Style Options for Plus Size Wedding Dresses

Published: 28th October 2009
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It is no surprise that a bride wants to look her absolute best on her wedding day. Apart from having every eye on her as she walks down the aisle, a bride wants to look superbly beautiful in wedding photos. If you are a plus size bride, there are a few ways to incorporate your personal style and personality into your dress. Keep reading for stylish plus size wedding dress ideas and tips.

Plus Size Body Shapes

Women come in all different types of shapes and sizes, but most women fall into four general categories: apple, pear, rectangle and the hourglass. Here are some tips for finding the right plus size dress for these body shapes.

The Apple Shape

Apples usually have larger midsections, but slender arms and legs. The goal when choosing your wedding gown is to draw attention away from the midsection. An A-line or empire waist that sits high on the torso is an excellent choice. A halter neck wedding dress is good too as it can create balance while offering more bust support. Try to avoid plunging necklines as they can make you look top heavy.

The Pear Shape

The pear has a small torso, but is wider in the hips, thighs and legs. Like the apple, high waisted dresses, like the A-line or Empire, are great choices for the pear. Choosing a wide neckline can create balance for an even silhouette. Pears don't do well with halter necks, high cut necklines or anything that is gathered or draped around the hip area.

The Rectangle Shape

Brides with this body shape carry their weight evenly across their frames and do not have much definition between their hips, waist and bust. For this reason they should consider creating more curves. Full ball gown are fabulous when teemed with corset bodices or wide necklines. Straight cuts, on the other hand, are not flattering. Neither are halter tops or high necklines.

The Hourglass Shape

Hourglass shapes have well defined waists and are wider in the bust and hips. Low or scooped necklines are perfect for this figure. So too are V-necks and strapless dresses. Balance is crucial for an hourglass figure, so cut down any unnecessary ruffles or pleats on the skirt. Empire waists or straight cut dresses will look fine on the hourglass shape, but they won't showcase the narrow natural waist as well as a more figure hugging choice.

Flattering Plus Size Dresses

Plus size brides should look for dresses that show off their curves and make them feel confident when they're walking down the aisle. Choosing the right cut is one of the most important components of finding the perfect plus size dress, so be sure to try on as many different cuts as possible to see what works best for your individual shape.

Plus size brides can also use splashes of color to accentuate their best features and highlight their curves. A sash worn around the smallest part of the torso in a rich color can elongate the silhouette and play up the theme colors of the wedding. Similarly, long panels of color can add length and elegance to any dress.

When choosing fabrics, steer clear from dresses with too many layers or stiff construction, since they can add bulk and volume. Instead, look for fabrics that drape elegantly around curves. This kind of flowing fabric will give the illusion that you're effortlessly floating as you walk down the aisle.

In general, embellishments should be kept streamline on the bodice of a plus size dress. Overly ornate beading, scalloping or lace work can draw attention to the midsection and make the bride appear wider.

Don't be constrained by fashion trends or by tradition. If you really aren't sure what style gown suits your figure you can always find good professional advice from the people who sell wedding gowns.

Not that long ago, wedding gown designers did not cater to plus sized brides, making the selection infuriatingly limited. But today, plus size wedding dress options are vast, and designers take into account fuller figured brides. Shopping for your wedding gown should be absolutely no different as a plus sized bride than it is for any other woman. Like any other bride, you want to look the best you have ever looked when you walk down that aisle.

By taking the time to evaluate your individual shape and try on lots of different options, you can find your dream dress. Above all, remember that plus size dresses should not hide or conceal your body. Rather, they should showcase your best attributes and celebrate your shape.

Sandy Darson is a freelance writer who writes about weddings and fashion, often focusing on a specific item such as plus size wedding dresses.

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