic body

Athletic bodies are more muscular than curvy, resulting in a straight shape. A-line and ball gown dresses can help a bride with a straight figure appear curvier by adding volume to the lower half.

Wedding dresses for petite brides

Dresses with A-line and fit-and-flare silhouettes make for the most flattering choices for a petite bride. You can also consider a sheath or trumpet silhouette — these styles can do a fantastic job of elongating your petite frame.

Wedding dresses for tall brides

Tall brides should consider long, fitted dresses, for instance, a wedding gown with a trumpet, mermaid, or sheath silhouette. However, look among fit-and-flare silhouettes if your body has a triangle shape.

Wedding dresses for brides with a smaller bust

The shortest way to make a smaller bust seem ample is to wear a dress with a structured bodice. The structure adds padding, giving the illusion of fuller breasts. If creating the illusion of a larger bust isn’t the case for you, you might love a high-neck dress — it works exceptionally well with smaller breasts.

Wedding dresses for brides with a large bust

If you are an owner of a large bust, look for gowns with sweetheart, V-neck, and scooped necklines. These can beautifully highlight your stunning breasts. Still, remember that you’ll need balance at the lower half, so choose a ball gown, an A-line, or other dress styles that flare out at the waist.

FAQ — best wedding dress for your shape of body

What type of wedding dress is right for me?

While the fashion industry offers a mind-blowing variety of wedding gown styles, you should consider many aspects when choosing the outfit to rock on your wedding day. Three are the most important: venue, wedding theme, and body type. You can work with a bridal stylist to achieve the best results.

How to choose a wedding dress for your body type?

To get the most accurate answer to the question, “What wedding dress is best for my body type?” you need to figure out your body type first, visually or by taking measurements. Next, do research to identify the most flattering wedding dress for your shape.

What should i know before going wedding dress shopping?

You should know how much money you want to spend on your wedding gown, dress size, body type, and wedding theme.

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