Wedding Dress Styles for Different Body Types

Looking for the most flattering bridal gown for yourself? From pear shaped to rectangle, here’s how to find the perfect wedding dress styles for different body types.

bridal wedding dresses for body types shapes

Hey gorgeous! The wedding day is one of the most special days, if not the most special, for every girl. It’s the day every girl looks forward to and keeps planning since childhood. One of the most important parts of wedding planning for any bride is shopping for the dress. Who doesn’t want a flattering dress straight out of a fairy tale? With more and more options in wedding dress styles both online and in stores, there’s really no reason a bride shouldn’t find the perfect dress that makes her dreams come true.

However, too many options can also make the choice confusing. So, perhaps the top thing to keep in mind while looking for your wedding dress is to consider your body type. If you find a silhouette that works for your body shape, it will always look flattering and make you feel sexy and beautiful. After all, dressing for their body type is what makes celebrities look great all the time!


You may already know that there are five main female body types – hourglass, strawberry, pear, rectangle and diamond body shapes. So let’s start with the basics. Here’s how to find out your body type.


Wedding Dress Styles for Pear Shaped Body Type

Pear shaped women have full hips and a less defined waistline. Since your bust measurement is lesser than your hip measurement, you need to bring out your natural waist-line so that your figure looks more balanced. This is one of the most common yet trickiest body types to dress for.

However, you want to decide whether you want emphasis on your hips or want to divert attention away from them. Both styles look good, depending on what you’re comfortable with and what makes you feel more confident.

wedding-bridal gowns for-pear-shaped-body-type-women

  • If you want to place emphasis on your hips, go for a mermaid gown. The mermaid silhouette is body hugging till the thighs, so it’ll accentuate your curvy silhouette. You may want to wear a shape-wear underneath.
  • The best idea for a bridal dress for pear shaped body type would be an empire-waist gown with a plunging V-neck and a broad waist-belt. This would put all the attention at the top, taking emphasis away from your tummy/ hips.
  • If you want to try short wedding dress styles, but something conservative, then go for a high-low dress. The high-low gown will look modern, but it won’t make your hips seem too prominent.
  • You can also try an A-line or ball gown. These two silhouettes are fit and flare, so they accentuate the waistline, without flaunting the hip area. You can research wedding dress styles by silhouette at websites such as

wedding-gowns for-pear-shaped-women

Neckline, Accessories & Embellishments:

  • If you don’t have a well-defined waist, try a belt to accentuate your curves. Both wide and skinny belts suit pear-shaped women. But make sure the belt is not too thick. It shouldn’t add more volume to the waistline.
  • Go for a long, lightweight veil that’ll frame your silhouette nicely, without adding volume. You can try minimal rhinestones or embroidery, but avoid poufy fabrics, ruffles or anything too extra there.
  • Go for V neck or halter neckline if you want to flaunt your décolletage! A flattering neckline will take attention away from the problem areas!
  • If you’re flat-chested, go for voluminous applique details on the bodice, to mimic the hourglass shape. Or go for a gown with padded bodice or built-in bra.


What to Avoid

  • Avoid stiff fabrics like tulle or organza that make the silhouette seem more voluminous. Instead, opt for thin fabrics like satin or georgette.
  • Avoid ruffles or peplum that add volume at the hips.
  • Avoid modified A-line or sheath gowns, since they won’t bring our your natural waist-line, looking shapeless. Also avoid trumpet gowns, since it’ll create a double bulge at the hip.
  • Avoid short veils that end at or just above the hips, since they’ll create unwanted volume at the hip area.

Wedding Dress for Hourglass Body Type

Women with an hourglass body shape have nearly equal hip and bust measurements, and have a well-defined waist. Because you have a well-balanced body shape, nearly all dress silhouettes will suit you! It’s a good idea to try different styles to see what suits your body the best. Here are some good ideas…

bridal wedding-dresses-for-hourglass-shaped-body-type-women

  • Go for wedding dress styles that accentuate your natural waistline, and bring out your body shape.
  • Well-fitted dresses will be your best bet.
  • The perfect choice would be a trumpet gown, that is figure-hugging till the thighs and then flares out. This will totally emphasize your hourglass silhouette.
  • Fit and flare gowns, such as modified A-line gowns, would also suit you.
  • Other flattering options would be mermaid or ball gowns.

Neckline, Accessories & Embellishments:

  • Go for sweetheart neckline to emphasize your hourglass shape even more! Your naturally narrow waist will emphasize the heart shape and look beautiful!
  • Go for a statement or embellished belt to highlight your narrow waistline. If you got it, flaunt it!
  • Try lace bodice or illusion neckline to make for interesting pictures, since a lot of pics feature top half only.

how to select a wedding dress-for-hourglass shape-body-type-women

What to Avoid

  • Avoid empire-waist and unstructured sheath gowns, since they will hide your body shape.
  • If you decide to go for a sheath gown, add a belt for structure. This will help highlight your hourglass body type.
  • Avoid wedding dress styles with unbalanced voluminous details, such as ruffles only on the top half, since they’ll make your figure appear uneven.

