Brides in Cornwall and Devon

Dressing For Body Type

Body Talk


The quest for the perfect dress begins with considering the body basics. Dress to look your very best with Wed's shape-sculpting style rules...


Barry White implored it. Gok Wan swears by it. But women the world over are convinced that beauty is achieved only by changing the way they look.


Wrong.

The key to looking your very best is simply to work with what you’ve got. This means acknowledging your body type and finding the optimum way to flaunt your figure’s top features while concealing those you consider your worst. Whether it’s shape, size or skin tone – dress to suit yourself and (dare I say?) impress – in order to feel and look fabulous on your wedding day.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Annais Bridal, Little Anne Maids

Of course, it’s a wise idea to improve your health and well being – not to mention appearance – by shaping up a little. Welcoming some exercise and a balanced diet into the equation will pay dividends in the looks department for a fresher you and banish stress to boot.

Rather than dropping half a dozen dress sizes in six months or even opting to go under the knife, little steps work absolute wonders. Despite what some celebs may claim, subtle shifts as opposed to dramatic changes are always your best bet.

Remember: he’s marrying you because he loves you ‘just the way you are’. So embrace your body and follow our guide to dressing it well for a fabulously fitting gown…


Body type: ATHLETIC/BOYISH
Features: narrow hips, wide shoulders, slim/straight shape
Desired effect: to look more feminine/curvy


wedding dresses Cornwall - Alfred Angelo, The Wedding Company

Sportier frames are less inclined to boast a perfect hourglass, so more athletic types are probably going to want to boost their bust or highlight their hips. The bonus of being boyish is that your coveted svelte shape lends itself to an array of styles, as you already possess the framework that many ladies crave.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Annais Bridal, Little Anne Maids

Firstly, avoid overwhelming your figure with voluminous layers of fabrics such as architectural styles and overly big ball gowns (unless you’re very tall). Though body-conscious styles such as clingy columns and sheaths can make you appear fuller, they’ll only highlight the lack of a bust in very boyish figures, in which case you’ll need to create a curvier silhouette.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Ronald Joyce

Fitted, padded bodices encrusted with sequins/diamanté detail add dimension – and a bustline. Dresses with heavier fabrics such as satin, velvet or moiré will visually add a little volume, while a gathered waist and narrow sleeves will have a similar effect.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Sottero & Midgley, Vu's Bridal

TREND TIPS: Follow this year’s catwalk offerings and opt for lingerie-inspired designs, backless numbers, monochrome, metallics, colour or patterning such as embroidery, paisley, floral prints or brocade. Ruffling and gathered fabrics add an illusion of curves – so ride the wave of modern new romance and vintage.


wedding dresses Cornwall - True Bride, Lavender Rose


wedding dresses Cornwall - White One Pronovias, Amanda K Bridal

Body type: CURVY/VOLUPTUOUS
Features: big bust, wide hips, hourglass shape
Desired effect: to maximise assets while slimming down the frame


wedding dresses Cornwall - Alfred Angelo, The Wedding Company

Fuller figured brides-to-be can rock the princess look with style as big skirts hide hips and balance out the bust. There are a number of tricks and optical illusions that slim down the cleavage such as scoop necks, high necks with keyhole or V-necks. Vertical lines and high waistlines have a narrowing effect and cover up arms with billowing or sheer fabrics or a bolero jacket for a classic, flattering look.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Pearl Bridal, From This Day Forward

A-line, princess, flared and ball gowns all look great with your figure. Concentrate on your upper body and waist with details such as lace, beading or a bodice, which will also give support and structure to your shape, cleverly containing your cleavage for comfort and class.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Annais Bridal, Little Anne Maids

Too much fabric or fuss will appear frumpy, so avoid ruffles, bunching and puffed sleeves. Something that clings unforgivingly to your body will not compliment your figure so avoid body-conscious styles, especially if fitted on the hips and derrière. Avoid empire or cinched waists and flimsy, unstructured and unsupported bustlines.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Ronald Joyce

TREND TIPS: Classic ball gowns and goddess gowns with a subtle twist such as pleats, bows or ribbons are rather new romance while mermaid and Grecian dresses achieve boho with ease. ‘80s style shoulder-enhanced or asymmetric silhouettes broaden shoulders and narrow hips. Alternatively, don a fitted bustier with boning for vintage elegance and old school glamour, or experiment with corsetry and different contours such as a baby doll.



wedding dresses Cornwall - True Bride, Lavender Rose

Body type: SHORT/PETITE
Features: smaller frame including height
Desired effect: to appear taller/fuller


wedding dresses Cornwall - Ronald Joyce

Pint-sized ladies can try a multitude of looks with their petite frames and smaller features. A dress with an empire waist combined with a high or off-the-shoulder neckline works especially well. Short sleeves or sleeveless dresses worn with long gloves has an elongating effect, so vying for vintage with a cap-sleeved tea dress or ‘20s flapper style and gloves are inspired ideas.


wedding dresses Cornwall - True Bride, Lavender Rose

Bear in mind that ruffles or large veiling with too much fabric will overwhelm your figure and mid-calf length hemlines will only shorten your frame. So shorts, minis or long lengths are a good investment alongside subtle embellishments. Keep patterns and prints small, and don’t forget to accessorise – heels are heavenly additions to boost petite brides, adding precious inches and confidence for a stand-tall, sexy look.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Justin Alexander, Vu's Bridal

TREND TIPS: Fitted, ‘50s prom-style dresses (just above knee length) with killer heels and long gloves are elegant and form flattering. Body-conscious styles with long vertical lines lengthen petite forms. Or set the wow factor to max with a LWD (little white dress).


wedding dresses Cornwall - True Bride

Body type: TALL
Features: bigger frame, including height
Desired effect: to appear more petite/tone down height


wedding dresses Cornwall - Alfred Angelo, The Wedding Company

Already drawing attention courtesy of your statuesque shape, tall brides instantly appear striking by towering above the swooning congregation. If you wish to appear a tad smaller and less Amazonian, there are a few key tricks to tastefully dressing to detract from your height.


 wedding dresses Cornwall - Impression Bridal

Open, low and off-the-shoulder necklines are ideal and a drop waist, thick belt or ruffle detail will distract from your stature. If you are also slim, mermaid and sheath shaped dresses will complement your figure and showcase your on-the-pulse sense of style.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Essense, Vu's Bridal

Unless you want to play on your loftiness, certain styling such as accentuated shoulder padding or high hats and veiling will only serve to make your height an imposing factor. Instead, think spaghetti straps, miniature veiling and beautifully ornate headdresses.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Pearl Bridal

TREND TIPS: Flared silhouettes such as fluted or tulip skirts, asymmetric cuts, mini skirts and multi-tiered skirts for modern couture.


wedding dresses Cornwall - Ronald Joyce


wedding dresses Cornwall - True Bride

DRESS CODE
 
A-line/Princess – Structured style flaring out from the waist in the shape of an ‘A’
 
Ball Gown – Fairytale shape with a fitted bodice and waist with a full skirt
 
Empire – Slender skirt with a high waistline and small, scooped bodice
 
Mermaid – Figure-hugging style, fitted as far as the knee with a flared bottom
 
Sheath – Narrow, body-hugging style that shows off the bust, hips and waist


wedding dresses Cornwall - White One Pronovias, Amanda K Bridal


Words Hannah May


Copyright WED Magazine 2011