By Victoria Brown of Calm Weddings

Photos by Jen Hart


We all come in different shapes and sizes. We all have a part of us that we hate, whether it’s our legs, stomach, chest, thighs or hips. The following advice is here to help you think about the type of dress that would flatter your figure.

Most brides have some idea of the type of dress they would like, however, trying this on in the shop can often lead to disappointment. One of our brides told us: “I really wanted a basque and skirt, but when I tried on several in the shop they just didn’t seem to suit me. I ended up having a dress that was fuller than I’d originally hoped for, but it was perfect. Better than my dreams.”

So, unsure where to start? Well, here’s a few guidelines in order to look fabulous:

Do you have a ‘larger thigh’ figure?

Stay with: You need a dress that will draw attention to your top half, an off-the-shoulder neckline, such as a basque or strapless gown will accentuate your figure.

Stay away: V-neck or a high-neck line could serve to be unflattering, as it will bring your figure into an unruly shape, showing off the parts you want to avoid.

Do you have a ‘fuller’ figure?

Stay with: Basques with a slimming skirt (ball-gown style) can have a flattering effect.

Stay away: A strappy, clingy, slinky type of dress may only hug you tightly which may show off those parts that you’re not to keen on.

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Do you have wider shoulders?

Stay with: A narrow bodice could flatter your shoulders, or you could accentuate them with a dramatic gown with long sleeves.

Stay away: However, be careful as trying to hide your shoulders too much may have the reverse outcome. Try different styles to find the perfect fit. It’s best to avoid halter necks as they may make your shoulders look larger than you anticipated.

Do you have a larger chest?

Stay with: Ensure you buy sufficient underwear; you will need underwear that can minimise and support. For those with larger chests an off-the-shoulder bodice, thick straps or cap sleeves would look fantastic.

Stay away: Try not to show off too much. Strapless may feel uncomfortable and small straps can make them look bigger. There are many stunning dresses that will flatter your chest rather than emphasise it. You want your guests to be more interested in your dress rather than what is under it.


However whatever your shape, talk to the professionals. Let them know your concerns: the bits you want to cover and the bits you want to show off. You will be surprised with the range of dresses out there. The best way to choose your outfit is to try on as many as possible, and you will know yourself whether it’s the one you really want.

You may fancy something a little bit different or you may know what you want but can’t find it. Think about getting your dress made. Check out local recommended dress-makers and designers. Generally, a hand-made dress is more expensive, however, totally worth it if it’s exactly what you want.


Just remember, whichever dress you decide on, make sure you are comfortable. This is the one day out of your life you get to look and feel like a princess, so enjoy and have fun.Kayleigh_3