© The Wedding Notebook - The Perfect Bridal Gown for Your Body

Many of us ladies grew up dreaming of the day we walk down the aisle, smiling nervously at the man we have chosen to be our husband. And the best part about walking down that aisle? Wearing a gorgeous dress, feeling beautiful and perfect.

You must first know which dresses will best flatter you, and not buy a dress based on fads. Here are some tips on how to choose the right dress that will disguise your flaws and accentuate your best assets.

Apple Body Shape

You are busty on top and slim at the bottom, with a not-so-well-defined waist, slim legs and, probably, arms.
YES RULE: Go for support. Plus-sized women who are heavy-chested need the right balance of covering up and showing off. Go for a sweetheart neckline that will enhance your best features. Try to create the illusion of a longer body by going for A-line silhouettes.
NO RULE: Don’t go for a mermaid-cut dress. It will give the impression of a wider top.

Rectangle Body Shape

Your bust and hips are approximately the same width with little waist definition. A lot of athletes fall under this category.
YES RULE: An empire waist will showcase the slimmest part of your upper half. It creates the illusion of curves and gives your waist better definition. You can also have a belt or coloured sash to create an illusion of a waist. If you have a toned body, you can do a sheath or bias-cut dress. Sheaths are close-fitting dresses that enhance the bust and curve slightly inward at the waist. Bias-cut is a technique for cutting fabric used by designers to utilise the greater stretch in a diagonal direction, accentuating the body line and hanging more gracefully on your body. The mermaid-style dress will also create movement in your silhouette.
NO RULE: Don’t do dresses with a low waistline.

Pear Body Shape

You normally have hips that are wider than your shoulders; therefore it seems smaller at the top. The challenge is to find a balance for both top and bottom.
YES RULE: Balance your body shape by drawing more attention to your upper half. Opt for an off-shoulder style, a Grecian toga style, a halter neck or rhinestone decorations at the neckline, but make sure you have slim and graceful arms and shoulders. Otherwise, go for more structured fabrics and not clingy ones. A-line princess cuts and empire waists are great alternatives for pear-shaped figures. These dresses skim over the top half and start flaring out under the waist, camouflaging the hips.
NO RULE: Avoid dresses that cling to your bottom half. A sheath dress will also show off too much hip.

Hourglass Body Shape

Lucky you! You’re naturally curvy with a narrow waist and gorgeous hips.
YES RULE: Go for anything that will accentuate your waist even more. The best are mermaid-style dresses. Take advantage of your body shape and go for embellishments and lace detailing.
NO RULE: Don’t hide beneath a slim, sheath-style dress.

Thin Body Shape

You have a thin, slender frame with minimal curves.
YES RULE: Ball gowns are the easiest way to bring out your curves and feminine side. Another way is to add tulle fabric flowers or ruffles, which will bring out the girly and princessy side of you. Anything that enhances your femininity – bingo!
NO RULE: Don’t do slim, figure-hugging materials such as silk or lace that will cling to your body.

Your body shape will determine the overall silhouette of a dress that enhances your assets. Then, determine the neckline. If you are heavy-chested, consider a high neckline. If you are small-chested, go for a V-neck or scoop neck. Those who are flat-chested can opt for dresses with embellishments or ruffles at the bust line, which will enhance their chest.

Always try on a dress before you dismiss it. You never know what you can pull off. Have confidence – that is the first key to looking beautiful. If you are not convinced, watch this.