The Best Dressed Bride


By Vanessa Lace

Choosing the best wedding dress for your figure

Everyone knows that ALL brides are beautiful and that no woman is more beautiful than on her wedding day. No matter what your height or weight, there is a dress out there for you. You’ll get plenty of help and advice at the bridal shop or the dressmaker, but here’s a few tips to help you develop some idea of what you’re looking for before you start.

If you are short, and wish to appear taller, look for a dress with seams and patterns or lace which run vertically or lengthwise. The styles you’ll be examining are, EMPIRE, PRINCESS OR A-LINE. Small collars and cuffs, and trim at the neck to draw attention to your face.

Tall women who wish to minimize their height should shop for dresses with a wrap-around trim, wide belts, large collars and cuffs, flared sleeves and low necklines.

Full figured women should choose carefully fitted, solid color gown in the PRINCESS style or any other loosely cut style and skims the body. Look for a V-SHAPED NECKLINE and a full skirt.

If you’re Slender, look for materials that have texture and/or sheen, something with horizontal ribbing or pattern. Long, full sleeves and a bloused top will also add to the look.

If you’ve got a thick midriff or waist, go for the slimming effect of a high waistline or A-LINE skirt.

Slender waist? Try the shaping effect of a belt or sash at the waistline or some contrasting color.

The broad shouldered should look for a dress with smooth, set-in sleeves, low V-neck or high, covered necks. Narrow shoulders, of course, call for the opposite: a cape or caplets on the shoulder. Gathering sleeves and widely curved necklines also will help.

Big bosom? Try the V-Shape necklines, or a completely covered high neckline. Avoid cinched waists and EMPIRE design. Small bosom? Try the opposite. Look for the high waist and Empire styles which will accentuate the upper body.

Like every other aspect of wedding planning, you need to shop early. And shop alone! You may care to bring just your mother or an attendant, but make sure it’s someone whose opinion you trust. Give yourself plenty of time to make up your mind and have a dress made to order or fitted. And when trying on, make sure you have the proper height of shoes and right kind of underthings which you plan to wear with the dress on your wedding day.


Suiting your headpiece to your dress is the final step in assembling your wedding attire. There are many, many styles from which to choose and the advice of your dressmaker or bridal salon consultant will be invaluable. They will know which style matches your gown and you’ll have plenty of time to mix and match and experiment.


In addition to the problem of choosing a dress style for your attendants which will complement your own wedding gown, you have the additional problems of not on choosing a style that will look good on several different women of varying heights and weights, but a scheduling problem of getting them all fitted, especially if any of them will be coming to town just for the wedding!

But don’t worry. Most bridesmaids’ dresses are designed with just these problems in mind. They easily translate to any figure and are easily altered and fitted, even at the last minute. Shop by yourself to avoid complications. It is your decision and you can get it narrowed down to just 2 or 3 before you bring other members of your wedding party to the shop.