Despite the images of the “perfect bride” that bridal look-books, magazines, and websites have indelibly stamped in our brains, not every bride is 5’10” and 110 pounds. Women come in all shapes and sizes, every bride is beautiful, and, though we — and dress designers and boutiques — know this logically, miniscule sample sizes are still the norm and our images of “perfect” bridal looks still come from the media and the runway.
This means that, despite your best efforts and your “every bride is beautiful” mantra, you may secretly end up feeling like a frumpy cow unless you’re ultra-confident (you should be!) The good news is that, no matter your size or shape, you can (and will) look absolutely gorgeous on your wedding day. We reached out to a style pro from a local bridal shop for tips and advice on how you can do just that. Here’s what she had to say.
While many style experts agree that some silhouettes are more flattering — and forgiving — to certain body types, if you’ve got your heart set on a trumpet gown and you feel beautiful in it, go for it. “There is nothing a plus-size bride cannot wear,” says Allison Sims, owner of Chamonix Bride in Rhinebeck. “No limits.” What is important is that you feel comfortable and confident in your gown.
The fabric you choose can make or break how you feel in a dress. A gorgeous, clingy sheath, for instance, may look magnificent on a mannequin. But, particularly for brides who want to minimize a belly, butt, or other area, Sims does not recommend “very light material that does not have a lot of structure in it.” Lighter fabrics, such as chiffon and some organzas, “tend not to be forgiving,” she says. What this means is that, the lighter and less “body” the fabric has, the more of your own body will show — bumps, bulges, and all (which is why, even the sveltest supermodels are stocked with Spanx). However, if you absolutely love chiffon, adjustments and alterations can be made.
There is a silhouette that’s flattering to every body type, but Sims says that “ball gowns and A-lines are great” for curvy girls, and “styles with ruching around the waist tend to highlight the thinnest part of the figure are the most flattering silhouettes.” Still, don’t be afraid to don a mermaid if you feel great in it. Wonders can be done with the proper undergarments!
“The collaboration/communication between the bride and the seamstress is also important,” says Sims. Talk to your seamstress or alterations department about what you like, what you don’t, and the overall look you want to achieve.
“A bridal gown should celebrate you,” says Sims. “It should highlight your best features. Find a gown that does that and you are golden!”
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â€‹Rhinebeck, NY 12572
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