When deciding on your gown one of the first steps is to choose the style or silhouette. The silhouette is the outline or design of the gown. It’s normally determined and defined by where the gown drapes and wraps around your body. There are many different types of basic silhouettes to choose from but the cut and fit of certain styles work best for particular body types. Before you begin your search, here is a list of the five basic women body types along with some advice and tips to help you find the perfect gown silhouette for your big day.
- Hourglass Figure
The hourglass figure is a women who will have a busty top, small waist, and full-size hips that resemble an hourglass. Just think “Marilyn Monroe” and you have a perfect example of what an hourglass figure looks like. These voluptuous figures work well with sheath or wrap dresses, which accentuate every curve.
- Model Figure
The model figure is also known as straight, where there is little definition in the bust, waist and hips. This figure is seen on models since most dresses and clothing drape well on this body type. These figures look wonderful in most silhouettes but the most flattering are the A-line, empire waist, shift, and one-shoulder dresses.
- Sweetheart Figure
The sweetheart figure, also known as pear, is where the bust is small while the hips and bottom are full resembling the shape of a heart, hence the term sweetheart shape. This common body type looks great in empire waist, A-line, and strapless dresses. The key to hiding your hips is to use A-line or full skirts while strapless and open-neck lines will enhance your bust. The empire waist is the most desirable silhouette for this figure, since the waist begins just below the bust leading into a flowing skirt that creates the impression of an hourglass figure.
- Apple Figure
The apple figure is when a woman has a small bust and a wide bottom or stomach, which begins right below the rib cage. The best dress silhouettes used for this body type are empire waist and shift. These silhouettes partnered with a fitted open neck or strapless neckline tend to draw the eye up. Also, consider using a A-Line or full skirts to create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
- Busty Figure
A busty figure is when a women’s bust is larger than the rest of her body. This figure works best in A-Line, halter, and wraps, which draw the eye down creating a slimmer look.
To find examples and ideas on the best wedding gown for your body type, check out the list below.
Strapless Gown Designed by Badgley Mischka
This strapless beauty from the Badgley Mischka 2013 Bridal Collection is a wonderful example of a strapless dress silhouette. This gown would look great on a bride who has a sweetheart or pear shape figure.
Strapless A-line Gown Designed by Badgley Mischka
This lovely strapless A-line gown from the Badgley Mischka 2013 Bridal Collection is a perfect for apple or pear shape bodies. It will accentuate the bust while hiding large hips or belly.
Strapless empire waist gown designed by Monique Lhuillier
This gown from Monique Lhuillier 2013 Bridal Collection is a wonderful example of a strapless empire waist that would be ideal for a bride with a pear, apple, or straight figure.
Strapless sheath gown designed by Badgley Mischka
This strapless gown from the Badgley Mischka 2013 Bridal Collection is a combination of silhouettes. It has a sheath style perfect for an hourglass or straight model-type figures but the waistline is high similar to empire waist perfect for apple or pear shaped figures.
Empire waist gown designed by Badgley Mischka
This flowing empire waist-type gown from the Badgley Mischka 2013 Bridal Collection is a wonderful example of a gown perfect for pear, apple, or straight figures. The high waistline and flowing skirt will hide large hips and accentuate the bust.
Strapless full skirt gown designed by Badgley Mischka
This strapless gown from the Badgley Mischka 2013 Bridal Collection has a fitted bodice and full skirt what would work well with a hourglass or pear shaped figures.
Halter top type gown designed by Marchesa
There are not too many dresses that use a halter top but some close examples can be seen in gowns such as this one from the Marchesa 2013 Bridal Collection. This gown’s neckline would be ideal for a busty or hourglass figure.
Strapless sheath gown designed by Monique Lhuillier
This strapless gown from the Monique Lhuillier 2013 Bridal Collection is a good example of a sheath silhouette perfect for hourglass or straight figures.
One-shoulder sheath gown designed by Monique Lhuillier
This one-shoulder sheath gown from the Monique Lhuillier 2013 Bridal Collection is a great look for the bride with a straight or hourglass figure.
Sheath gown designed by Douglas Hannant
Another good example of a sheath silhouette bridal gown is from the Douglas Hannant Fall 2013 Bridal Collection. This gown would look beautiful on a bride with a busty or hourglass figure.
Halter top sheath gown designed by Vera Wang
This sheer halter-type gown from the Vera Wang 2013 Bridal Collection is another great idea for a bride with a busty or hourglass figure. The neckline draws your eye down creating a slimming look.
Strapless A-line dress designed by Monique Lhuillier
This strapless gown from the Monique Lhuillier 2013 Bridal Collection has a nice A-line skirt perfect to hide hips for a pear or apple shape figure. The strapless look and flowing skirt draw the eye down and up giving the illusion of an hourglass figure.
Empire waist gown designed by Douglas Hannant
This cute empire waist inspired gown from the Douglas Hannant Fall 2013 Bridal Collection is perfect for the bride with a pear, apple, or straight figure. This gown will accentuate the bust as well as hide hips and tummy creating the illusion of an hourglass figure.