Wedding Gown Tips
Wedding Gown Tips
PERFECT WEDDING DRESSES
Choosing wedding dresses is one of life's most pleasurable dilemmas. Getting it
right, however, takes some planning - and a little expert advice. Here's a crash
course in bridal wear.
Your wedding dresses provides a chance to dress
completely different than you do on any other day in your life, so feel free to
pursue your bridal fantasies when you start shopping. Experiment with
different styles to see what suits your figure, and don't rule anything out
based on how it looks on a hanger � many wedding dresses look odd without a
figure filling them out.
How formal is your wedding? Generally, the
more formal the wedding, the more formal the bride's wedding dresses. Also, keep
the season of your wedding in mind, since some wedding dress fabrics might be
too heavy or light for certain times of the year.
Consider your comfort, both physical and
emotional. All eyes will be on you throughout your big day, so this might not be
the best occasion to wear your first strapless wedding dresses. And a
body-skimming sheath won't let you kick up your heels on the dance floor as
freely as you might like. In each wedding dress you try on (and later at the
actual fittings), try sitting, dancing, and hugging. Wave your arms around
to make sure the shoulders and sleeves aren't binding. Pay attention to
weight � will wearing pounds of beading leave you exhausted? Will a full
skirt present a tripping hazard? Does the wedding dresses shape cry out for a
higher heel than you care to wear? In general, try to visualize yourself wearing
the wedding dress throughout your ceremony and reception. When the picture is
right, you'll know it.
Have the Wedding Dress Flatter
Wearing the right cut for your body type can highlight your best features and
downplay those you�re concerned about.
The Triangle (small on
top, heavier on the bottom)
The key here is to have the wedding dresses balance your proportions. Broaden
and emphasize your top half with full sleeve treatments, padded shoulders, or
pouf sleeves that extend your shoulder line, and a textured bodice accented with
lace overlays, appliqu�s, and beadwork. Elongated bodices and skirts with
controlled fullness will emphasize your waist and de-emphasize your hip area.
Avoid set-in sleeves and narrow shoulders, skirts with side panels or excess
fullness, and body-hugging sheaths � they�ll make you look disproportioned.
The Inverted Triangle
(fuller on top, narrow hips)
In order to de-emphasize your shoulder area and give more width to your lower
body, look for wedding gown with minimal shoulder details, simple sleeves,
moderate padding, and natural shoulder lines. Simple bodices, with accents kept
to a minimum, will draw less attention to your top. For better overall
proportion, wear a full skirt or a style with skirt details such as peplums,
bustles, sashes, and bows. Avoid wedding dresses with full sleeves, slim,
straight skirts, empire waistlines, and plunging necklines.
The Rectangle (nearly
equal bust and hips, minimal waist definition)
To create the illusion of curves, look for full, voluminous skirts with jewel or
bateau necklines. Horizontal detailing will draw the eye across the body and
combat vertical body lines, and oversized shoulders and sleeves will add width
to your top and shape to your overall appearance. Avoid slim silhouettes or
wedding dresses in soft, clingy fabrics that will only make you appear too thin
The Hourglass (small
waist, full hips and bust)
To maximize your curves and maintain balance, look for wedding dresses with
simple, classic lines like sheaths and mermaid styles � too much detailing can
make you look heavier than you really are. Show off your shoulders with
off-the-shoulder sleeves, v-necklines, and strapless wedding dresses. Avoid
wedding dresses with very full or ruffled skirts, pouf sleeves, highly detailed
bodices, and high necklines that cover the shoulder area and minimize the bust.
Petite figures are lengthened in controlled-but-full skirts with minimal
details. Basque waistlines, simple sleeves, modestly detailed shoulders,
vertical pleating, and a-line or princess silhouettes elongate the torso and add
height. For slim petites, the sheath or mermaid style is ideal.
Full figures look best in fitted v-neck bodices
and dropped v-waistlines. Full skirts camouflage hips and thighs and shoulder
pads make waists look smaller. Styling details around the neckline draw the eye
up. Long sleeves tapering toward the wrist slenderize arms; avoid strapless or
sleeveless wedding dresses which only emphasize fullness. Opt for wedding
dresses where the fabric drapes gracefully to the floor instead of ones that are
Minimize a thick waist with an empire waistline.
