Australian stylist Bianca Roccisano reveals her secrets to choosing the best dress for your big day
Your wedding day is considered one of the most important days of your life. The memories and the photographs will last a lifetime and naturally every woman wants to look her best. When shopping for a wedding dress, it’s easy to go for something you love; however, what you love and what suits your body shape don’t always match.
The best advice any bride can be armed with is to understand and dress for her body type. People have this idea that brides need to wear strapless, full ball gowns but there are really so many different styles and shapes out there to suit each body type. Don’t be scared to experiment with different cuts such as long sleeves. Although not the most popular style, we find long-sleeved dresses can be extremely flattering for those wanting to cover problem areas such as arms.
If unsure about what will work best for you, it is worth taking a stylist with you. Stylists have an impartial obligation, which is devoted purely to making their customers happy. They will be honest and give you proper feedback. Stylists have no emotional connection to their clients; you are paying for an honest opinion, which can prove to be invaluable. Stylists don’t make money from the stores and have no incentive to make you purchase anything. They work solely for their clients and making them look and feel fabulous is their sole objective. This is how stylists earn repeat business.
Take the stylist one on one for a gown fitting before bringing family and bridesmaids. While friends and family are amazing support during the process, we find that people close to you can find it hard to deliver the “tough love” that some of us need to hear. It is important to take someone you trust completely. I would ask the question, “Has this person ever told me to change or that they don’t like my outfit?” If the answer is yes, then this is the person you need to take bridal shopping with you.
Which shape are you?
The apple is also referred to as the circle body shape. They tend to hold most of their weight around their mid-section with a higher waistline around the bust area and usually have great shapely arms and legs.
Stylist tip: Choose dresses that show off your great pins and arms, while concealing your mid-section. Gowns with loose or ruched fabrics around the mid-section will help draw attention to your assets and create a flattering figure.
Which dress? A-line and empire-line dresses will give you a wonderful lean-looking figure without hugging too tightly around your waist.
Avoid: Princess-line, sheath and basque dresses as they draw too much attention to your waist. Also, steer clear of trumpet-style dresses as they hug and emphasise the area where your body is widest and flare out at the legs and the knees, where you are most slender.
Also referred to as the triangle body shape, pears tend to hold their weight around the hip, thigh and bottom area and have a petite upper body.
Stylist tip: Opt for gowns that will enhance your petite upper body and create a graceful line over your hips and thighs.
Which dress? Ball or empire-line gowns, which will disguise fuller hips and emphasise the bust and waist.
Avoid: Pears should steer clear of tiered, sheath and trumpet-style dresses that draw attention to the bottom half. Mermaid dresses are also very tricky as they flare out after the knee.
The hourglass body shape features a well-defined waist, full hips, ample chest and generous thighs.
Stylist tip: Utilise your beautiful curves by choosing a dress that hugs your figure and flares out in all the right places.
Which dress? Mermaid, sheath, trumpet — think curves, curves, curves! Dresses that highlight your curves are ideal.
Avoid: As your body proportions are equal, hourglasses should avoid adding any weight to either half. Some empire-line dresses and ball gowns can make you look too heavy.
The rectangle features a torso and upper body that appear to be a similar size as the hips, with little to no defined waist at all. People with this body type tend be quite active and athletic, causing them to look straight up and down.
Stylist tip: Add some shape with gowns that nip in at the waist and flow out towards your thighs, or opt for fabrics with plenty of details and angular cuts.
Which dress? Sheath, A-line and empire-line gowns will flatter your slender figure. Try adding some curves with a sheath dress that’s cut on the bias.
Avoid: Steer clear of off-the-shoulder or halter necklines if your shoulders and collarbones are very prominent.
Edited: Stephanie Dunbar