Bridal Gown Shapes For Every Body Type

You might have heard that you should “wear a dress that suits your body type,” but there’s really no such thing.

The truth is, you can wear any dress you’d like as long as it’s cut to your proportions! As designers, there are so many techniques we can use to help you look your best in any style, like helping you choose a certain neckline and adding the perfect style details in the perfect places.

In this post, we’ll show you how three different dress shapes can be designed to accentuate the best features of five different body types!

Whether your body type is more Curvy, Slim, Athletic, Hourglass, or Voluptuous, keep reading to see how you could rock these three popular bridal styles!

Well-defined hips with a small bust and narrow waist.

Curvy A Line Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


If you’re a curvy bride, you’ll want to show off your natural curves while keeping your gown balanced and proportional. To do this with an A-line gown, we would keep the skirt close to your body to help you look taller and thinner while still showing a glimpse of your curves.

We can design a sweetheart neckline to make your bust look more full and balance out your hip’s curves. Adding details at the top of the bodice can even help you achieve a chic hourglass look

Curvy Ballgown Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


A ballgown can be tricky with a curvy body type because you don’t want all the material to hide your curves or the gatherings to add too much volume at the waist. But, it’s still totally an option! We would do a circle-cut skirt with fullness at the bottom to balance out your full hips. 

This dress would look great on you with any neckline, and we would suggest adding a thin belt to accentuate your small waist.

Curvy Mermaid Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


A mermaid gown would definitely show off your curves, but we know that can feel like a little much for some brides. But, no worries! All we’d have to do is start the flare higher on your body to balance out your curvy hips.

There are so many options for lace and beading that can accentuate your curves and balance you proportions, so dream big! The plunging neckline on this dress would look especially great on brides with smaller busts.

Narrow shoulders and hips, small bust, and undefined waist.

Slim A Line Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


You might not have much for curves, but a slip A-line gown can help by hugging your body in all the right places! To give the illusion of more curves, we would add a halter and keyhole neckline to add curves to your bust.

Slim Ballgown Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


A dropped waist on a full bell skirt will give the illusion of super dramatic curves. We can also add different style details like exposed boning on the bodice and strategic lace placement to create a curvier look.

With all the curve-enhancing details on the rest of the dress, you could go with any neckline you want!

Slim Mermaid Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


Mermaid gowns are famous for hugging the hips to show your natural curves and then flaring out at the bottom. Adding extra volume at the bottom and angling the skirt will create the illusion of even more curves.

Plus, we can strategically place lace designs to create more curves and add see-through side cut outs to give you an hourglass appearance...even if you don’t have one!

Muscular, wide shoulders, straight hips. Slightly less defined waist.

Athletic A Line Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


This style is already super flattering on your body type! To help you look your best, we would go for wider straps and a lower neckline to balance out your broad shoulders with the rest of your body. V-necks, halters, and sweetheart necklines would all look great, too.

Athletic Ballgown Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


Wearing a full skirt will definitely help to balance out the upper body. We want to be sure to show off your super-toned arms! After all, you worked hard for them!

Athletic Mermaid Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


You might not have much for curves after all your time at the gym, but this style is still totally an option! We can start the mermaid flare lower on the gown—close to the knee—to both show off the curves you have and create the illusion of more. Straps that widen towards the shoulders like the ones in this sketch would help balance out your proportions.

Hips and bust are nearly equal in size. Well-defined waist.

Hourglass A Line Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


Your hourglass body can easily pull off any gown shape—lucky you! If you opt for the classic A-line dress, we’d recommend clean and simple lines to show off your silhouette. If you’d like, an illusion panel on the sides is an intimate detail that will help to narrow your bust, if desired.

Hourglass Ballgown Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


With the ballgown silhouette, we’d add a thin belt to accentuate your small waist between a full bust and full skirt. And, by the way, you can still pull off a deep V-neck—even with a larger bust! You may just need to add an illusion panel for extra support. 

Hourglass Mermaid Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


A mermaid look is perfect for showing off your gorgeous curves, especially since you look great in anything! To really make the most of this style, we’d add a v-neck, sweetheart, or off-the-shoulder neckline to flatter your bust line.

Rounded Frame

Voluptuous A Line Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


Fuller brides can still wear any dress with ease, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! It’s all about accentuating your curves in all the right places.

Perfectly cut proportions will accentuate your curves and make your waist look smaller. A halter neckline with a deep V-neck would pair perfectly with a simple A-line skirt to accentuate your curves.

Voluptuous Ballgown Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


For a ballgown, you’ll want to make sure the waistline sits at the smallest part of your body. This may be higher than your “natural” waistline, but that’s okay! Adding a high neck illusion neckline will help to elongate your torso and really make you feel like a princess.

Voluptuous Mermaid Dress Sketch | Vanya Designs


To create an hourglass shape, we would start the flare of a mermaid dress right above your knees. Opting for a sweetheart neckline on this style is the perfect choice for accentuating your beautiful curves! You could even add off-the shoulder sleeves if you like.