Princess-style wedding dresses elongate a short waist and lengthen the torso.
Long waists look shorter when the waistline is cut above the torso, as in a
basque-waist wedding gown. To slim heavy hips, try a full-but-controlled skirt
without bows, flounces, or ruffles.
A full bust is flattered in an off-the-shoulder
portrait or v-neckline with minimal detailing. Small busts look larger when
accentuated with intricate details and on-the-shoulder necklines.
Once you've chosen a wedding gown, the salon will order it and then custom-fit
it to your body once it arrives. Typically, you'll require three fittings before
your wedding gown is ready. It's best to bring the lingerie and shoes you'll
wear with your wedding dress to your fittings so that you can see how the entire
ensemble looks together. (If you're not sure what kind of undergarments your
wedding dress requires, ask your fitter for advice.) It's also a good idea to
bring your mother or maid of honor to your second or final dress fitting so she
can learn how to help you get into your wedding gown and how to bustle your
train, if necessary.
Even if your wedding dress is ready well in
advance, resist the urge to pick it up until the week of your wedding. Your
bridal salon is better equipped to store your wedding dress properly than you
are, and you wouldn't want it to get wrinkled or crushed in your closet.
No Regrets: Finding The
Perfect Wedding Dress
- Bare arms. The look of the moment is sleeveless, with a tank bodice or narrow
straps, regardless of the season. Strapless wedding dresses are also popular,
often paired with a wrap made of a length of sheer fabric.
- A-line, sheath and bias-cut shapes. Cinderella is dead, done in by simpler,
sleeker columns and more natural silhouettes.
- High-quality fabrics. Simpler styles demand finer fabrics. High-quality silk
satins, peau de soie and crepe have the necessary substance to fall gracefully.
Sweeping veils, headpieces. A long trail of tulle makes the ideal
counterpoint to today's smoother wedding dresses. The same goes for headpieces,
now available in an array of lustrous, contemporary designs.
Wise brides have budgets
Often brides end up spending more for their wedding dress than they intended.
The industry is geared to make it happen. In a shop filled with wedding dresses
between $800 and $5,000, a $2,000 price tag can look like a bargain. Determine
your budget before you set foot in a bridal shop and stick to it. What to expect
in your range:
$500 and under. Brides with small budgets have more options than you might
imagine. Outlets and discount houses are obvious sources of low-budget bridal
wear. Brides low on funds but high on ingenuity troll vintage shops and online
mail-order sources for bridal bargains. And non-traditionalists often find that
a few hundred dollars buys a knockout evening gown that's better made than
bridal wear at twice the price (see Anything goes).
$500 to $1,500. The zone where what you get for your dollar varies most,
depending on where you buy. At mainstream retail shops, brides will find many
designer labels for under $800, usually in good-quality synthetics. Above that
threshold, most wedding dresses are made of silk. Popular heavy silk satins
commonly command $1,000. Discount outlets and mail-order houses frequently sell
the same styles for 20 to 30 percent less. Another excellent option: custom-made
bridal wear. Most brides don't realize that independent couturiers can design a
one-of-a-kind, made-to-measure wedding dress for less than designer gowns of
similar or inferior fabrics and quality. Why? No advertising, no middleman.
$1,500 and up. Wedding dresses this costly should be made of excellent fabrics,
drape beautifully and exhibit carefully finished seams and handwork. Retail
shops offer countless designer gowns in this range, but unless you crave labels,
it makes more sense to have a dress custom made for you. You'll get more for
your money. Full service bridal shops usually offer custom gown design.
Independent couturiers - often artists of supreme skill - are an even better
Three low-budget tips:
1. Embellish an off-the-rack dress. Hire a seamstress to add trimmings, or do it
2. Wear something borrowed. Have your mother's, grandma's, sister's or aunt's
dress fitted to you.
3. Order a designer bridesmaid gown in ivory or white.
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