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Dressing for Your Figure

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When you have hundreds of wedding gowns to choose from, how do you find “the one”? Experts recommend using your body type as a starting point and keeping an open mind.

“Often what a bride thinks she wants isn’t what she gets,” says Lisa Fuhrman, a bridal consultant and stylist at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York, and a cast member of Say Yes to the Dress.”

Here are some of the most common body types and the dress silhouettes that will best flatter that figure.


If you’re small in stature, your best silhouette is one that elongates your body.

Silhouettes that work best on petite ladies include trumpet styles, A-line sheaths, fit and flare dresses and princess cuts.


For a small-busted plus-size bride, a dress that cinches your waist will be most flattering, as would a soft A-line that flows rather than poufs out.


The number one rule: Don’t hide your bust! While a plunging neckline might be going too far, a more modest but still open V-or scoop neck or portrait neckline will flatter you the most. Try on dresses with a fitted bodice for needed support.


A small-busted bride can generally wear just about anything. “She can wear a halter, triangle, or a plunging V because she won’t go flying out of it like a busty bride would,” says Fuhrman.


You’re smaller on top than on the bottom, so look for gowns with diagonal draping, which creates a slimming angle and minimizes your lower half.


“She can wear an unstructured sheath or flowing skirt of any fabrication,” says Fuhrman. “And she looks good in a bohemian style, halter, and a dress with an empire waist that falls and flows.”

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