Wedding Dress Shopping: Finding the Perfect Gown for Your Body Type

One of the biggest goals on your wedding day—aside from saying “I do,” of course—is to look gorgeous. And what’s one way to achieve that? Why, the wedding gown of course.

 To help take some of the mystery out of the whole dress-shopping process, we’re laying out some tips to help you score the ideal one. As you read through, please remember. Regardless of any “rules,” the perfect dress for you is the dress that makes you feel irresistible.

Know Your Body Type

 Body types are typically broken down into different sizes and shapes:

  • Petite
  • Plus Sized
  • Tall
  • Pear Shaped
  • Apple Shaped
  • Hourglass Shaped

You can be a combo of both: tall and hourglass shaped for example.

Most of us have complicated relationships with our bodies. There are things we’d like to accentuate and things that make us feel insecure.

The key to finding the perfect dress is to first have some examples of wedding dress styles you love. Bella Bridesmaids is an excellent place to look. They have all sorts of silhouettes to look at—and not just bridesmaid dresses. Wedding dresses too. 

Knowing your body type and being keenly aware of what you want to accentuate helps as well.

There are dress silhouettes that flatter each of these body types—depending on what you want to show off—we’ll go over some of them here.


For pint-sized brides who want to appear taller, look for vertical detail such as delicate pleating, lace, or embroidery on the bodice.

The vertical lines create the illusion of height.

A-line dress silhouettes—the style that looks incredible on every body type—are an excellent go-to as well, as they add a lengthening streamlined effect.


Here’s another body type that looks incredible in an A-line dress. Dresses with a V-neck also help elongate the body—the vertical elongating trick can easily be applied here as well.

Steer clear of clingy non-breathable fabrics. Dress fabric should have a little give, as well as some detail and structure.


Simple dresses that aren’t too fussy are great options. For those who have a long waist, an A-line style dress can help create the illusion of a higher waist and longer legs.

Pear Shaped 

With pear-shaped bodies, the idea is to balance out the proportions. A dress with a lace bodice or a bodice with sequins or any detailed embellishments that draw the eye upwards is a gorgeous option.

Empire waistlines also look incredible.

Apple Shaped 

Look for dresses that help accentuate the waistline, ball gowns and A-line dresses are excellent choices.

Off-the-shoulder gowns or dresses with a beautiful train help elongate the frame, and an intricately detailed bodice serves to draw the gaze upwards.

Hourglass Shape

Mermaid or trumpet-style wedding dresses are an excellent way to accentuate the waistline. Or, choose a dress with a sash detail that ties with a bow in the back.

Corsets or boned bodices highlight the waist beautifully.

Trying on Wedding Gowns

Of course, there are other factors to finding the perfect dress. You’ve got to consider the aesthetic of your big day, and your personal style preferences.

One of the best ways to help you land your perfect gown is obvious: book an appointment at a boutique, and start trying on dresses. It helps immensely to arrive with first-hand knowledge of the terms for different wedding dress silhouettes.

Also, be open to suggestions. The dress you may have never reached for may end up being the dress that totally catches you off guard—who’s that hottie?!

Wedding Gown Fabric

Something else that needs to be considered is fabric. Depending on the season and climate, you may want something semi-lightweight and breathable. If your skin is sensitive, you’ll probably require a dress made from natural fabric.

Be aware of how the dress makes you feel physically. If it’s too large or small, that can be remedied when it’s fitted. If it makes you itch however, that’s a big indicator you need to choose a different fabric.


Truthfully, the main quality in a dress that’s going to transform you isn’t actually part of the dress itself. Rather, it’s all in how the dress makes you feel. 

If you slip into a gown that makes you feel like a million bucks, that confidence will radiate through. It will amplify your beauty, providing that elusive je ne sais quoi—the ever so powerful ‘it’ factor.

So, regardless of any rules. The dress that’s perfect for your body type? It’s the dress you can’t stop thinking about.

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