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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What Wedding Dress Shape Should You Choose?

We destroy the age old myths of who 
can wear what on their wedding day.

What if I told you that you could wear whatever shape you wanted? That there were no rules?

Before starting She Wore Flowers I was in the bridal industry for many years, and most of this time was spent managing bridal boutiques in the UK and helping hundreds of brides find their dream gowns as a bridal consultant. When I first entered the industry, there were these 'rules' people talked about that at first as a young 20-something, I didn't question. "Plus size girls can't wear mermaids." "Skinny girls should only wear column dresses because they're the only ones that can pull that shape off." Alright, I thought. I guess that's the way it is. Well, this was nearly ten years ago now, and the world was just starting to enter this screw-your-ridiculous-beauty-standards attitude and eventually I realized that those so-called "rules" were put in place by society's distorted views of beauty and, well, ahem..they were complete BS.

Selene Wedding Dress by She Wore Flowers

So what shape is best for you?

Now, listen here darling. There is a perfect shape for you. Some shapes will be better for you than others. But not for the reasons you may think or that you've been told. You see, you've maybe been told that you can't wear a mermaid because your hips are too big. Well, maybe a mermaid dress isn't for you. But not because of your awesome hips (screw the haters). A mermaid dress isn't for you if you just don't feel like showcasing them. See? There's the difference. If you love your hips, then a mermaid silhouette is absolutely a contender.
The best way to choose your ideal dress silhouette, is knowing what you love about your body/want to showcase, and what you don't love so much/don't want to showcase. In an ideal fantasy world we all love every single aspect of ourselves, but unfortunately we've been told that we should all look a certain way for so long, so everyone has their own inner judgements and is their own worst critic. No matter how irrational our friends/significant others tell us these insecurities are, they exist. For me, it's my legs. Hate em! Others tell me I'm crazy but they've always been my thing. It's an unfortunate reality but these insecurities exist, for everyone (you're not alone).

It's my goal that by the end of this post you'll have a better idea as to the shape that may work best for you, or at least you'll have a better understanding of what each silhouette inherently showcases/highlights.

Think about the part of your body that you love and want to show off. Maybe its your waist, maybe it's your boobs, your bum, etc. Then, think about that part of your body that you're not a fan of showing off. And look, although I agree with your friends and family that you're being silly and every inch of you is perfect, your wedding is NOT the day that you should start conquering that fear. You should feel 100% comfortable inside and out on your big day, so choose a dress that's going to highlight what you want it to. For instance, I would probably want to roll up and die if I decided to conquer my "I hate my legs" fear on my wedding day and wear a short tea-length dress. I'd be constantly thinking about it and that's not what this day is about. You need to be comfortable in what you're wearing.
So what shapes accentuate what parts? I've broken down the list below of the main wedding dress shapes and from there you'll be well on your way to choosing the perfect gown for you. You can also click each one to shop that shape on our new collection! 
Midnight Primrose - An A-Line shaped gown from She Wore Flowers

 - This style is widely called the "universal match". A-line dresses typically consist of a fitted bodice that stops at the natural waist (typically the smallest part of your torso), and then flare out from there. They flatter most people, it's just whether or not you like this style. The shape is perfect if you're wanting to showcase your narrowest point, and want to avoid anything clinging to your bum/hips. You don't need to love ballgowns to choose an A-Line either, as they really vary in volume. Some are still very lightweight and free-flowing (like our Midnight Primrose gown shown above). They're pretty easy to move around in as your legs can move unhindered and aren't constricted by a dress that's fitted to your hips. Of course ballgowns (still part of the A-Line silhouette family) consist of a huge skirt, which makes mobility more difficult so keep that in mind.
Solstice - A fit and flare wedding dress from She Wore Flowers 
Mermaid/Trumpet/Fit & Flare - This shape is perfect for you brides out there who want to either showcase your curves, or create an illusion of having bigger curves. They hug the torso all the way down to your legs and then flare out at various levels, ranging from mid thigh (like our Solstice Wedding Dress) down to the knee (like our Aurelia Wedding Dress). The flare can also vary in volume and be less, or more dramatic - just depends on your preference. The lower the flare and more volumous the dress, typically the less mobile you'll feel. The higher the flare (say around mid thigh), your knees are still free to bend and move so you'll have an easier time dancing your beautifully accentuated bum off all night! This goes without saying that if your bum/curves are not what you want to showcase, then this shape may not feel the most comfortable for you. 
Artemis - A soft column shape from She Wore Flowers

 - The column silhouette is basically exactly what it says. The dress falls to the floor in a column shape whilst hugging your body naturally, and depending on its material (ie. lace, silk, etc) will show off your body in a more subtle way (there's no dramatic flares or anything). Our Artemis gown is a good example, (although it could also be classified as an extremely gentle fit and flare). Although Artemis has built in cups and some structure to the bodice, many column or sheath dresses do not have any structure or boning at all. These gowns are notoriously non-fussy can be very understated, allowing them to be accompanied by a wide variety of accessories due to their versatility. They're super manageable and are the most destination-wedding friendly due to their light weight nature and suitcase-packability (is that a word?). When I was a bridal consultant, I had many a bride fall in love with a column or sheath dress but worry about the dress showing their "imperfections", because many of these dress types will cling if they are more of a silk based slip dress style. Well, as I said, you're being silly, but if you really love the gown, there's plenty of shapewear options out there specifically dedicated to the bridal industry to wear under dresses like this. Just make sure the shapewear lays smooth on the skin and preferably is a little high waisted, this will avoid lines under the gown. You can read this post I wrote about choosing the right underwear for your wedding dress.
One more thing I MUST tell you, is that I cannot count how many times a bride I was helping tried on a dress of a particular style (ie. a mermaid dress) and hated it. Before suggesting she rule out the style completely, I would get her to try on one more that was slightly different (ie. flared out either higher or lower than the previous one), and she would end up falling head over heels in love with it. So keep that in mind! Just because you may hate one dress of a certain style, try on at least one more that's slightly different and see if it's still the case. Still hate it? Then rule out that silhouette.
Within each of these shapes/silhouettes there is of course further variation of necklines, back detailing, sleeves, etc. I do think it's important for a bride-to-be to go try on gowns in a variety of shapes to really get an idea as to what she loves. Don't stress about finding the one. Once you nail down your silhouette, I promise you that it gets easier from there.
So remember, don't let someone tell you what you should and shouldn't wear purely based on your beautiful body shape. Think about what you want to show off, and then choose the silhouette accordingly!

xx Ashley

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