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Shape Shifters: Wedding Gowns To Flatter Your Curves

Shape Shifters. Wedding Gowns to Flatter Your Curves

Work with your curves and choose the best dress style for your body shape with our easy guide to instant wow factor.

The Hourglass

Shape shifter hourglass body shape wedding dress

You have: Every girl’s dream silhouette! A characteristic small waist with equally proportioned shoulders and hips creates curves in all the right places.

Go for… You can wear almost any style. Dresses with a cinched in waist and detailing, like a belt or flower, will show off your best features. A corset with a sweetheart neckline will support the bust and emphasise your small waist – add the ball gown and you have jaw-dropping romantic. But equally, a slender fitting fishtail that flares from below the knee will work to add even more curves and ooze glamour. Even a simple slimline gown will work all your bends beautifully.

Avoid: Empire lines, which drop from below the bust, and anything else that disguises your small waist.

 

 

 

The Oval

Shape shifter oval body shape wedding dress

You have: Narrow shoulders with a wider waist and tummy, and slender legs.

Go for… V-necks will create shape and keep the focus on the décolletage. Corsets with seams, pleats or ruching will elongate the torso and give support for bigger busts, while creating shape for smaller busts. Styles with a longer bodice, like mermaid-cut, fishtail and trumpet styles will make the focal point your bottom half and create shape. If you want the emphasis on your bust while avoiding tummy-hugging fabrics, try an empire-lines, which skims over the tummy. Soft fabrics like chiffon or ruffles will also add a feminie feel.

Avoid: Too much detailing or embellishments on the top-half, including layers, ruffles or applique around the waist – this will only draw the eye to that area and add bulk to this section.

 

 

 

The Inverted-Triangle

Shape shifter Invert Triangle body shape wedding dress

You have: Broad shoulders with a narrow waist and hips.

Go for… The trick is to balance the bottom half with the top while creating curves. Elongate the bust with vertical lines – a V-neck, sweetheart neckline or A-symmetrical ruching. Strapless gowns actually work best. Styles with a cinched in waist, embellishments like a flower sitting on the hip or extra fabric will all work to create an hourglass shape. Ball gowns or A-line skirts, mermaid-cut, fishtail and trumpet styles that flare out below will add shape to your bottom half and balance out the top, as will a flowing train or skirt.

Avoid: Heavy detailing on the bust – it will make this area the focal point.

 

 

 

 

The Diamond

Shape shifter diamond body shape wedding dress

You have: A small bust with narrow shoulders and hips, and a wider midsection.

Go for… Enhance your narrow shoulders by focusing on details up top – V-necks, vertical lines and empire lines with embellishments, ruching or creping will all create interest. A short bodice that flares from the waist will create an hourglass shape. Choose light weight fabrics like tulle or chiffon overlay, which fall softly from under the bust for a soft silhouette. Heavier fabrics like Duchess satin and more structured styles will also help to flatten a tummy.

Avoid: Horizontal necklines, detailing on the widest part of your waist and cinched-in waistlines – they will all emphasise this area.

 

 

 

 

The Triangle

Shape shifter upper triangle body shape wedding dress

You have: Narrow shoulders, a small bust and a generous bottom half.

Go for… The ball gown was made for you (with lots of love!). The ball gown is the quintessential wedding dress and perfect for the Princess Bride – a formfitting corset or bustier highlights your slender top half, gives support and creates shape for small busts. Heavier fabrics will add depth and to the top half to balance proportions, as will embellishments and floral applique. You are also one of the lucky few who can wear a plunging neckline and an empire line that falls below the bust and flows gently over your curves will look stunning. Disguise a bigger bottom half with a full ball gown skirt that flares from the waist or hips, or a show-stopping train.

Avoid: Styles that are fitted from the waist down.

 

 

 

The Rectangle

Shape shifter rectangle body shape wedding dress

You have: Shoulder, waist and hips are all proportionally similar.

Go for… Styles that will create shape and movement around your upper body. Sweetheart and plunging necklines add curves and interest to the top half, while strapless gowns with lots of shape like fishtail, ball gown and mermaid-cut create a gorgeous silhouette. Ruffles, detailing and soft and sheer delicate fabrics like lace and chiffon will also add a feminine feel.

Avoid: Vertical seams, sheaths, drop waists like the 1920s Vintage style gowns – they will emphasise a straight up and down shape.

Written by Franki Hobson

Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships.

In 2003 Franki immersed herself in all things teen as Deputy Editor, then Editor-in-Chief of teen Bible DOLLY magazine. Following this, Franki was made Editor of COSMOPOLITAN Hair & Beauty, COSMOPOLITAN Pregnancy and COSMOPOLITAN Bride magazine, where she held the helm (and tiara) for more than 10 years. Franki was also the launch editor of COSMOPOLITAN Health magazine, and is an accomplished Homes Editor and Travel Editor, covering honeymoon destinations, family travel, luxe abodes and health retreats. Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.

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