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Flattering Wedding Dresses for Average Figures

A wedding dress is the most important piece of clothing a woman will ever wear. It is so important, she will start shopping for it nine months before her big day. It is so important, she will spend thousands of dollars and only wear it once. It is so important, she will retain it for years in the hope her daughter will one day wear it.

Shopping For a Dress

Even women who have never been dress-wearers get a little crazy when it comes time to shop for their wedding gowns. One reason is that formal gowns can be hard to find for women who do not have classic figures, and that means most women. Fortunately, wedding gowns are available in different cuts, and each compliments a different body type. Let us take a moment to review them.
But before we start, take a deep breath! The single most important piece of advice we can give you is to give yourself time to find a flattering dress. No bride-to-be finds her dream dress during a 30-minute shopping session. In fact, most women try on over a dozen dresses before they fall in love with one. So, take your bridesmaids-to-be along with you and take your time. Remember, wedding dress alterations are expensive, so it behooves you to find a gown that fits.

Small / Petite

Petite women often complain that they feel lost inside of formal gowns. This goes double for the average wedding dresses, which can weigh over ten pounds. That is simply too much size and weight for a small woman with a petite frame. In addition to being uncomfortable, most dresses are not designed to flatter a petite woman's figure. Experts agree that an A-line dress with a raised waistline is the best choice for small women. The raised waistline can help elongate the frame, at least visibly, which makes the bride appear better proportioned in pictures. For a more formal affair, especially an outdoor wedding, sheath wedding dresses are popular with petite women. They are much lighter and are said to compliment a smaller woman's curves.

Tall and Thin

Tall women have some of the same problems as petite women. They often complain that formal gowns make them look like coat racks, ie, they drape off of them and do not hang well. But a Grecian-style dress can solve that problem. Named after the stylish Greek columns, this style was designed for brides with long, slim torsos, which most tall, thin women have. Wedding gowns in the Grecian-style hug the hips and show of a tall woman's natural curves. Higher hemlines for more informal ceremonies also give her a chance to show off her long legs.


Millions of American women have pear-shaped figures. That is, they carry most of their weight in their bottoms and in their hips. This can make it difficult for them to find a formal dress that does not make them look too hippy. One popular option for these brides-to be is the basic A-line. Shaped like the letter, the A-line is narrower and tighter on top and wider and looser on the bottom. The tight-fitting top lets larger women show off their busts a bit and keeps them even with the hips. Since many women with pear-shaped figures are also high-waisted, they often select a dress with a V-neckline. The V-neckline helps add balance to a slightly smaller and narrows upper half.


Big is beautiful! But being bigger does make it harder to find a formal gown. The number one complaint most women with plus-size figures have is that their dresses conceal their best assets and accentuate their worst ones. This often happens when a large woman chooses the wrong cut or silhouette.

Larger women love their curves, so they should never keep them under wraps, especially on their wedding day! Of course, plus-size brides also have the same problem as women with pear-shaped figures – they have big hips. A wedding gown with an empire-waist can draw attention away from their excellent hips and thighs and put it where it really belongs, on the bust! A gown with an A-line silhouette and an empire-waist that cinches just under the bust will make a bride seem more proportional in picture and draw attention to her curves.


While they might look great on the catwalk, women with the ruler body type often have a hard time finding a gown. Since their hips, waist, and chest are all around the same size, a formal gown conceals whatever few curves they have. Still, there are options. While women with the ruler shape may not have many curves, they do have attractive waists and torsos, which can be accentuated by wearing the right silhouette. Ball gowns were designed specifically for women with long, thin torsos and tiny waist. Most rulers look like Cinderella when they wear a full ball gown on their wedding day.

Before venturing out to find that perfect dress, take these tips into consideration. They just may help you find the wedding gown of your dreams that much faster!

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