How to Select the Perfect Wedding Dress for 5 Different Body Types

How to Select the Perfect Wedding Dress for 5 Different Body Types

By Hassan Khan

As a bride-to-be, choosing the perfect wedding dress worthy of the occasion is one of the most important and exciting decisions to be made! Every bride deserves to feel comfortable and confident on the day-of, and with so many options, it can be hard to know where to begin! By understanding your body type, this comprehensive guide will provide tangible, expert advice to help you narrow down your choices and select the wedding dress perfect for you! Whether you relate most to an hourglass or pear figure, an oval or apple shape, a rectangle, or an inverted triangle body, this guide will provide a quick understanding of the best wedding dress silhouettes for each body shape.


Know your body type first!

Do you know what body type you have? Everyone has a unique body, and understanding and appreciating the differences can help you choose the perfect wedding dress for your body type! Here is a description of each body type:

Pear – your hips are wider than your bust and waist

Rectangle – your bust, hips, and waist are around the same size 

Hourglass – your hips and bust are around the same size and your waist is smaller

Oval and apple – your bust and hips are around the same size and your waist is larger

Inverted triangle – your bust is wider than your bust and hips


How to measure yourself to find your body type

Body measurements determine your body shape, so measuring your body accurately will help you get to know your body type. For this, you need a soft measuring tape, normal-fit clothes, and preferably external help to take accurate measurements and avoid parallax errors. Here are video tutorials to help you take the measurements below; 

Shoulders: Your shoulder measurement is the total tape length from one edge of the shoulder all around you to the same point. It’s best to have a partner assist with this one!

Bust: This is the circumference measured across the fullest part of your bust, holding the tape taut but not too tight.

Waist: Locate the narrowest part of your waist. It will usually be just above your belly button. Use a tape measure to go around your body along this point.

Hips: This measurement should be taken just below the hip bone. Measure the circumference of this area.

Compare these measurements with the body type descriptions above to determine your body type! Now that you know your measurements, we’ll review how to find the perfect dress for your body type.



How to select the perfect wedding dress for five different body types

While it’s important to choose a wedding dress that fits your personality, having a cheat sheet of the best wedding dress silhouettes for each body type can help you narrow down your options! Here are the best wedding dress styles for each body type.


1. The Hourglass Figure

The hourglass body type has balanced proportions between the bust and hips with a smaller waist. To flaunt your curves, consider these tips:

Highlight your waist

Opt for a wedding dress that cinches at the waist to showcase your hourglass shape. A fitted bodice or a mermaid-style skirt will hug your curves and emphasize your narrow waist.

Embrace A-line silhouettes

A-line dresses are universally flattering for hourglass figures. They emphasize your curves while offering a balanced look from top to bottom. Look for skirts that flare gently from the waist, creating an elegant, feminine silhouette.

V-neck or sweetheart neckline

These necklines can enhance and accentuate your bustline! 

You may want to avoid adding additional material to your bust and hips, as these body parts are proportionate to each other already. With this in mind, ball gowns, empire, or princess-style dresses with fuller skirts may not be the most flattering.


2. The Pear-Shaped Body

A pear-shaped body features a smaller upper body and broader hips. To achieve a beautiful, balanced look, follow these suggestions:

A-line or ball gown silhouettes

These styles gracefully skim over the hips and accentuate the waist, highlighting your shape. Look for dresses with a fitted bodice and a skirt that flows away from the body, creating a balanced and elegant look.

Empire waist dresses

Empire waistlines highlight the smallest part of your body, just below the bust, and then flow gently over the hips. This style can help elongate your torso, creating a flattering and romantic silhouette.

Strapless or off-the-shoulder necklines

These necklines draw attention to your upper body and shoulders, balancing out the width of your hips. Add embellishments or details around the neckline to further accentuate your upper body.

Consider avoiding mermaid-style dresses, as these typically will visually enlarge your lower body.


3. The Oval/Apple Shape

The oval, or apple, shaped body is characterized by your bust and hips being around the same size with a larger waist. To create a flattering and balanced look, consider the following tips:

Empire or A-line silhouettes

These styles elongate your body, creating a longer torso and skimming over your midsection. 

V-neck or deep V-neckline

These necklines draw attention upward, highlighting your upper body. Consider dresses with draped or ruched details around the neckline to add interest and create a flattering focal point. Gowns like "Clara" have draping around the midsection to create a visually appealing and flattering effect.

When choosing a wedding dress for an oval-shaped body, remember that halter or high-neck gowns risk overwhelming your bustline.


4. The Rectangle Shape

The rectangle-shaped body has a straight silhouette, with your shoulders, waist, and hips all relatively the same width. To flatter your body type, follow these recommendations:

Ball gowns or A-line silhouettes

These styles will add volume and definition by creating the illusion of a more defined waistline. Look for dresses with a fitted bodice and a skirt that flares to add volume!

Belts or sashes

Adding a belt or sash at the waist can accentuate the area and add interest to a simple dress. Opt for dresses that allow you to cinch in the waist with a belt, or choose dresses with built-in embellished waistbands for added definition.

Embellishments and details

Ruffles, beading, and lace details can create dimension and shape. Look for dresses with intricate embellishments and pieces around the bust or waist to draw attention to these areas!

Fitted dresses, such as mermaid or trumpet gowns, will closely hug your figure and provide you less definition. A lower neckline can help with balance! 


5. The Inverted Triangle Body

The inverted triangle body features broader shoulders and a narrower waist and hips. To achieve a balanced look, consider these tips:

A-line or ball gown silhouettes

These styles create fullness at the bottom, complimenting your broader shoulders. Look for dresses with a full skirt or ball gown silhouette to add volume!

Halter or scoop necklines

Consider dresses with halter or scoop necklines that will flatter your upper body and create a more proportionate look. These necklines draw attention inward and soften the shoulders. 

Full skirts and sleeves

These details complement your silhouette adding volume to the lower body. Look for dresses with full skirts or dresses that have sleeves, such as cap sleeves or flutter sleeves, to create a balanced look.

Consider avoiding strapless or off-the-shoulder dresses, as these styles accentuate the shoulder and can add volume to your upper body.


Selecting the perfect wedding dress for your body type is essential to feeling confident and beautiful on your wedding day. By understanding your body shape, you can find a dress that accentuates your best features and flatters your unique figure. Remember, the most important thing is to choose a dress that makes you feel comfortable and radiant as you celebrate this special milestone in your life so that you may feel confident and empowered when you say 'Yes.'