“A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.” – Sophia Loren
Finding a wedding dress can be tough, especially when you’re a tiny little ankle biter like me. I’m pretty sure they could have made another dress out of the amount of material that needed to be taken off from the hem.
It’s always good to have an idea of what you’re looking for before venturing out into the bridal gown universe. Conceptualizing and maybe collecting a few photos of what you have in mind pre-appointment is most beneficial for you and for the consultant. While you may not know exactly what you have in mind, and would like to try several styles (and we suggest you do), giving some direction can help make the experience smoother for everyone.
The options are endless and therefore can be quite overwhelming, so understanding your body type and the dress shapes that typically work best for it will help fine tune your search.
Here is a breakdown of the various silhouettes:
A-Line/Princess: Classic and simple, this silhouette is fitted around the bodice and then falls away from the body. The A-line gown tends to flatter all body types, with a full skirt that avoids clinging to the hips and thighs but can also create the illusion of curves on a narrow figure.
Empire: With a sort of romantic appeal, this is an A-line dress with a raised waistline sitting just below the bust for shaping, while the rest of the dress flows down. A variety of skirt cuts are available with the empire dress, ranging from free flowing to a more contoured outline. It works well on most body types and tends to enhance the bust line while also lending forgiveness to the legs and hips.
Column/Sheath: Named appropriately, the column/sheath dress has a narrow shape that flows straight down from top to the bottom. More curve hugging than other silhouettes, it tends to be cut on the bias to enable the fabric to flow and flatter the body. This shape is best suited for a petite frame, as it elongates the body.
Ball Gown: For the fairytale bride, the ball gown makes a grand statement with a fitted bodice and very full skirt. This dress is ideal for hourglass shapes and taller brides, while it tends to overpower narrow and petite frames.
Mermaid/Trumpet: This cut is meant to highlight curves with its form fitted shape that outlines the body from chest to knee, and then flares out the hem. Works well on a petite bride by giving the illusion of height.
Be prepared and patient and you’ll find the perfect fit (after the seamstress has worked a little magic, of course)!