By the time you’re ready to begin the wedding planning process, you will probably have already accumulated a Pinterest-packed list of dreamy, aisle-ready dresses.
But as you may or may not know, most bridal shops only book hour-long appointments, so if you can whittle down your selections before hitting the dressing room, your shopping experience will be infinitely more productive.
One way to do that is by choosing a silhouette that showcases your best assets and conceals any flaws. We picked five popular body types—column, full-bosomed, hourglass, petite, and plus-sized—and complemented each with an array of sartorial stunners, hot off this year’s bridal runways.
If you think this lacy halter gown from Francesca Miranda may be too revealing for a larger bust, think again. Straight-across necklines will actually help minimize the appearance of those bodacious beauties.
Or, wear this straight-across dress from Monique Lhuillier with a shorter hemline to draw attention southbound.
If you want to wear a sweetheart-necked dress down the aisle, pick one with a full skirt to balance the top-half of your frame. Channel your inner Scarlett O’Hara in this decadent, pink-and-white floral design from Romona Keveza.
Pair a sophisticated scoop neckline with a figure-balancing faux peplum. Carolina Herrera‘s “Cara” sleeveless silk georgette sheath bears an embroidered illusion neckline and a short train to make a lovely entrance, and exit.
A glitzy belt detail is a glamorous way to highlight a petite waist. This silver beaded dress from Jenny Packham would be glorious for a vintage or Art Deco-themed celebration.
An hourglass is one of the best body types to pull off a true trumpet silhouette—a popular style that flares out just above the knee. The “Cornelia” strapless tulle dress from Naeem Khan features a floral lace bodice and a sweetheart neckline.
Consider a wedding dress, such as the “Alyne” sheath from Rita Vinieris, with a long slit to show off your great gams.
Don’t hide your best assets beneath yards of fabric, let them shine through. Taking inspiration from the sea, Victoria KyriaKides incorporated multiple cutouts, lace floral patterns, and a pleated skirt to create this romantic look.
Dresses with high-low hemlines, like Pronovias‘ delicate “Yaela” lace gown, magically make legs look longer.
For petite brides, simplicity reigns supreme. This silk crepe mermaid dress with crystal details from Reem Acra is both striking and minimalistic.
A dropped-waist or mermaid silhouette isn’t off limits. Opt for slim cut, like this one from Jim Hjelm for JLM Couture which features a strapless, ivory gold Chantilly lace gown, a crystal embroidered belt, and a two-tiered skirt over tulle with a chapel train.
Vera Wang‘s strapless silk crepe mermaid wedding dress with a cutout back and cowl detail would be lovely for a beach wedding.
The silk dupioni “Agnes” gown from Lea-Ann Belter hugs curves perfectly with a sculpted bodice, a dramatic mermaid skirt, and meticulous draping.
A basque waistline (identified by its u- or v-shaped waist) enhances a plus-sized figure beautifully. Maggie Sottero offers a modern take on the organza ballgown, accenting the bodice and waist with Swarovski crystals and intricate beading.
Complex embroidery adds allure (sans the bulk) to a streamlined silhouette. Available at David’s Bridal, this limited edition floral jacquard trumpet gown by Oleg Cassini has a rear-tiered cascade skirt, ideal for the lady who enjoys a dramatic exit.
A sheath-like silhouette with a high neckline and a short train can help streamline any look. This ethereal gown from Oscar de la Renta has a gathered waist, a sheer lace bodice, and a ruched, sweetheart neckline.