Wedding Dress Styles for Strawberry Body Type

Strawberry shaped women have bodies shaped like an inverted triangle, with a larger bust measurement and smaller hips. The main challenge for you will be to find a gown that doesn’t place way too much emphasis on your bust, since that will make your body shape seem unbalanced. Let’s go over some ideas.

wedding dress styles-ideas-for-strawberry-shaped-body-type-women

  • Your best bet to find the perfect wedding dress styles would be to accentuate your décolletage while adding volume to your lower half.
  • Go for a ball gown with a voluminous skirt in silk, tulle or organza. This will help you mimic the hourglass shape.
  • You can also try A-line gown with a fitted bodice.
  • Try a gown with overskirt, which will add extra volume at the hips, balancing out your shape.
  • Choose the right undergarments. Your bra should avoid muffin tops at all costs, so avoid too tight bras!

Neckline, Accessories & Embellishments:

  • Go for sweetheart, halter or V-necklines which will put the emphasis on your upper half while still looking chic.
  • Accentuate your bodice with crystal or lace work.
  • If you don’t want to have your cleavage exposed, you can try off-shoulder or illusion neck gowns.
  • Go for a ruffled or tiered skirt to make the hips appear fuller.


What to Avoid

  • Avoid ruffles or applique on your bodice, since they’ll make your figure appear unbalanced.
  • Avoid wedding dress styles in mermaid or modified A-line silhouettes. These will accentuate your narrow hips in comparison to your bust, making it seem unflattering.

Wedding Dress for Rectangle Body Type

Rectangle shaped women have nearly equal measurements for bust, waist and hips, where none of the parts are too well-defined or curvy. Your challenge is to bring out your curves (or at least give the illusion of them)!

bridal wedding-dresses-for-rect-shaped-body-type-women

  • The best wedding dress for you would add some volume either in the upper or lower half, giving the illusion of curves.
  • Go for an A-line or ball gown, which is fitted at the waist and then flares out.
  • The best idea would be a ball gown. This would add volume at the hips, while creating a well-defined waistline.
  • You can also go for a peplum or tiered skirt, which will add volume to your lower half.
  • Go for an off-the shoulder mermaid gown with an over-skirt. Find mermaid wedding dresses that are belted, which will help define the bodice and waistline, while hugging at the hips.

Neckline, Accessories & Embellishments:

  • A belt is a must to add structure, no matter what wedding dress styles you try. Without a belt, your dress may seem straight, flat and curve-less.
  • Try gowns with poufy details at the bust, such as overturned off-the-shoulder, or layered décolletage (see image above). This will give the illusion of a fuller bust.
  • You can also try a padded bustier to give the illusion of hourglass shape.
  • Go for a statement element such as a large bow, ruffles or peplum to divert the attention away from the problem areas.


What to Avoid

  • Avoid mermaid, empire-waist or trumpet silhouettes, which will look unflattering without a well-defined waistline.
  • Avoid a sheath gown that will make your silhouette seem flat.

Also read: Types of Gowns for Different Body Shapes

Wedding Dress for Petite Body Type or Short Women

Petite is a body type in itself. It’s definitely tricky to find flattering wedding dresses for short-height women, but it’s not impossible! If you’re short, here are some tips to help you find the perfect bridal dress.

bridal gowns-for-petite-wedding-body-type-women

  • Go for A-line, mermaid or modified A-line gown. These silhouettes look flattering on petite women as they accentuate the figure without looking too overwhelming on your small frame.
  • Go for wedding dress styles with an over-skirt for adding vertical lines to help you look taller.
  • Pleated gowns can also add vertical lines, giving the illusion of a taller figure.
  • Go for bridal gown with a high-waistline, which will make your legs seem longer.

Neckline, Accessories & Embellishments:

  • Go for a lightweight, see-through veil to minimize volume. Heavyweight or opaque veils seem too overwhelming on women with smaller frames. Keep it simple and plain.
  • Add lace details or embellished illusion neckline to introduce slant or vertical lines along the bodice.
  • You can go for a tall hair accessory, embellished headband or tiara to add height. You can also achieve height with a tall bun or hairdo.

how to select a wedding dress-for-petite body-type-bridal gown

What to Avoid

  • Avoid ball gowns, as the added volume on the lower half will make you appear shorter.
  • Avoid wedding dress styles with long trains, which may make you appear shorter.
  • Avoid tiered gowns, since they add horizontal lines, cutting your silhouette in half.

Other than these, your body may belong to some of the other body types, such as petite, curvy or maternity. Curvy women are also of a few different body types, namely mango, spoon, curvy hourglass and curvy pear. You can get lots of ideas on how to dress for them here: What Does a Curvy Body Type Mean? A “Full” Guide to Curves!

So I hope my guide on how to find wedding dress styles according to different body shapes was helpful. What’s your body shape and what silhouette are you going to try? Lemme know below! I’d love to see your wedding gown, so don’t forget to tag me in your gorgeous bridal pic on Instagram @shilpaahujadotcom!

Read next: How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses According to Your Body Type

Bridal Gown Photography Credits: Pronovias

3 thoughts on “Wedding Dress Styles for Different Body Types”

  1. Yes! Finally found something that addresses the most challenging aspects in dressing for ultimate beauty. I feel like this was totally a 💯 for women like me.


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