With a million details to plan, few stress out the bride more than the search for the perfect wedding gown.
The dress of your dreams – one that you love and also makes the most of your figure – is not impossible to find. But all brides need to be honest about their shape and seek the most flattering silhouette for their body type. And please don’t think it is only the figure-flawed brides who need to worry about the right silhouette. Even a thin bride has some pitfalls to avoid.
Not even all thin brides have the same body type. First, you can be short or tall, which is definitely a consideration when choosing a dress. Or you may have a graceful ballerina figure with long, lean legs and arms. On at the other end of the spectrum, you may be an athletic bride with a boyish figure and few curves.
Here are some tips for you thin brides to keep in mind when you start your search:
Short versus tall brides
Petite brides need to be careful that you do not get swallowed up by your dress. Those poufy wedding gowns may make you feel like Cinderella at the ball, but it may also be too much dress. If this is the case, you may want to try a tea-length dress (falling to about mid-calf) or a mermaid style dress. The mermaid silhouette fits pretty snugly to your body from the bust down to the knees, at which point it flares out. It is not voluminous the way a ball gown is designed. Simpler may be better for you.
Another consideration is a modified A-line gown, which flares slightly from the bust to the floor, just as an “A” does. This simple style also features a higher waist line, which will make you appear taller than you actually are.
You will want to show off your beautiful thin limbs, but sometimes thin can also mean bony – especially in the collarbone area. If this is the case, you want to avoid a portrait neckline, which is wide open with the neckline dipping from shoulder to shoulder. Instead of over-the-shoulder straps holding up your dress, the straps are off your shoulders. While it is a fabulous look for someone with a rich décolletage, it will only point out the worst part of a bony chest. Maybe you could try a halter neckline. This wraps around your neck, instead of over the shoulders. It is a very feminine silhouette and best worn by those with a small bust.
Boyish athletic figure
If your shape is basically straight from your shoulders down to your hips, you want to find a dress that creates some curves. Go for a simple and feminine dress that adds curves where you want them, but you don’t have them. A fitted, strapless corset top paired with a full skirt gives you an instant bust and waist – or rather it creates the illusion of hips, which create a bust and waist.
If you have a swimmer’s shape, with very broad shoulders, avoid spaghetti straps. Instead, go for a higher neckline or wide straps to soften your silhouette.
If you want to build up the bust area, try a ruched bodice. This gathering of fabric hides a flat shape and offers the illusion of a bust. You can also achieve the same look with ruffles around the neckline.
Thin brides also need to consider which fabric will be most flattering. As discussed before, voluminous yards of tulle may be too much for some brides. But a simple jersey dress might also prove too clingy for thin brides. While a sheath created out of a rich jersey knit can be an elegant look, if it clings to bones instead of curves, it will not give you the look you are hoping for.
In the end, you want all eyes to be on you on your wedding day. You want people saying, “here comes the bride!” – not “Here comes the dress.” Being honest about your shape will help you find the right dress.
When you go out to look for your wedding gown, choose carefully who goes with you. Your bridesmaids may not be willing to tell you the truth for fear of hurting your feelings. And depending on your relationship with your mother, she may not be the right choice either.
It might be a good idea to go out by yourself, at least initially. Make an appointment with a bridal salon. A professional salon employee will be able to size up your shape, get an idea of what you’re looking for and your price range and – hopefully – pull out just the right dress.
When you are wearing a dress that fits correctly and is appropriate for your figure, you will glow on your special day.