In our last blog ‘say yes to the right dress’, we explored different body types along with varying styles of dress. In this blog, we are focusing on the different kinds of bodices that will complement different wedding dress styles and body types. The bodice is the upper part of the dress, covering the waist to the bust. The bodice creates body balance, therefore, an essential element of the wedding dress.
Most women know what part of their bodies is their greatest asset. Most would agree that the golden rule for choosing any dress, is to maximise your best body asset. Selecting the right bodice and neckline that suits your body type, creates a visual proportion between your upper and lower body. The symmetry of the balance is what will make the ‘wow’ factor.
Four main body shapes will be covered.
Triangle/Pear Body Shape
Women of this body shape have a smaller upper body and broader hips. The aim is to minimise the balance ratio between the upper body to the hips by creating the illusion that the shoulders are wider than they are.
The ideal bodice type is using various accessories that will add to the volume to the waist and, choosing a neckline that opens the shoulder area up. A boat neckline, adding cap sleeves, or thick straps will add expansion across the shoulders. Consider adding shoulder pads if your dress has sleeves. Halter styles and deep plunge necklines will make your shoulders narrower. Adding ‘bling’ within the waist area will draw the attention away from the hip.
Cone/ Apple Body Shape
The Cone/Apple body shape women have a larger bust, broader shoulders and narrow hips. The idea is to minimise the bust size, shoulder broadness and add more volume from the hip down.
The neckline perfect for this body type is V-neck, U neck, scoop necks, strapless, focusing on minimising the details on the shoulders with simple straight lines. Softening the shoulders with softly draped fabrics and elongating the neckline will create the visual proportion you need. Sleeves cut on a diagonal, and a plunging necklace will also create a narrowing look. Any detail around shoulders should be balanced with a princess-style gown.
Avoid off the shoulder, puff sleeves, shoulder pads or any structured shoulder design. The idea is to draw attention to the bottom half of the gown.
Hourglass Body Shape
Hourglass-shaped women typically have small waist and bust and hips that are proportionate to each other. The idea with a body shape such is to create emphasis around the waist area whether it is adding ‘bling’ or cinching the dress around the waist. The focal point is the waist.
The neckline best suited is off-shoulder, sweetheart, strapless, square, scoop, V-neck, oval, rounded or jewel.
Avoid wearing avoiding high, narrow, square, boatneck and wide necklines as it adds volume around the shoulder, creating a disproportionate to the hips.
Rectangle Body Shape
Women who have a rectangular body lack distinct curves. Busts, waist and hips are sized. The aim with a figure such as this is to add curves. Adding bling to the bodice or cinching the dress at the waist will create an illusion of waist hence curves.
To lengthen the shoulder and focus on the bust area by wearing rounded necklines such as a scoop or jewel neck. Another option is opting for lower, wider necklines such as V-neck, slash, scoop or sweethearts. Off the shoulder, bateau and strapless is another option.
Avoid square, and straight necklines as these will create a shapeless look.
Women with large breasts can minimise the appearance by wearing a scoop, cow and v-neckline. Also, adding delicate accessories that sit at the decolletage will draw the eye away from the breast area. Adding detail around the waist will highlight the waist taking the focus away from the breasts.
Of course, women who want their breast to be their focal point should opt for deep plunging necklines, hence why V-neck is perfect for women with large breasts.
Small breasted women have a lot more choices as the outfits tend to look softer as their breasts are not spilling out of the dress. Off the shoulder dresses suit most small-breasted women. Adding accessories around the bust line will also create the volume around the breast area. Wear a padded bra to create a cleavage.
Fitting of the dress
A wedding dress fitting is the best way to sculpt the gown to the body and ensure a proper fit. Brides typically need three fittings before the dress is ready to be worn. Once you have chosen the type of dress you want, whether the dress is designed or off the rack, it is essential to get the fit right.We have all been in a situation where we have fallen in love with a dress, knowing that it does not fit as it should.
Below are ten indicators that the dress does not fit right:
- Does not sit well under the breast area
- Spillage around the back and breast area
- Too tight around the waist. It will not loosen.
- Straps keep falling.
- The bodice is itchy – think of comfort.
- Draglines appearing around the hips
- The seamline is crooked.
- The zip is difficult to pull up.
- When you sit down, bend or move the dress cuts off your breathing.
- The waistband is not sitting where it should.
Looking and feeling fabulous on the day will depend on the fit of the dress and how it suits your body shape.
Main Image: Berta