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What's your shape? Some Do's & Don'ts

Next to style, fit is the most important aspect of finding the perfect dress. The best way to decide what look will be the most flattering on your body type is to first determine which “classification “ describes your body type best. Once you learn the basic do’s and don’ts go try everything on! You never know how it will look on you until you try it on.


You have a big chest, big hips, and a thin waist (curves in all the right places).

  1. Dress Dos: An A-line dress with a dropped waist will show off your figure; pair it with a sweetheart neckline to show off your chest. Or for something a little more curvaceous, try a fit-and-flare gown like a mermaid or trumpet style.
  2. Dress Don'ts: A ball gown or Empire-waist silhouette may make you look disproportioned.

Short Waist

Your body is naturally proportioned, except for the small distance from your ribs to your hips.

  1. Dress Dos: A Princess-line silhouette -- fitted at the bodice and opening up gradually to a full skirt -- elegantly elongates your figure; if you love your shoulders, try a portrait or halter neckline. A slightly dropped-waist gown will also lengthen your torso.
  2. Dress Don'ts: A sheath will make your short waist more obvious.

Thick Waist

Same as above, but instead of a short waist, yours is undefined: The line from your shoulders to your hips is straight.

  1. Dress Dos: An Empire-waist gown will deemphasize your waistline and give you a long, lean look.
  2. Dress Don'ts: A Princess-line or basque waist will draw too much attention to your middle.

Full Figure

More voluptuous than most, you've got full breasts, a bit of a tummy, and round hips and butt. (more to love!)

  1. Dress Dos: A ball gown will hide quite a bit, and an A-line silhouette looks great on everyone.
  2. Dress Don'ts: A sheath will make you look heavier than you are; avoid spaghetti straps.

Pear Shape

Just like the fruit, you're small on top and heavy on the bottom.

  1. Dress Dos: A Basque waist or strapless ball gown will cover your bottom half and put the focus on your better half; an Empire dress will hug the tiniest part of your body and disguise your lower half.
  2. Dress Don'ts: A sheath, frankly, will be unflattering. A trumpet- or mermaid-style gown will draw attention to your bottom.


Short or tall, there's not a whole lot of meat on your bones. You boast that certain kind of ballerina beauty.

  1. Dress Dos: A ball gown will make you look like a fairy-tale princess, and a sheath would be perfect for you.
  2. Dress Don'ts: Almost all silhouettes will flatter your figure, but stay away from portrait, off-the-shoulder, or halter necklines if your collarbone is too bony.


You're probably not the star of the basketball team -- you've got a tiny frame.

  1. Dress Dos: It's best to keep it simple -- when you're small, a big, elaborate gown can sometimes look as if it's wearing you rather than the other way around. A sheath or A-line dress will work well.
  2. Dress Don'ts: Almost all silhouettes will flatter your figure, though a big ball gown may overwhelm.

Keep in mind that while your weight may fluctuate between the time you buy your gown and the day of your wedding, your actual body type will remain the same. So even if you're planning to drop 20 pounds before the big day, choose the gown that fits your body type today. It is always better to have extra fabric to remove than to not have enough!

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