Wedding Dress Styles for the
Plus Size Bride

Do you know which wedding dress styles will flatter your figure? I hope so, but maybe you don't. That's why knowing which wedding dress styles look the best on your body shape is so important. You can not assume that as long as dress styles come in a plus size that they are universally flattering to all full figure women.

Dress styles are one thing, but you also need to consider how embellishments and fabrics can be used to accentuate your positives and minimize your problem areas. And you thought trying on wedding dresses would be easy. Silly bride! :)

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Wedding Dress Styles for Your Body Shape

Each body shape is shown below giving you a guide on the styles you should be trying on and the ones you should pass up. Remember, be open minded!

If you don't know your body shape, then it's time to find out. Click here What is my body shape to see which one you are.

APPLE - You have a round mid-section. Your waist is larger than your bust and hip measurements. Your hips are narrower compared to your shoulders. You also tend to have a larger bust line. Your goal is to define the smallest point on your waistline to create curves. The smallest part is just under your bust.

Say Yes to:

  • A-line bridal gowns

  • Empire Waist
  • Corset style gowns that will cinch you in and create curves

Say No to:

  • Mermaid and trumpet style gowns. These styles tend to give women that "sausage" look. Perfect, if your venue is an Octoberfest.
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PEAR - You have larger hips and thighs, with a smaller upper body.  Your goal is to find wedding dress styles that minimize your bottom half and draw attention to your top half to create that balanced look.

Say Yes to:

  • A-line styles
  • Dresses that have texture or embellishments in the bodice
  • A smooth fabric in the skirt

Say No to: 

  • Mermaid and trumpet styles
  • Princess style gowns (this style will volume at your hips). However, if you love this style, then create symmetry by adding sleeves or wider straps that rest on the outside of your shoulders.
  • Excessive draping or added fabric on the skirt
  • Heavy fabric or texture in the skirt. This will add bulk to your bottom half. The half you are trying to minimize!
  • An allover heavy embroidered dress including an all over lace dress. You need to create that divide between your top half and bottom half.

INVERTED TRIANGLE - Your shoulders are wider than your hips and you have a large bust line. Your goal is to minimize your large bust. You can do this by drawing attention to your more slender hip area.

Say Yes to:

  • Dresses with wide straps so you can wear a supportive bra

  • Halter style necklines (with wide straps)
  • Straight cut or bias cut dresses
  • Princess style ball gowns
  • Emphasize your hip area

Say No to:

  • Dresses with full sleeves
  • Plunging, low or wide necklines
  • Extra fabric such as draping, ruffles, ruching, etc. that adds volume to your chest
  • Bling and other embellishments at the bust

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STRAIGHT or RECTANGLE - You do not have a lot of curves. There is very little difference between your bust, waist and hip measurements. Your goal is to create curves.

Say Yes to:

  • Structured bodice or corset style gowns.  This will create a defined waist and accentuate your bust.
  • Accentuate your waist area. Look for fitted waists, a wide inset, ruching or draping at the waist area.
  • A-line or empire dress styles look great on you.

Say No to:

  • Straight cut styles
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HOURGLASS - You have hips and a bust line that are about the same width. And your waist is also significantly smaller than your bust and hip measurements. You are very fortunate because you can wear many wedding dress styles. Your goal is to show your curves and not cover them up.

Say Yes to:

  • Dropped waist gowns
  • Mermaid style gowns
  • Trumpet style gowns
  • Princess style ball gowns
  • A ruched bodice
  • A-line skirt

Say NO to:

  • Empire waist style gowns with A-line skirts.  This style will hide your curves especially your thinner waist and it will make you appear larger than you are.
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PLUS SIZE and SHORT - You too have one of the body shapes mentioned above. However, you have more to consider when shopping for a bridal gown. Your goal is to look balanced and yet not to shorten your silhouette.

Say Yes to:

  • A-line styles
  • Empire Styles

Say No to:

  • Full Skirts. You will look out of proportion and bottom heavy and it will shorten your silhouette.

  • Ball Gowns (too overwhelming on shorter women)

PLUS SIZE and TALL -  You also fit into one of the body shapes described above, but you also need to consider your height.

Say Yes to:

  • A dropped waist or lower waistline
  • A hem that touches the floor
  • Long sleeves should be hemmed past the wrist so it doesn't look like your dress shrunk in the dryer
  • Simple styles

Say No to:

  • Elaborate, blinged out gowns
  • Princess style ball gowns

More and more plus size wedding dress styles and designs are showing up in plus size bridal fashion. I hope you have fun shopping and you end up with a gown you love.

Plus Size Clothing>Wedding Dress Styles


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