How To Find The Right Silhouette For Your Shape

How To Find The Right Silhouette For Your Shape

Finding your wedding dress can be a wonderful experience! It can also become stressful, but this depends on how you go about it. One of the most frustrating things about finding a dress may be determining which dress style is most appropriate for your body shape. If you know the styles that suit your shape, you will have an easy time finding the right dress for you!



A woman with an apple shaped body carries her weight above her hips, so the torso is the widest part of the body.

Flattering Styles:

Neckline: Draw attention to your face with a v-neck or sweetheart neckline.

Shape: Elongate your silhouette by finding a dress with high waistline like an empire or a-line waist. Choosing one of these styles will also accentuate your natural waist. This will create the illusion that it is smaller than it may actually be.

Height: Show off your legs to make you look taller; a knee or tea length dress may also be flattering.

Styles to Avoid:

Neckline: Choose an interesting neckline and avoid a straight across strapless dress that will not bring attention to your face.

Shape: Avoid mermaid or trumpet style dresses because those dresses will accentuate your widest part.

Height: Ballgowns are also unflattering to an apple body type because they shorten a silhouette instead of elongating it.



A pear shaped body type is thinner on the top part of the body – at the torso and waist – and more full and curvy on the bottom half. The best dresses for a pear shaped body will need to create balance between the top and bottom half of your body.

Flattering Styles:

Neckline: Choose a one shoulder, strapless, v-neck or scoop neckline to bring attention to your upper half.

Shape: Balance your shape by deflecting attention from your bottom half by choosing dresses that mask your hips, like an a-line or ballgown silhouette.

Styles to Avoid:

Neckline: Halter or dresses with a high neck will bring the wrong type of attention to your face and will create a disproportionate look.

Shape: Avoid sheath silhouettes that may be too clingy around your hips. Mermaid and trumpet gowns also accentuate your hips and add more weight to your bottom half.



A woman who does not have a strongly defined waist and whose shoulders and hips are about equal in width has a rectangle shaped body. The key for a rectangle shape is to create definition around the waist.

Flattering Styles:

Neckline: Create the illusion of curves by drawing attention toward your face with a strapless, v-neck or one shoulder neckline.

Shape: Brining attention to the place where the shape of the dress changes is also a great way to create curves. This is easy to do with a mermaid or empire style gown. Choosing a dress that highlights your smallest part will create curves.

Styles to Avoid:

Neckline: Halter dresses and dresses with high necklines will draw attention to your shoulders, but you’re trying to bring attention to your face and waist.

Shape: Sheath waistlines should be avoided because they do nothing to create shape and curves for you.



You have an hourglass silhouette if your shoulders and hips are about the same width, but you have a well-defined waist.

Flattering Styles:

Shape: Since your body is well proportioned, you should showcase your curves by choosing a sheath, mermaid, or trumpet style that will flatter and accentuate your best parts. You can even accentuate your smaller waist by choosing jeweled or ribbon belts to further define that area.

Styles to Avoid:

Style: Empire waistlines will hide rather than accentuate your small natural waist.

Now that you know what shape fits your body, start shopping for your dream dress!


Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding.