Since bridesmaids come in all shapes and sizes, finding the perfect set of dresses can be a challenge for any bride. By learning how to flatter different body types, you’ll be well prepared when the big shopping day comes. Here are a few tips to consider so that you can help your bridesmaids look their best when they walk down that aisle.
Accentuate the Hourglass Shape
You really can’t go wrong with an hourglass shape, because let’s face it-it looks good in just about anything. For women with a defined waist and similarly sized hips and shoulders, it’s all about accenting the curves that are already there. Form-fitting gowns that showcase curves are really the best option, but you can also experiment with short and chic dresses or a ball gown with an airy skirt. Detailing at the waist will draw attention there while cutouts or an open-back dress will create that wow factor. If you have a bridesmaid with an hourglass shape, you can relax because your work is almost done for you.
How to Flatter a Pear Shape
When working with a pear shape, it’s important to remember to emphasize the top half while carefully concealing the lower half. Since the hips are the widest part on pear shapes, be sure to provide a full and flowing skirt that will decrease attention given to that area. Balance it out by adding detail to the top half, like a ruched bust or cap sleeves. A bodice with beaded detailing or crystal accents will do the trick, or you could see how an off-the-shoulder top compares with a gracefully flowing skirt. By balancing the top half with the bottom half, pear-shaped bridesmaids will look stunning on the wedding day.
Create Curves on a Rectangular Shape
On rectangle shapes, the hips, waist and bust have a similar size and can create a boxy appearance if you’re not careful. To avoid this, delve into the details that will help define the waist and give the illusion of sumptuous curves. Look for gowns that are form fitting at the bust and waist, and then flow away from the body at the hips and in the skirt. For instance, a draped and fitted bodice with a V-neckline that transitions into a full skirt would be a great choice. Ruching, floral appliques, or beaded detailing on the bodice or waist will draw attention where it belongs.
Downplay the Inverted Triangle
For ladies with wide shoulders, the trick is to balance out their figures with full and flattering skirts. Layered tiers add volume to a skirt and help the top appear smaller for an even look overall. Shorter dresses draw attention downward to the lower half and can be flattering on an inverted triangle shape. Elaborate skirt detailing is a key element to creating a unified appearance that will look amazing from every angle.
Tall vs. Petite
Long-legged ladies who are 5’8″ or taller have a number of options open to them. A hemline that is high in the front and low in the back will beautifully show off long legs. A real crowd pleaser, one-shouldered gowns with asymmetrical detailing bring glamorous appeal to taller women. As for petite ladies of 5’4″ of height or shorter, adding the illusion of height while keeping perfect proportions is a must. Plunging V-necklines will elongate shorter figures while a trumpet silhouette will emphasize curves in all the right places. Cap sleeves can help your bridesmaid seem taller, as will an embellished neckline with a ruched bust. Short or tall, women of all heights can still find form-flattering dresses.
Slim vs. Full-Figured
Size matters, so be sure to know how to dress the slim as well as the full-figured women in your party. For slender bridesmaids, ball gown styles will define the waist and provide a voluminous skirt to create the look of an hourglass figure. Clean-lined sheath dresses will fit natural curves like a glove while adding an elegant neckline and goddess-like silhouette. Full-figured women can saunter down that aisle in style with an empire-waist gown. With the waistline directly below the bust, the empire waist draws attention up and away from the hips and enhances the appearance of the upper body. Another choice is the A-line dress, with its beautiful detailing that creates an elongated line and flatters women of all sizes.
Buying the right bridesmaid dresses depends largely on the shape and size of your wedding party. Make sure you see every bridesmaid in her dress so that you can make the purchase with confidence, knowing that you picked out the best fit for the entire group. Don’t let a mixture of different shapes or sizes worry you-there are plenty of figure-flattering looks out there to choose from.