What Shape is right for you?

Choosing a shape that makes you look and feel amazing!

Many of my brides come into the boutique unsure of what shape wedding dress would suit them. They often have an idea of what they would like and some have no idea where to start.

I always say come to your appointment with an open mind as until you try on various styles it’s hard to know what suits your shape and what you feel comfortable in.

All of us have parts of our bodies that we are not so happy with, but instead of hiding the bits you dislike, try to accentuate the bits you love!

The best place to start is with YOU! All bodies are beautiful so work with your shape, rather than against it, to find a wedding gown that will flatter your figure and have you radiating with total confidence.

Firstly have a think about what body shape you are. Each of the below will complement certain shapes and really help find the perfect gown!

Hourglass: Balanced bust and hips, defined waist.

Pear: Hips are wider than shoulders, defined waist, proportionately slim arms/shoulders.

Triangle: Wider on top of the body, wide back, narrow hips and subtle waist.

Apple: Voluptuous, full bust, a tummy and round bum/hips.

Athletic/slim: Straight up and down, undefined waist.

Petite: 5ft and under, with a small frame.

Tall: Over 5ft8, can carry off most styles.


Named after the shape the dress visually creates, this style is classic and simple and will suit every bride, whatever your size. From the fitted bodice, the skirt flares out on each side loosely (it’s the opposite of fitted) to flow (and cover any skinny or wobbly bits). This skirt always looks wonderful, so if you want to play it safe, try on a few dresses in this style and I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the result. It’s length can range from above the knee to full length that flows into a large train, and it can be made with everything from free-flowing silks to heavier fabrics such as satin. The princess cut version of the A-line dress is more dramatic and emphasises this style’s clean lines by utilizing vertical panels that run from the neckline to the hem.

The A-line dress is a good general option for almost any bride. The full skirt of the A-line can hide a rounder lower body or create the illusion of curves on a narrow frame. If your main goal is to slim, the princess style is a great option that elongates lines creating a slimming effect as the eye naturally focuses on the length of the dress.


This is the style of dress that fairy tales are made of. With a fitted bodice and full skirt that can either be one piece or separate, this dress is perfect for big, traditional weddings. You can even pair a princess gown with long gloves and a dramatic train for even more of a “wow” factor. Everything from satin to chiffon is used on top, along with layers of taffeta or tulle on the bottom to create a floating effect.

The ball gown or princess wedding dress is classic and timeless. They’re flattering on all body types as they show off the bust, arms and shoulders while concealing the waist and hips. However, if you’re petite, you might find yourself getting lost in all the material!

While many brides will look beautiful in a princess gown, the cut is ideal for slender or pear-shaped figures as the full skirt helps to accentuate the waist and hide the lower body. Additionally, this style helps create the hourglass look because it emphasizes the waistline. If you’re shorter, beware that a skirt of this size can overpower a small frame.

Fishtail, Mermaid & Trumpet

These styles cause the most confusion with my brides. All three of these shapes can be similar depending on the style and fabrics which is why I wanted to talk about them all together to explain how they differ.

The terms ‘mermaid’, ‘fishtail’ and ‘trumpet’ are often used for similar wedding dress shapes that hug the body before delicately flaring out below the hips. It’s a dream shape for curvy brides and anyone who wants to create an hourglass silhouette.

Mermaid and trumpet wedding dresses hug the bust, waist and hips and are a sexy choice to show off the feminine figure of the hourglass body shape! While a trumpet shape flares out from the mid-thigh to the ground, the mermaid style fits to the knee, providing even more definition


If you’re curvy with an hourglass shape (we’re talking Kim Kardashian) then this style of skirt can be a knockout if you’ve got the confidence to carry it off. It’s a bit of a bold look – the top can be strapless or high necked and the bottom half accentuates your bottom, thighs and hips, fitting snugly into your curves.


The mermaid (or trumpet) is a sophisticated look for brides who crave a little drama. The skirt’s trademark flare can be narrow or wide, sleek or ruffled—and each gives your dress a different twist. Brides with curves love mermaid gowns, but this silhouette maximizes the va-va-voom effect on straighter figures, too.


Trumpet shapes are a good midway point between a fit and flare fishtail and a mermaid dress. The skirt gradually flares around mid-thigh and can resemble the shape of a trumpet’s bell – hence the name. The skirt is good for highlighting curves without drawing too much attention to your legs. It also isn’t as dramatic or restrictive as a mermaid. It’s a great style for hourglass and petite figures with small waists. It can accentuate the stomach and hips so pears and apples should wear this style with a sparkly or coloured belt to break up the waist area.

Empire Line

Falling directly from the bust line into loose folds, this shape suits shorter brides who are smaller ‘up top’. If you’re a bit pear-shaped, it’s perfect for you, because it will accentuate your small upper frame while hiding less-than-perfect hips and legs. Empire wedding dresses feature a high waist that hugs your upper torso with a straight, soft and flowing skirt for a simple, stylish and classic bridal look. Empire wedding dresses compliment the slim figure of a straight or athletic body type and can also sit beautifully over wider hips making it a flattering choice for the pear or hourglass shaped bride.

After you’ve found what types of dresses best suit YOUR body, it’s time for the fun part, SHOPPING! Take your time to try on lots of different dresses (even of the same type) as slight differences in shape and fabric can make a big difference to how they fit.

Ultimately, choose the dress that makes you feel absolutely fabulous! Work with what you’ve got and wear it with confidence!

Happy Shopping ladies!

Caroline Griffiths