Wedding Dress Styles To Suit Your Body Shape

How does a bride look her best on her wedding day? We think it all lies in choosing the right dress for your body shape.

How does a bride look her best on her wedding day? We think it all lies in choosing the right dress for your body shape. You know what it's like when you find an outfit that makes you look half a stone lighter and curvy in all the right places? Well, you want that same effect with your wedding dress. The sweetheart neckline may look great on the model in the magazine you're reading. But if it doesn't work for you, bid that frock good day and move on. Here's our rough guide to body and dress shapes.


It's the body shape all blonde bombshells once aspired to. But what does it mean to have an hourglass shape?

  • Chest and hips almost the same size
  • Well defined waist that's smaller than your bust
  • Full bust and slim Legs

The classic womanly shape that you can show off in almost any gown. Make the most of your curves in fitted dresses with a fishtail or mermaid silhouette. If you're a petite hourglass-shaped bride, opt for a 1950s prom-style dress that falls on your knee or mid-calf to make yourself appear taller.

Hourglass dress shape | CHWV

Justin Alexander - 8659 | CHWV
Justin Alexander | 8659

Blue by Mori Lee - 5108 | CHWV   Maggie Sottero - Tamsyn | CHWV
Blue by Mori Lee | 5108                                                                Maggie Sottero | Tamsyn


Apples are round. And we don't really understand why this body shape was named after a spherical fruit. But anyway, here's what makes an apple:

  • Large bust and broad shoulders
  • Narrow hips
  • Waist is less defined

The goal for apple-shaped brides is to balance their heavier top half. The way to do this is choosing your necklines and waistline carefully. Try asymmetrical/one-shoulder styles or V-neck/square necklines. And complement a less-defined waist with an empire-line or 20s-style drop-waist gown. A full skirt will balance your fuller bust.

Apple dress shape | CHWV

Charlotte Balbier - Abbie | CHWV
Charlotte Balbier | Abbie

Alan Hannah - Isadora | CHWV   Lillian West - 6297 | CHWV
Alan Hannah | Isadora                                                                Lilian West | 6297


Okay, at least “pear” makes sense; smaller at the top, bigger at the bottom:

  • Small bust
  • Narrow shoulders
  • Wider hips, thighs and bottom

The pear-shaped bride has the opposite goal, making herself look less “bottomy." Add volume to your bust with ruching or ruffles around your neckline. A halter neck or strapless dress will show off your trim upper body. Teamed with a fitted bodice, a flowing A-line skirt will accentuate your best bits and skim over your trouble spots.

Pear dress shape | CHWV

Inspires Wedding Dress -2012 | CHWV
Inspires | 2012

Demetrios Illusions - 3188 | CHWV   Maria Senvo - Rye | CHWV
Demetrios Illusions | 3188                                                                Maria Senvo | Rye


Did you know calling someone a “tube” is an insult in Scotland? We really don't mean it that way though. We just couldn't think of a better word to describe this body shape:

  • Small bust
  • Narrow shoulders and hips
  • Undefined Waist

It's no accident most models have tube-shaped figures; most dresses hang very well on slender, smaller-chested girls. Adding curves is something you can do with the cut of your dress. Like the pear-shaped bride, go for embellishments up top to add volume to your bust. And create a cinched waistline with a fitted bodice, ruching or wrap-styles.

Tube dress shape | CHWV

Jenny Packham Wedding Dress | CHWV
Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham - Noa | CHWV   Lisa Gowing - Isla | CHWV
Jenny Packham | Noa                                                                Lisa Gowing | Isla

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