Choose the right wedding dress

The most exciting part of planning a wedding, for any bride, is probably choosing your wedding dress.

Although exhilarating, this can also be a daunting task as the bride may not know what style of dress will suit her body type on her wedding day.

Below are some tips on what styles suit which body type:

  •  For a pear-shaped body type one should find a skirt that gradually flares out in an A formation from the natural waist to the floor, highlighting the narrowness of the midsection and flaring away from the hips and thighs. 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.
  • If you have a large bust look for a dress with a scooped neckline. It will open up your face and not show too much cleavage. If you love the look of strapless gowns, choose one that has a slight dip along the neckline, like a sweetheart, rather than a style that goes straight across. Fabric on the bodice that has a shine to it, such as organza, satin or silk, will add volume and call attention to your chest.
  • If you are tall look for a simple silhouette. The strategy is to emphasise your natural shape, so every aspect of the dress such as the lower waistline and floor-sweeping hem, needs to reflect your longer proportions. If you’re wearing long sleeves, they should go past the wrist. Because you are tall, you’ll want to stay on the side of simplicity when it comes to embellishments.
  • For a straight-line body type you should look for a dress that will create curves where you don’t have them. Try a ball gown that cinches in at your natural waist and descends into a full, flowing floor-length skirt. It will capitalise on your slenderness and camouflage a lack of hips. If you have a small bust, look for a bodice with some ruching to create volume.
  • If you are petite look for trumpet, sheath, and modified A-line gowns. Find a style with a waistline above your natural waist, to make the lower half of the dress appear longer. The fabric is up to you, you can pull off a high sheen. But the detailing should be small and limited to the bodice, to draw the eye upward. Be wary of dresses with a dropped waist, which will make your legs seem non-existent, and ball gowns. Also, avoid anything calf-length, which will make your legs look short.
  • If You’re Small-Chested:

Look for: A ruched bodice. Extra fabric up top will help fill out your upper body and create the illusion of curves. Lightly padded halter styles will also do the trick. The right bra will always provide a nice boost, but as many wedding dresses are strapless or backless, your undergarment options may be fairly limited.

Compiled by Caxton East Rand features writer, Carmen Norton.

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