7 Body Types and Shapes – and the Wedding Dresses that Make Them Look Fabulous

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Are you feeling just a tiny bit stressed about your upcoming wedding day? That’s normal! Most brides experience anxiety and often this can be associated with the dress. All eyes will be on you and you want them to think you look amazing. But it’s not that easy for some women. For certain body types and shapes, the idea of being the center of attention can be overwhelming. Can you look as pretty as the models in the magazines?

In truth, picking outfits according to body types and shapes—not only what dresses you think are pretty—can make a huge impact. Shopping according to your build and your body’s unique features empowers you to pick the most flattering option and accentuate the best parts of your body.

For your wedding day, this is even more important than any other shopping spree. So, here’s what you need to know to get it right when shopping for bridal gowns.

Which of these body types describe you most accurately?

Body Types and Shapes

Remember, you’re unique. Be proud of it!

You may not fit perfectly into a specific type described below. So, included in our list are features you can associate with.

Type 1: The Hourglass


You have natural curves many other women would love to have—show them off!

What Dress Works Best?

If you pick a V-neckline it will prompt your guests to let their eyes slide downward and take in the entire dress. Make sure they appreciate the gorgeous details as well as your stunning silhouette.

A mermaid dress is a favourite for women in this group of body types and shapes. If you want something a little less form-fitting, fit-and-flare designs are beautiful too.

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Fit and Flare Dress

Type 2: The Pear


If you have a smaller bust but it’s matched with larger hips, you could fall into this category. Some also describe it as a triangle.

What Dress Works Best?

Perhaps you don’t like your larger hips, but wearing a dress that’s right for them could actually help you show off a tiny waist. A unique approach is a wedding dress with an overskirt. That’s how you draw attention to your hips and waist. Fit-and-flare gowns also work like a charm.

As with a few other body types, A-line dresses are also beautiful options for these body types and shapes.

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A-Line Dress

Type 3: Ladies with a Fuller Chest (Apple)


These ladies’ bust measurements are larger compared to the hips. Your waist may not be defined very well, though you can have slim legs and arms.

What Dress Works Best?

You should show off your stunning curves with a neckline that complements the bust area. A sweetheart neckline is a smart choice, or even a portrait or off-the-shoulder design. Depending on what you want to show off, you can also try on mermaid dresses.


Type 4: The Athlete


You don’t have much body fat and usually, you’re not very curvy when you fall into this category of body types and shapes. Features you may want to show off include toned arms.

What Dress Works Best?

Put on a strapless gown that will showcase toned arms and if you want to have a more curvy silhouette you can opt for tiered skirts. With this body type you can add all the bling—beading or detailed fabric—you want.

Type 5: Petite


You may be shorter than your friends and the models on a runway, but if you want you can look much taller than you really are.

What Dress Works Best?

We suggest you skip the ballgowns and rather try on A-line dresses. These as well as the feature of an open back can elongate your figure.

Type 6: Small Busts


When you have a smaller chest, it’s up to you to show off your silhouette or change it slightly with details like padding.

What Dress Works Best?

Try on a V-neck dress, especially one with a plunging neckline, and you’ll see how great you look. Alternatively, a corseted dress with padding can make your bust look larger. Some brides in this category of body types and shapes also find a high-necked dress a winner. The right design can put some emphasis on the chest area, while actually helping to make it look fuller.

Type 7: Tall & Slender


You’re probably the tallest in your circle of friends, with long legs and a small waist.

What Dress Works Best?

With this body type, you must try on at least a few ballgowns. Alternatively, if you want something plain, consider sheath dresses and keep fabric simple, rather than having lots of embellishments.

Complementing Your Look – Tips All Brides can Use

It’s all about dressing with a strategy!

You know which parts of your body and silhouette you want people to remember. So, use the techniques of leading dress designers to draw attention to these features, rather than the areas you’re less proud of. Some examples:

  • Look taller by creating an illusion and using long vertical lines. This can be something as simple as an open back. You can also use plain fabric rather than ones with lots of prints, details or embellishments.
  • If you don’t like your curvy hips that much, draw people’s eyes upward with a V-neckline or add some bling to the top of your dress.

If you have an idea of what you want to look like on your wedding day, discuss it with the staff while fitting dresses. For some women, picking something like a mermaid dress can often create the illusion of having an hourglass figure. You simply have to determine which design suits you out of all the body types and shapes designers create dresses for. And the team at Olivelli knows exactly how to get it right.

Lastly, be practical about the details of your dress. If you know your body type requires wearing a bra with a bra strap, think of creative ways to hide them. Not all gorgeous wedding dresses are strapless! All you may need is a cute sleeve or a wide strap at the top.

Let’s Find Your Look

Walking into Olivelli with this information can already give you confidence about choosing the correct dress for your special day. In addition, our team knows exactly what dresses are most flattering for different body types and shapes. Thanks to our expertise and the wide range of dresses at Olivelli, you’ll find the ‘aha dress’ you’re hoping for.

Want to get started? Let’s book your appointment.

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