One of my pet peeves is watching a curvy bride be pressured into trying on a dress that is too small, encouraged to buy an unflattering gown, or asked to imagine how a gown would like on her, all because the salon has a limited number of gowns in her size. It makes me down right angry to see women degraded with words like, "well we only have a limited number of plus size gowns to choose from," or "there's only so much we can do, sorry." It's down right mean. What the bridal industry considers to be a beautiful bride is changing and I want you, as a bride-to-be, to arm yourself with the bridal vocabulary to clearly communicate what you are looking for, predetermine what looks best on you, and quickly assess if the salon you are visiting can accommodate your needs. Your time is precious and you don't need to spend time in places that are unwilling to help you look your best on your special day. At Curvy Rose, we know what looks good on women of all shapes and sizes and we want to partner with you in finding the gown that reflects your personality, vision and love for your partner.
One of the most important aspects of finding the right gown is understanding the shapes and fabrics you will encounter on your journey. If you are like many women, telling the difference between a ball gown and a sheath is easy, but figuring out the difference between a mermaid, trumpet or in some cases an A-line is tough. Depending on the design and details of a gown it could be a smash-up of two different shapes. The wonderful news is, there is always a dominant shape to every wedding gown and more importantly, you have a dominant shape. Once you marry the two, you'll win every time.
So let's tackle each shape individually and give you some ideas on the wedding gown shapes that would look best on you.
If you carry most of your weight around your middle, you are an Apple shape, like me. What's great about being an Apple? You have killer legs, nice shoulders and a great bust line. It's time to show them off!
What to Look for: Look for gowns that define the waist and show off your shoulders or legs. Whether you opt for ruching (wrap details), empire waist, off the shoulder or lace appliqué, dresses with a defined skirt that begins at the thigh or higher work best for you.
Try on: Sweetheart and V-necklines on A-line (skirt skims along your body into an A shape) and fit and flare (where the full skirt begins at the thigh) and even shorter dresses like Tea length A-lines to show off those gams. Details like beading, especially under the bust are flattering.
Say no: As an Apple shape myself, I'm not a huge fan of the ball gown. I feel like a mound of whipped cream with a sparkly brooch on top, but I've known Apples who love them. Ball gowns do make your waist look smaller. Other shapes to avoid: Sheath (column type dresses) and dropped waist A-lines (where the bodice ends well below the natural waist).
If you carry your weight evenly throughout, you are a Rectangle/Banana. What's great about Banana shapes is that you have AWESOME legs and arms. Give them LOVE!
What to Look for: Dresses that will give you the illusion of a defined waist is key. Dresses that either gather at the waist (a belt can help fit the bill) or flare at the hip or knee. If you are into illusion necklines, opt for a sweetheart or V-neckline to draw attention to the bustline.
Try on: A-line (where the skirt gradually flares from the waist) and fit-and-flare styles. Gowns with details like a peplum or overskirt work great. If you have a smaller bust, try gowns with spaghetti straps or a plunging neckline. Empire cuts and ball gowns are also a flattering option.
Say no: Sheaths, clingy or shiny fabrics like satin and chiffon.
If that waist gap on that pair of jeans give you the blues, you're probably a Pear. What's great about being a Pear? You've got a great butt and nice hips!
What to Look for: Dresses with a lot of details on the top, lace appliqué, beading and details that draw the attention to your upper body. Ruching or wrap details that accentuate the waist are also stunning on this figure.
Try on: A line gowns, empire waist gowns (where the skirt begins under the bust), Fit and Flare dresses (where the skirt begins at the thigh or higher), and ball gowns.
Say no: Sheaths and dresses made with clingy fabrics that will show every lump.
Last but not least, the most coveted of the female figure. If you're busty, got a defined waist and round hips, you are an Hourglass. What's great about being an Hourglass? EVERYTHING!!
What to Look for: Sweetheart, scoop or V-necklines do a great job of showing off your bust. Halters are not as popular today, but they are a nice option for you too. Look for full skirts on Fit and Flare's as well as Fit and Flare's with a slimmer skirt. Highlighting your waist and hips are key.
Try on: Drop-waist (where the bodice extends well below the waist), Fit and Flare dresses that begin at the thigh and lower. Sheath and A line gowns are stunning on this figure too.
Say no: Ruffles, ball gowns. These shapes distract the eye and hide your curves.
Even with all of these gown shapes as a guide, what you choose to wear on your special day is completely up to you. It's been our experience that a bride knows when she has found the one. Follow your intuition and you'll take your partner's breath away.