FINDING THE RIGHT WEDDING DRESS FOR YOU
by Naomi Peris - Fashion Designer
He has popped the big question, and you undoubtedly said 'YES'.
One of the first things that have probably come into your mind would be.... 'what am I going to wear?'
Whether you have dreamt of this special moment ever since you were a little girl or not, your starting point would probably be the same.
What style wedding am I going to have?
Where should we have it? Will it be at the beach... in a farmhouse... at a winery... or a big venue...?
How do you start to find the right wedding dress for you. Something that is going to enhance your beauty... yet something that feels 'right'.
There are basically 3 key factors in the finding or designing the right dress for you.
The first is silhouette. And this is all about knowing and understanding your bodytype. You may have dreamt of a big fairytale princess gown with a ballgown tulle skirt, but if your shape won't hold this silhouette you could end up looking short and dumpy. And no one wants that.
The best way is to assess your body type first, then search for bridal gowns accordingly.
I know what you are thinking. "I don't know what my bodytype is", or "I know my bodytype, but how can I match that to a dress?". Most people already dress according to their bodytype, they just don't realise it. Do you always seems to grab the aline skirts when shopping? Or maybe pencil skirts? Are the skirts gathered or pleated or ruched? All these things are clues to your bodytype.
I always tell my clients that if they don't normally wear a certain silhouette or neckline, don't choose that style on your wedding dress, because they probably won't work.
I never wear aline skirt for example, so I would never wear an aline wedding dress. Not only will I be quite uncomfortable but it probably doesn't suit my bodytype.
We all aim to be an hourglass silhouette, so what happens when you are an triangle, a pear, a column or an apple? It's about tricking the eye and balancing your shape.
Triangle bodytypes are broad across the shoulders, and normally smaller in the bust. Think a professional swimmers body. With this shape you want to narrow the shoulders by adding straps or sleeves, and add fullness to the bum or lower part of the body by having an aline or mermaid silhouette.
Pear bodytypes carry most of their weight in their hip, bum and thigh area. This silhouette is all about enhancing the smallest part of you, which is your top half, so aline silhouettes work best on this shape because the aline skims the hip and bum which create balance across the whole body.
A fitted bodice with a cinched in waist also work well.
Column bodytypes are normally tall and slim all over. This bodytype needs a defined waist so any gown with a belt or change in fabric from bodice to skirt also work. Ballgowns are great for this shape too as their height can carry the fullness of a ballgown.
Apple bodytypes carry most of their weight in their mid section. This bodytype also needs definition in the waist, but without an increase in volume. A sheath silhouette with ruching through the waist, or an aline silhouette will work with this bodytype.
The second factor is necklines.
Knowing your bodytype is one key factor, but your neckline is just as important. Necklines are the frames to your face, and as this is where most people will be looking on the day, it is important to find the right frame for you.
Have you noticed why you look better in certain tops than others. Why do you go for a top with straps, or a v neckline? Or are you more drawn to high neck tops?
Think about what you normally wear to give you clues. Also think about whether you have narrow or broad shoulders, if you are big or small busted. If you have broad shoulders you might what to consider straps to give the illusion that they are more narrow. If you are big busted, think about a cross over or v neckline. And if you are small busted a sweetheart neckline would be more suited.
When trying on dresses notice these design features, and see how they change the balance of your shape. Do they flatter or unflatter you bodytype?
The third factor is matching your personality.
This factor is opinion based. And it's about finding fabrics and styles that suit your personality. If you are not a girly girl then maybe take your hand off the floral lace gown that you think you might want. I know it's hard to look away from trends, because they are EVERYWHERE, but if you get this part right, you will have a gown that is timeless and is very much YOU. And you will be able to look back at your wedding photos in years or decades to come, and still LOVE your wedding dress. Have you ever heard someone say, 'that was the trend at the time'. This is their nice way of saying... 'I hate that dress now, but it was trendy.... oh well.'
Don't fall into this trap. Be true to yourself, and find fabrics and styles that suit you and not only will you look your best, but you will feel like you.