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How to decide on the right style wedding dress for your body type

by Tina Waller ( News )


If you’re feeling so much pressure to find the right style wedding dress for your body type that you think you may be going nuts, don’t worry. I’m Tina Waller a wedding dress designer based in Maidenhead, Berkshire and I know exactly how you’re feeling, please read my top tips for finding the perfect wedding dress for you.

While you may have envisioned your dream wedding dress for as long as you can remember, when it comes to actually deciding on the prefect gown, how do you pick the right wedding dress that will fit and flatter your body type?

Details are important - a long row of teensy pearl buttons and well-placed beading can mean the difference between a good wedding dress and a great one. But before you start nit-picking the details, first lets figure out the silhouette that works best for you.

Tall & Lean

Congratulations! Almost every bride wants to be tall! If you are comfortable and confident with your height, wear whatever you want…you will look amazing. If however you don’t want to draw attention to your height opt for a simple silhouette like a strapless gown, possibly one that has differing fabric or design, from the bodice to the skirt. The strategy is to emphasize your natural shape, so every aspect of the dress - the lower waistline, a floor-sweeping hem - needs to reflect your longer proportions. Consider a wedding dress with a slit to show off your great legs. A voluminous peplum skirt acts as a stand in for curvy hips. Bodycon goes bridal with contouring seams that create "imaginary" curves. A high neckline paired with a full, A-line skirt showcases and balances your height at the same time.


Petite brides should avoid overwhelming their small frame. We recommend structured Trumpet styles, airy sheaths, and modified A-line gowns. Choose a style with a waistline above your natural waist, which will make the lower half of the dress (and you) appear longer. Selecting the right fabric is up to you but we suggest keeping the detail small, avoiding huge bows and details kept strictly to the bodice to draw the eye upwards elongating your frame. For petite brides, simple reigns supreme, V-neckline gowns work perfectly with petite brides and opt for slim, more structured skirts over wide, poofy ones.

Also you will look longer in the body if you choose a style that has a strap or shoulder (with or without sleeves) because the eye will look from shoulder to floor. Having a Train will also make you appear taller, but not too long as the opposite will happen. You do not want to look like you have more fabric on the floor than you are wearing on your body!


All brides, regardless of size, want to wear all silhouettes and styles at all price points — and they should! An Empire dress waistline with a skirt that begins just under the bust and flows into a gradual floor-length A-line with train creates length and will look divine. Consider minimizing your curves with design details that draw the eye away from your widest areas. Covering them up with fussy detail only draws attention to them.

A lace illusion neckline, sheath silhouette and slight train are the ultimate trio to helping you look long and lean. Chiffon sleeves act as the most ethereal cover up for girls who do not like their upper arms.

Sweet heart and 'V' shaped neckline help a fuller bust. A covered in higher neckline just wraps up this area and can make you look bigger.


A skirt that gradually flares out in an A formation from the natural waist to the floor, highlighting the narrowness of the midsection and floating away from the hips and thighs are great for pear-shaped brides. (Sturdier fabrics, such as duchesse satin and taffeta, are especially effective, since they won't cling.) A spaghetti-strap bodice or a V neckline will also showcase a more slender upper body. Also consider a shoulder in your dress, especially those that are wide set as they will balance your figure.


If you’re apple-shaped opt for a corset to create definition around your waist. A dress that cinches in at the smallest point on the waistline will complement your body shape and you could also consider a dress with a lace-up back. Avoid fussy detailing around the waist as it will make you look wider. Draping and asymentric styling will help minimise too. The most slenderising neckline for you is one with a deep V, which will draw eyes toward the vertical, not the horizontal.


If you want a strapless gown, choose a style that has a dip at the front or a sweetheart shape. Sometime though this style can make you look bigger because of all the flesh on show!

There are many fantastic foundational undergarments on the market that will give you support. That said, if you are more comfortable with straps, then go for it and choose a neckline with shoulders built in!  Your wedding day is not the day to be worrying if you are going to have a wardrobe malfunction. However, do keep in mind that a low open back may not be the best style for you if you require a bra.


Consider a ruched bodice or a cowl neckline (think Pippa Middleton). Extra fabric at the top will help to fill out your upper body and create the illusion of curves. Lightly padded halter styles will also do the trick. Padded cups can be a bride’s best friend if she has a smaller bust  Otherwise, anything with a plunging V neckline and open back is right on trend.

Tina's golden rules for all Brides

1.Think Stripes

Vertical lines make you look leaner and longer, they draw the eye up and down.

Horizontal lines can cut you in sections and make you look wider and shorter.


2. Sausage factor

If you are squeezed in too tightly be it a corset style or support underwear the flesh has to go somewhere! Think what would happen to a sausage if you squashed the middle..........the meat has to go somewhere!!


If you plan to wear 'magic' / support pants, etc... go for a bigger size than you would normally wear. This will smooth you out but keep the sausages in the fridge!


Contact me on 01628 624340 or email me and let me help you find the right style wedding dress for your big day!




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