By LEENA KOLLAR
The search for the perfect wedding dress can be a long and stressful journey.
It’s hard to find a dream dress that fits your budget, that is in a style you like, that fits well, and that gives you that “wow” factor. Finding your perfect dress is a lot like finding your mate — when you know, you know.
But what if you don’t have any idea where to start? What if you aren’t really sure what you’re looking for in a wedding dress?
A good place to start is shopping for dresses that will flatter your figure. If you know which styles work best with your body shape, you can eliminate all the ones that don’t. The first step is determining what your body shape is. The Style Spectrum provides instructions on how to figure it out.
Once you know your body shape, you can use this as your guide to finding the best wedding dress styles for your figure.
Straight Body Shape
If you have a straight body shape, you want to look for a dress that draws attention to your waist while keeping the top and bottom of your body proportionate. Look for styles with off-the-shoulder, boat neck, or wide-V neck tops. Structured shoulders, cap sleeves or flutter sleeves will add width to your top area, giving more definition to your waist. Stay away from styles that narrow your upper half or don’t accentuate your waist.
Pear Body Shape
If you have a pear body shape, you want to find a dress that adds volume to your upper body and emphasizes your waist to create a more balanced appearance. Dress styles that add width to your upper half are best, while the skirt portion of the dress should minimize your lower half. Avoid princess style dresses that poof out, and go with a straight A-line dress that lightly skims your body.
Spoon Body Shape
If you have a spoon body shape, be on the hunt for a dress that draws attention to your upper body and de-emphasizes your hips. Off-the-shoulder and strapless dress styles are great for showing off your shoulders, and you want to avoid dresses that widen your lower half. Stick to A-line styles that fall straight down from the hips.
Hourglass Body Shape
If you have an hourglass body shape, you can wear just about any wedding dress style. The key is to look for one that will maintain your proportionate shape by accentuating your waist. Avoid dresses with dramatic tops or skirts, and stick to a style that is well balanced.
Top Hourglass Body Shape
If you have a top hourglass body shape, you want to find a dress that will balance your lower body with your ample bust. Look for dresses that de-emphasize your chest and upper half with a narrow V-neck. Create more balance with a banded waist, and stick to styles that enhance your lower body, like full or A-line skirts. Princess style dresses can work, as long as the bottom half is not overly dramatic.
Inverted Triangle Body Shape
If you have an inverted triangle body shape, you want to pick a dress that will balance your broad shoulders, chest and back with your narrow lower body. Go with a narrow V-neck, or dresses that flare slightly at the hips. Other embellishments in the hip area help add volume, and a full skirt style works great.
Oval Body Shape
If you have an oval body shape, you want to find a dress that will de-emphasize your midsection and create a more defined waist. Look for a dress that tapers your upper body and flares at the hips. Full, tiered or bubble skirt style dresses with wide waistbands are all good choices.
Diamond Body Shape
If you have a diamond body shape, look for a dress that will balance your shoulders and bust with your hips and create a defined waist. Try dresses with structured shoulders, wide V-necks, princess sleeves or detailing around the bust and shoulders. Make sure the lower half of the dress lengthens with a straight skirt that falls from the widest part of your hips.