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Find the right Wedding Dress to suit your figure

Find the right Plus SIze Wedding Dress for you.

Every bride can and should look her best on her wedding day. Many girls nowadays are having their wedding dresses made, simply because they cannot buy a plus size wedding dress off-the-rack to fit or even suit them. Having your wedding dress made is certainly the best way to go, if you are not a standard size. Using these guidelines, you can certainly make the most of your assets, to ensure you look your absolute best on the biggest day of your life, your wedding day

First establishing the best silhouette for your figure. I will outline the best plus size wedding dress design options for different figure shapes, with the aim of helping brides who are not a standard size (in my opinion, that’s about 90% of us!)

Plus size Wedding Dress - Hourglass shape:

This is where the bust and hips are in proportion, and there is a defined waistline. The majority of plus size wedding dress styles look great on hourglass figures, provided you stick to a few basic rules.

DO wear strapless gowns, they look fantastic on shapely girls! You will obviously need extra support in the bust area, but it is worth the effort. The best look is strapless at the neckline, with an A-line skirt.

If you’re not keen on strapless, a V-neckline is extremely flattering on a full bust. The V-shape should be as low as you’re comfortable with as a higher neckline actually makes the bust appear even bigger. A particularly flattering look is an off-the-shoulder V-neckline.

The best silhouette for the skirt of the dress is A-line, and can be quite full. As for whether you should have a train at the back or not, that is a matter of choice.

Avoid straight or bias-cut designs! They are strictly for the tall, slim, or generally size 10 girls. The only case in which these designs would work on an hourglass figure is if the girl is reasonably tall. They are too clingy and will only accentuate the parts that you would rather hide. Also, avoid gathered or pleated skirts, as they add bulk around the hips.

Plus SIze Wedding Dress - Pear-shaped figure.

The idea here is to balance the top half with the bottom half of the body.

DO wear strapless and A-line gowns, as they are an excellent choice for a pear-shaped girl. The off-the-shoulder scooped or V-neckline is also a very good choice, with an A-line skirt, as it helps to balance the figure. Two-piece gowns are a good choice for this figure shape, as the bust is smaller than the hips. You can have quite an elaborate corset bodice with an A-line skirt, and it creates the illusion that the figure is in proportion.

As with the hourglass figure shape, pear-shaped girls can certainly wear gowns with draping and ruching, provided it is with an A-line skirt silhouette. The best draping option here is diagonal draping as it is the most flattering. Go for detailing in the bodice, as it will serve as the focus of the dress.

Avoid straight or bias-cut designs. They look awful on a pear-shaped girl, no exceptions as they simply cannot hide your hips.

Also, stay away from halter-neck gowns as this design actually gives the appearance of even bigger hips. Steer clear of full gathered or pleated skirts as well, as this look adds bulk to the hips.

Plus Size Dresses - The larger bride, over size 16:

Girls who are a size 16 or over will probably struggle to find the perfect gown for them, but with the right guidelines, you can truly look fabulous. You do need to be realistic about what will work for you so just picking out a dress from a magazine that you love is most likely not going to work for you. Choose designs that flatter your good bits, and hide your not-so-good bits. Here are some suggestions.

An off-the-shoulder neckline, fitted to the hips with a slightly A-line skirt with or without a train is an excellent choice for a larger girl. You could have a V-neckline, and sleeves if you prefer (I know larger girls prefer some sort of sleeve, a small cap sleeve is a nice look).

The best option is to go for a fitted bodice with some detailing on it, for example, light beading, or a light all-over lace, and an A-line skirt. Draped styles also look good, provided the drapes are diagonal, not horizontal.

Avoid gathered or pleated skirts as it adds bulk. Straight styles can look good on a larger girl, provided she is reasonably tall. A short size 18 girl would be best advised to avoid straight styles though. Also avoid strapless wedding dresses. A strapless wedding dress needs support to keep it up, which generally means it needs to be quite tight-fitting.

The best advice when choosing your plus size wedding dress is to choose a fabric you love and go for a simple, uncomplicated design. Choose nice trims or features to enrich the gown without making it fussy. For example, light beading on the neckline and hem; piping trim on the neckline; buttons and loops at the back; perhaps a contrasting fabric (like lace or organza) on the train.


Pat Giuliano Couture: Pat Giuliano is a Melbourne based designer - couturier specialising in exquisite bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and evening wear.