How to find the perfect wedding dress for your figure by

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Find the perfect wedding dress for your body type

Hello lovely 100 Layer Cake readers! It’s Alex again from Now that  I’ve covered the basics in coordinating mismatched bridesmaids dresses it’s time to focus  on the most important piece of wedding day attire: The Dress (as in your wedding dress)! While you might have been dreaming of what your dress would look like since you were parading Barbie down the aisle in your single digits, finding the right dress is no easy feat—which is where I come in. There are many key factors to consider when searching for a wedding dress and today I am going to help you crack the code in finding the perfect wedding dress for your big day with the help of JLM Couture’s Head Designer, Francesca Pitera. Not only will we help you understand which types of dresses will work with your figure, I will also be revealing some of my favorite dresses from the JLM Couture Fall 2013 collection as well as a few other insider tidbits from Francesca…

Find the Kindest Cut for Your Figure
Even though we ladies come in every size and shape, many of us face similar figure challenges when trying to find our dream dress. Find your match-up below and see what the pros suggest…

If you’re pear shaped, want to conceal a not-so-flat tummy, or have full hips and thighs… “The best cut to look for when trying to cover this area is something with a natural waist such as soft A-line skirt or ball gown, which gives an amazing fit in the upper torso area while hiding anything from the waist down,” according to Francesca.

A-line wedding dress  | 100 Layer Cake

This structured bodice not only shows off a fabulous upper-half, the A-line skirt conceals a larger bottom creating the illusion of a more proportional silhouette.

If you’re tall or especially slender… Look for something with a simple and clean silhouette. Column dresses with a nipped waist are a nice choice. Just be sure to avoid anything that is overly embellished as these dresses can come off as kitschy on a taller frame.

The wrapped bodice wedding dress | 100 Layer Cake

The wrapped bodice, draped waist and slit-open back provide detail in the actual construction of the dress as opposed to beading or other embellishments.

If you don’t have curves or have an athletic build… Look for a silky gown that’s cut on the bias with a trumpet skirt. The combination of the curved side seams and the flared bottom will provide you with a sultry silhouette. Pitera also recommends mermaid style gowns as they “will add shape and curves.”

JLM Couture wedding gown | 100 Layer Cake

The combination of angles at the necklace, waist and just below the hips will create the illusion of an hourglass figure.

Planning a wedding? Take a peek at this helpful Wedding Planning Timeline.

If you’re petite… Most styles work, however it’s best to look for something that hits above your natural waist in order to create the illusion of an elongated stature. Francesca suggests an empire cut. Another insider tip to keep in mind: Embellishments should be justas tiny as you are—big bows and adornments will overwhelm your small build.

A-line ball gown wedding dress  | 100 Layer Cake

Embrace your inner fairy princess and go for an A-line skirted ball gown where the waist nips in at the midsection of your ribcage.

If you’re busty… A sweetheart neckline is a lovely choice since it doesn’t create a blunt line across your décolletage (which can make it look shelf-like), plus this neckline won’t show too much cleavage either. It’s also important to look for a matte fabric as shiner blends like organza and satin can create the illusion of an exaggerated bust. Another attractive option to consider when dealing with a larger bust is an “illusion neckline,” which happens to be very on-trend for 2013 according to Francesca.

JLM Couture wedding gown | 100 Layer Cake

Show off your best assets and your fabulous curves in a strapless trumpet skirt gown such as the above by JLM Couture.

If you have a small chest… Dresses with wrapped or ruched bodices are your best friend as are halter gowns with v-fronts. Don’t forget that you can add some light padding to this area as well—that’s what cutlets were created for!

mermaid style silhouette wedding dress | 100 Layer Cake

If you have an hourglass figure… Lucky for you, nearly any cut will work with your figure (you can thank your mother later). If you want to play up your curves, Pitera suggests looking for a mermaid style silhouette with a fitted bodice or a ball gown to show off your well-defined waist.

mermaid style silhouette wedding dress | 100 Layer Cake

Select a shape that will show off your favorite asset—whether it’s your back, your neckline or your derrière.

If you’re plus-sized or very curvy… Search for something with an empire waist and a wrapped bodice. Styles that come to a v in front and gather just below the bust-line can be incredibly flattering as well, especially when they have a tempered floor length A-line skirt.

JLM Couture wedding gown | 100 Layer Cake

Every woman has beautiful collarbones and the wide shallow-scooped neckline on this JLM Couture gown is a wonderful way to show off that area.

What’s Trending in Bridal Fashion? According to Francesca, “The big trends for wedding dresses this year are of stunning illusion necklines, lace, soft sheer fabrics, layers and ruffled skirts, beautiful blush palettes and soft shades of champagne mixed with ivory,” says Francesca.

Are you a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor? Find out what’s expected of you in this Wedding Duties Guide.

The Golden Rule
When I asked Francesca what the biggest mistake brides-to-be make when selecting a wedding dress, she replied, “Not being true to your own personal style. Brides should stay true to what makes them feel beautiful and captures their individuality. Brides-to-be should wear something that they are comfortable in, something that captures their story and something that they can look back on many years later and still love.”

