Destination I Do
Monday, September 21, 2009

Which Destination Wedding Gown Flatters You Most?

Words by Jennifer Stein
Words by Jules Bly - International Fashion Designer

The biggest mistake people make is to think of themselves as a size when what they really need to consider is their shape. Almost all of us can be classified into one of 12 figure types listed. Once you have identified which one you are, you will save yourself time and frustration searching for your destination wedding gown.

The "PEAR" – Small bust, long waist, flat tummy, larger hips and legs. Gown shown: Romona Keveza #831

What works: Soft draping fabrics that fit closely at the waist and flare to the floor will disguise large hips. A strapless gown will show off slender shoulders and works perfectly on this figure type with a soft skirt. Detailing on the bodice such as cross over ruching will balance the bulkiness of the lower half. Ornamentation on the top half will draw the eye upwards away from a larger lower half. Lace, beads and crystals are perfect for adding texture to the bodice of the gown.

What to avoid: Bias cut that clings to legs or pencil skirts that accentuate thighs.

The "LOLLIPOP" - Big bust, slight waist, slim hips, long legs. Gown shown, Monique Lhuillier Platinum “Jessica”

What works: A wide sweetheart neckline will broaden the shoulders and make the bust look instantly smaller. The aim is to balance this type of figure at the shoulders and hemline. A sweetheart neck line with an A-line skirt or skirt with fullness at the hemline will create the desired effect and at the same time conspire to make the waist appear smaller. Strategic placement of draping coming from under an empire line bodice will draw the eye to the waist.

What to avoid: Any style that hangs from the bust line. High neckline.

The "VASE" - Big bust, curvaceous long waist, bust and hips are equal, slim thighs and legs. Gown shown: Romona Keveza #1683

What Works: Gowns that are fitted and expertly tailored. Structure is your friend. Wide scooped or square necklines or a halter will balance the chest. Fabrics that have a shimmer will create an eye catching effect. Small tightly fitted pleats or ruching will frame the figure while draping will soften the outline.

What to Avoid: Ruffles around neckline. Gowns with tiered skirts. Heavy detailing on the bust area. Deep v-necklines.
The "APPLE" - Average bust, tummy bigger than bust, flat bottom. Gown shown, Anne Barge lf150

What works: Plain fabrics with small textures or fine lace. Choose a straight skirt so it doesn’t add width and if fullness is desired add box pleating. The skirt should not cut under or ‘cup’ the belly but fall straight down. Princess or vertical lines will elongate the body. The bodice should fit tightly under the bust with ruching across the middle. Be careful to use only fine fabrics for the ruching so as to avoid too much bulk. A V-neckline is most flattering as it breaks up the size of the chest.

What to avoid: One solid color - it will add two dress sizes to your figure. Also avoid strapless gowns and horizontal lines across the chest.

The "SKITTLE"– Average bust, slim waist, reasonable tummy, larger thighs. Gown shown, Melissa Sweet “Carrie”

What Works: Fitted bodice with Princess lined skirt or paneling will make the hips and thighs appear narrower. Diamond shape or wide cut necklines broaden the upper body creating the desired balancing effect. Choose a skirt that won’t cling to the thighs; one that fits through the hips and then flares out to balance the upper body. The emphasis for this figure is structured but sexy. Avoid pearls and beads-the secret here is to keep it simple.

What to Avoid: Pencil skirts, cut away shoulders, spaghetti straps.

The "HOURGLASS" – Big bust, small, short waist, big hips, generous thighs. Gown shown, Amy Michelson “Millionaire”

What works: Fitted gowns that lift the bust and elongate the waist. An empire line gown that has an expertly fitted bodice will flatter the hourglass figure. Choose a gown that clearly defines the small waist and fabulous curves. A deep v-neckline that plunges to the waist will cut your bust size in half. Princess lines and pencil skirts are the ultimate for showing off a gorgeous hourglass figure.

What to Avoid: Gowns with draping, detailing on the hips or large feature laces. Lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, soft silks and georgette.

The "GOBLET" – Wide shoulders, Big bust, no waist, narrow hips, long legs. Gown shown, Romona Keveza #l738

What Works: First and foremost for this figure, you need a well fitted bra. Deeply scooped necklines, v-necklines or wrap style neckline that hugs under the bust will be most flattering and show off your best asset. Empire line that fits snuggly at the waist will create curviness to the silhouette. Choose heavier fabrics such as delustered Duchess Silk Satin or heavy Silk Crepe.

What to Avoid: Sheath or shift gowns. Slashed or boat necklines. Floaty, shapeless gowns.

The "CORNET" – Wide Shoulders, small bust, no waist, slim hips, long slender legs. Gown shown, Romona Keveza #653

What Works: Well fitting shoulders, back and waist will suggest cures. A v-neckline will direct the eye to the waist and a halter gown will narrow wide shoulders. Soft draping over the bust will add size as will draping to the hip area creating a curvaceous figure. Feel confident to use lace and beads for texture on the skirt which will balance the lower half of the figure with the shoulders.
What to Avoid: Strapless gowns, floaty gowns, scooped necklines.

The "COLUMN"– Shoulder and hip width are the same, slight waist, longish legs. Gown shown, Paloma Blanca #3861

What Works: Silk Chiffon gowns will soften your cylindrical figure. A gown with a wide v-neckline and detailing on the hip area will add curve. A detailed neckline will direct the eye to the waist. A wide sash will position your waist precisely and make you look like a perfectly wrapped wedding gift.

What to Avoid: Straight gowns, dropped waist gowns and empire line gowns.

The "CELLO" – Big Bust, short waist, big bottom, hips and thighs. Gown shown, Anne Barge #lf149

What Works: Gowns with a wide waist and a wide scooped, halter or v-neckline. A full a-line skirt will be most flattering over the bottom and skim the thighs. Princess lines will narrow the silhouette and when paired with an empire line bodice that is well fitted to the waist will elongate the body. Fine laces such as Chantilly with small patterns will add movement to the body making it appear curvier.

What to Avoid: Satin or shiny fabrics or pencil skirt gowns. Never over do the jewelry.

The "BRICK" – Broad shoulders, no waist, reasonable tummy, flat bottom, larger thighs and calves. Gown shown, Carolina Herrera “Alix”

What Works: High waist styles, lightly textured fabrics such as jacquard or patterns that add curves. A sexy ‘S’ shape can be created using design lines or fabric draping that converge at the center torso. Small feminine ruffles at the neckline will add emphasis to the bust at the same time giving a softening effect. You can also opt for a fitted skirt that flares out from the bottom with godet insets to add volume will give a mermaid effect to this figure.

What to Avoid: Box pleats, heavy fabrics, strapless gowns.

The "BELL"– Small shoulders, small bust, small, short waist, big thighs and bottom. Gown shown, Monique Lhuillier “Lianorra”

What Works: Add volume to the top half with texture; lace, ruching, pleating, etc. Choose a gown with plenty of details that will draw the eye to the top half of the body and one which fits well under the bust but has ample soft, draping fullness in the skirt to add fluid, feminine movement. Ensure that the fullness starts low on the hips. Princess lines create a narrowing effect due to the vertical lines. They also add an illusion of height. Cap sleeves will give an extended line to the shoulder. Keep the attention focused on the top half.
What to Avoid: Any gown with too much detailing on the bottom half. Wide v-necklines. Bias cut gowns.

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