18) Selecting the right gown for you
When selecting a gown, first check with the ceremony officiant or coordinator to make certain there are no religious restrictions on the gown you must wear. Certain faiths require a particular neck height or some style of sleeve. Choose a dress that is a style which is appropriate for the season and that you feel comfortable in, as well as one that looks attractive on you and is flattering to your figure. Watch how it moves when you walk and how it looks from the back (remember that most of your guests will see more of you from the back than any other way). Know what is best suited for your body type.
These general guidelines may be helpful in selecting a dress that is best for your figure type:
19) If You Are Short and Petite (5'4" and under), look for salons which carry petite sized dresses. To create an illusion of height, you will want a dress with seams or lace appliqu6s which run up and down lengthwise. You may want to consider a high neckline, A line, empire, or princess silhouettes, small collars and cuffs, short sleeves or sleeveless with long gloves, or dresses that are trim at the neckline and shoulders to draw the eye upward. You should stay away from a belt, unless it is a very narrow one. Also, consider a chapel train with a floor length veil. Try to avoid frills and excessive detailing.
20) If You Are Tall and Slender (5'9" plus), you will want to look for dresses with trims that wrap completely around the gown and veil, wide midriffs and sashes, large collars, big cuffs, raglan or butterfly sleeves, flared or tiered skirts and low necklines.
21) If You Are Thin, you can choose fabrics that are softly draping or heavier and have texture or a bold pattern. They may have a sheen, nap, or horizontal ribbing, such as satins, velvets, and brocades. Choose a dress with a full, gathered, or dirndl skirt with lots of ornamentation. Consider long, full sleeves, a bloused bodice top, a cropped jacket, a sash in a contrasting color, or a wide sculpted collar.
22) If You Are a Stick Figure with little shape, you will need to create one. Ornamentation should appear on both upper and lower body to provide balance in both areas. Gowns with oversized shoulders, a jewel or bateau neckline and elaborately detailed sleeves are best. You also want a large skirt with horizontal styling made in a fabric that will hold its shape. Try to avoid high waisted dresses or slim silhouettes with vertical styling which will make you look still taller and thinner.
23) If You Are Pear Shaped, which is narrow above the waist and heavy below, you will want to choose a gown with a long, textured bodice and abundant trim. This creates the illusion of a fuller upper body, while drawing the eyes to that area. Full sleeves that extend the shoulder also help. The skirt should accentuate the waist and be simple, with controlled fullness. Stay away from slim, sheath silhouettes; very full skirts; heavy ornamentation in the hip area; and high necklines which make the shoulder look narrower.
24) If You Have an Hour Glass Shape, with your bust and hip measurements being equal and your waist about ten inches smaller than either, you will want to make the most of your waist by balancing your proportions in simple classic lines. Off the shoulder sleeves and plunging necklines are fine. You do not want too much detail on the bodice or skirt; they have a tendency to make you look too heavy.
25) If You Are Full Figured, consider a princess silhouette featuring vertical panels with no waist seam or the straight, sleek lines of a chemise. Avoid heavy materials, clinging materials, bold patterns, contrasting colors, or figure hugging styles, such as the sheath or trumpet skirt. You might want to consider choosing a floating material that will help to hide the pounds. To minimize hips, a dropped V waist will be most flattering. Leg of mutton sleeves, which are full and then taper downward, flatter full arms. Intricate embroidery near the neckline draws attention to your facial features as will a V or shallow U neckline. Vertical beading on the center, rather than the sides, of the gown elongates the body. Consider carefully before choosing abundant ruffles, flounces, or layers of lace that may add inches to your proportions.
26) If You Have a Thick Midriff and Waist, choose the slimming effect of a lifted waistline and A-line skirt. Avoid tight waists, belts and cummerbunds, and shaped midriffs in contrasting colors.
27) If You Have a Very Slender Midriff and Waist, accentuate your features with a dress featuring a well defined midriff, a gathered or pleated skirt, and a natural or sashed waistline.
28) If You Have Narrow Shoulders, drape them with cape collars or capelets. Accentuate them with sleeves that gather at the top, necklines that are bare or widely curved, and shoulder pads built into the dress.
29) If You Have Broad Shoulders, look for dresses with smooth set in sleeves, low V necklines or high, covered necks. Avoid puffed or leg of-mutton sleeves, bare necklines, broad collars, haltered tops and shoulder pads.
30) If You Are Big Busted, you may wish to stay with elongated bodices and necklines that are V-or U shaped or high with a keyhole yoke. Avoid cinched waists, empire styles that come up high under the bust, and clingy fabrics that accentuate your fullness. Choose instead full, billowing skirts with lots of ornamentation, which will create a curvier lower body. Keep sleeves simple with a natural shoulder line, and avoid adornments on the bodice.
31) If You Have Wide Hips, choose an A line or gently flared half circle of a skirt, and balance yourself top and bottom b selecting a broad y collar or portrait neckline and puffed sleeves.
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