Which dress included in this post is your favorite? I am in love with all of them…

Do you have a bridal beauty or style question for me? Leave it below and I might just answer your question in my next post!

xx Alex

P.S. For more wedding day inspiration, be sure to check out my Wedding board on Pinterest along with the Wedding section on!

(top photo by The Image is Found, from this post)

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Social Love

@sashbuzz on May 15, 2013

How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress for Your Figure by

@RubyandSwallow on May 15, 2013

Great article from @100LayerCake about finding a dress to suit your size

@CandKphoto on May 15, 2013

Need help finding the perfect wedding dress for your figure? Take @laurenconradcom's great advice via @100LayerCake

@BeaucoupFavors on May 15, 2013

How to find the perfect wedding dress for your figure - #ww #weddinghour

@saweddingvenues on May 15, 2013

If you are looking for help in choosing your dream Wedding Dress for your shape, this is a must read!!

Wedding Venues on May 16, 2013

Great article... Thanks so much Kathy

@HHELtd on May 16, 2013

Hunting for the perfect wedding gown? This handy guide shows you how to select the ideal dress for your shape

Emily on May 20, 2013

I find the phrasing of the body types in this article to be degrading, as if you're looking to fit everyone into the 'ideal' body type dictated by the industry as what a perfect bride should look like. What if a woman is proud of being curvy, or athletic, hippy or plus sized? Dressing for your body type is a great thing but the way its phrased in this article is a little disappointing.

leslie on May 20, 2013

this is a great guide to shapes and cuts, but none of the models you chose have anything resembling large hips, thighs, stomachs, or bust. if you're going to show "bigger girls" how to shop for dresses, can you at least have the respect (and insight) to utilize models who exemplify the traits you're describing? of course a size 2 or 0 model is going to look good in an a-line dress with a fitted bust, she has nothing to hide. i'm disappointed at the double standard that's being represented here.

reem on May 21, 2013

Can u please help me I'm very very tall, thin, small bust (size B) and i really want to wear a dress that looks like this one is this the best thing for my body? natural waist ball gown and lace for the top

Tony on Jun 21, 2013

From all of the information above, I think my fiance is petite type. I guest I should find empire cut dress for my fiance.

Tina on Jul 23, 2013

What is the style number on that last dress? I went through every single member in the group, but could not find that last dress? Based on the model and the other dresses I saw I should be a Fall 2013. Any help would be appreciated.

Lindsey on Jul 23, 2013

I have been searching high and low for this dress: but I have no idea who the designer is and whether I can buy it anywhere (online or in a store). Any ideas? Thanks!

Wedding Headdress on Aug 21, 2013

I went through every single member in the group, but could not find that last dress?

Prom Dresses Albany on Jan 3, 2014

Beautiful post and wonderful selection! I knew regarding 1/2 them then again you enclosed some that I had never seen. The temporal arrangement for this one is ideal ME|on behalf of me} cause i am obtaining married in one month and it simply gets me within the wedding mood :) I love your prime lists!!

Sharalee on Jan 9, 2014

I clicked on the link to this article because I thought I was going to see women shaped like me (Athletic/curvy) well how disappointed was I! If you are going to write an article like this at least use women who are the shape you are describing. This has only made me feel even worse about my body!

Queen on Feb 18, 2014

I like the way you have nice pictures to go along with your detailed descriptions. I did a similar article on my blog recently and this one gave me some additional ideas and tips. Thanks.

Elizabeth Skaggs on Mar 5, 2014

Very disappointing to see that the models do not represent the body shapes to which you are referring.

Short Wide Bride on Mar 5, 2014

Agree with many other posters...what is the point of having an article about dresses for different body types, and then only showing pictures of one body type?

amanda on Mar 18, 2014

i hate the suggestions i always read about girls with big bellies getting an EMPIRE WAIST DRESS. that is the dumbest thing. a waist that high that sits directly under the bust like will undoubtedly make you look pregnant. i think a dropped waist with lots of structure is infnitely more flattering.

Rose on Apr 8, 2014

If you want to show us a dress guide for different body types why don't you use models with those body types?

Wedding Dancefloors London on May 18, 2014

Photography is awesome. Thanks for posting.

Cakes of Kenya on Sep 19, 2014

Was looking for an actual 100layer cake when I stumbled upon these gorgeous dresses, a dress is not just a dress, there is a fit for everyone :) Thanks so Much, Charity.

Trudy on Oct 26, 2014

Dear Lauren I am plus size. My bust size is 43. bra size is 34 j. My hip is 46 and tummy 34. What figure am I? My wedding is up and soon. finding fitting gown hasn't been easy. Pls advice me if you can.

Felice Morin on Apr 23, 2015

My wedding is in just under three months and I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about my dress. I'm glad I found this article because last time I tried on dresses I felt like I had no direction whatsoever. I'm definitely pretty petite so I'm glad you included tips about that in the article! Thanks so much for your blog, I'm definitely going to visit again!

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