5 Awesome Wedding Dress Stylesto Consider Your Unique Body Type

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We’ve all heard the hype a million times about how your wedding day is the most important day of your life. Even if you don’t buy it, there are still plenty of reasons to ensure that you have the best possible dress. There will be a photographer spending the day focused on you, after all. But unlike clothing for other occasions, like business, casual or party clothes, which usually have just a section of store devoted to them, there are whole superstores filled with wedding gowns and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The trick is to know how to break it down and figure out what you like and don’t like before you step foot in a store. Here’s a great starting point, with the five basic cuts:

5 Mermaid

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This is the most modern and edgiest looking of all the options. It’s like a sheath style gown until it hits around the knees and then it flares out like a fish tale (thus the name). If you’re going for more couture and less Princess kind of look, this is often a good choice but it can be very unforgiving. It does for the butt what the empire waist does for the bust. I.E. makes it look big. So if baby’s-got-back then she can forget it. And because it is at least as form fitting most of the way down as the sheath, it won’t do much for any love-handles or protruding tummy either.

4 Empire Waist

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If you’ve watched Pride and Prejudice over and over again, then you may have been dreaming about this. But if you’ve got a well endowed chest you may have to get over it. This style amplifies the bust so it’s good for women who feel like they’re lacking curves. But if you’re curvy, then forget it. On the other hand, depending on your figure this cut can do even more for petite brides than a sheath dress. By bringing the waistline up, it makes legs look they go on forever. So if you can get away with it, give empire waist a try. The high waist with the loose flowing skirt can be a lot less restrictive than skirts that stay fitted farther down and that are very structured. This is especially true for pregnant brides, since the waist is already above and out of the way of the baby bump. But if you’re not pregnant, be careful. We’ve learned from experience that an empire waist can make even a small beer belly look like a baby.

3 Sheath/Column

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That’s right, it goes straight down. If you have no curves, then you probably want to just skip down to number four because this will make you look like a stick. On the other hand, if you’re curvier than you care for everyone to see, this isn’t for you either. This is for the bride who wants something with some slink. These are often body hugging and show off what you’ve got no matter how much skin they cover. While they’re great for long slim women they offer the most bang for your buck for petite women who want to look a little longer.

2 Ball Gown

This is exactly what it sounds like — puffy. If you’ve always wanted an excuse to wear layers of petticoats and a skirt that will twirl out around you as you spin, then this is your chance. Just be careful not to end up looking like one of those strawberry scented cupcake dolls (children of the 90s, you know what we’re talking about). Unlike the Princess style, these dresses usually have a seam at the waist, from which point the skirt flares out more dramatically than an A-line. Particular warnings go to petite women who are easily overwhelmed if there’s too much going on, or women who are top-heavy. A large bust and a large skirt can just make you look bulky. The treat here is for pear-shaped bodies. Wide hips and butts are disguised by the wide skirt.

1 Princess/A-line

This is by far the most versatile style and looks good on almost everyone. Princess seams are seams that run vertically from the shoulder or underarm and give a dress a nice form fitting shape without being clingy or even having to define a waist. The skirt is shaped like the letter A (creatively named, isn’t it?), widening gently as it goes down. These dresses are the best if you’re not a huge fan of your figure because the tailoring means you can easily choose to add shape where you want it or to let it skim easily over any problem spots.

Even if it sounds like your options are limited, trust us: they’re not. Within each style designers are constantly coming up with new ways to adjust the silhouette and add details and texture and this is just a starting point. Each style includes hundreds of variations, so you’ll be sure to find something that you love that’s oh-so-flattering!

Any more tips for the brides out there?

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