A Simple Guide To Wedding Dress Shapes

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Did you know that there are several different wedding gown styles to choose from that will flatter different body shapes? While wedding planning, think about what you consider to be your best and worst features and try on one dress of each shape to ensure you are getting the most flattering option. A word of caution – don’t try to be too trendy with your wedding dress – it may look dated in your wedding photos by next year. Use this quick and easy guide to help you decide!

Princess Or A-Line

This cut is narrow at the top, cuts close to the ribcage, and extends out down the body in the shape of an elongated triangle. Sometimes a hoop is worn underneath the skirt to hold the shape out. Without a hoop, a slightly slimmer silhouette can be achieved. This dress shape draws attention to your shoulders and bust area. Think Audrey Hepburn or Jennifer Lopez.

Ball Gown

The ball gown is a classic shape with a fitted bodice and a very full skirt. Imagine Disney’s Cinderella, and you’re on the right track. This suits a range of figures, from those who are tall and slim to the more curvaceous types. If you are pear-shaped, this will help disguise larger hips and bums. Very petite brides must select gowns in this style very carefully, or they might end up being swallowed by the dress. Think Victoria Beckham, Grace Kelly, or Jordan.


A modern, glamorous take on the traditional wedding gown, the sheath dress is characterized by a simple straight shape that closely follows the body’s curves. This dress is perfect for slim women of any height and is great for showing off good shoulders and arms. Think Marilyn Monroe or Jessica Rabbit.


Similar to the Column dress but even more figure-hugging, a fishtail gown is characterized by a fitted bodice that flares dramatically at or below the knee. It is designed to show off a woman’s curves. This is also ideal for petite brides as it will not overwhelm their size. This design is also called a Mermaid dress. Think Sophie Wessex or Anne Heche.


With a high-waisted seam just below the bust, and a flowing straight skirt, this is a very elegant shape. It is generally a leaner silhouette than the Princess or A-line styles. This shape flatters most heights and body shapes, and is ideal for brides with smaller busts as it creates an illusion of cleavage. It can also lengthen shorter brides. Think Liv Tyler or Kate Winslet.

Once you know what shape looks best on you, you will be exponentially closer to finding your perfect dress! Getting the opinion of your mom or a close friend is always a good idea too, because even if you think you look best in one, they might disagree. Of course, it is your day, so choose what you want!