Dresses for Success
If You’re …
Short & Petite
Look to designs that fit closely to the body and have an elongating effect, such as a sheath, says Tiffani Rogers, a fashion stylist and founder of Style by Tiffani, which serves the New York, Providence, R.I., and Boston areas. Avoid ball gowns with voluminous layers that can overwhelm your frame.
Tall & Slim
The best silhouettes are mermaid, A-line or ball gown, as they create the illusion of curves says Rogers. Pass on off-the-shoulder necklines, which can make you look boxy.
An Exaggerated Hour Glass
Definites are sweetheart necklines (cut higher on the breast) and scooped necklines that will open up a bride’s face and décolletage without exposing too much cleavage, says Chicago-based bridal stylist Marek Hartwig, founder of Marek Bridal. He suggests fit-to-flare, trumpet or drop-waist ball gown silhouettes, all with ruching at the smallest point of the waist. “Embracing a curvy shape will only elongate it,” Hartwig says. Stay away from straight necklines (they make the bust appear larger), vertical straps (your upper body will look broad), and shiny fabrics or voluminous overlays like organza or stiff tulle.
A Little Heavier
The goal is to sculpt your shape with a drop-waist (think A-line) or an empire waist with asymmetrical draping, says Rogers. Skip the gowns with lots of layers or ruffles that will simply add bulk.
An Apple Shape
Focus on gowns that cinch in at the smallest point on the waistline to create an hourglass figure, and then flare out into a gradual A-shape, says Hartwig. He recommends bodices that fit snugly and have lots of camouflaging texture, like lace or ruching. A deep-V neckline will be the most flattering, drawing attention to the vertical. Avoid trumpet silhouettes, Hartwig adds, as they emphasize the widest part of your body while hiding slender legs.
Thicker in the Arms
Hartwig recommends a sheer (silk tulle, lace) 3/4-length sleeve, a capelet or bolero jacket. Nix anything tight or fabrics that are shiny, over-embellished or opaque.
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