What wedding dress is best for my shape?

When she appeared on TLC’s Curvy Brides Boutique reality TV show Zoe wasn’t convinced she could find a wedding dress.

While most brides have some difficulty finding a wedding dress, hers was two-fold: not only was she plus-size, but she was also a double amputee. But as a basketball player in the Paralympics, she wasn’t about to let that stop her.  With some expert advice and encouragement, she found a dress that made her feel beautiful.

Zoe’s inspiring story brings an essential truth: all brides face challenges, some small and some great, when it comes to finding a wedding dress. And knowing what wedding dress is best for your shape will go a long way in helping you find one–and embrace your body, too.


  • If you’re petite: If you’re shorter than 5’4”, you’re considered petite. Do keep in mind that this refers to height–you could be petite all over, or you could be petite and curvy. Shorter brides should shy away from anything that will either overwhelm or make their figure appear shorter. Straight, simpler silhouettes like A-lines and Sheaths work wonders. Empire waists help elongate, and fit and flares can hug curves. Avoid full tulle and drop waist gowns.


  • If you’re tall: While being tall might be the envy of others, it’s not without its challenges. A big ball gown or princess seams works to your advantage, as do dresses with drop waists and more fitted styles like mermaids and trumpets. Avoid too-simple dresses, like sheaths, which can make your torso appear longer, as well as empire waists.


  • If you have a small bust: Sweetheart necklines are your friend. They’ll create natural curves, while a scoop neck will make you look even more flat chested.


  • If you’re curvy: If you have curves all over, there’s a few ways you can go. Some brides want to accentuate curves, while others would like to camouflage some areas. Ruching slims bodices, while fitted dresses (mermaids and trumpets) help accentuate curves in a flattering way. If you’re more shy about showing, try an A-line dress, that will create an hourglass shape without adding too much weight.
  • Plus size brides should know that there are also specific collections designed for them, and these dresses will be more flattering, and require less alterations.



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