As Wedding Know How editors, we write about things that we love and we think you'll like too. We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you.
The right wedding dress should not only make you look good but feel good too, regardless of your body type and size. With plus-size women representing 68% of shoppers, there are more wedding dress designs available than ever before, meaning that if you’re a curvy plus sized bride to be, you have a lot of options out there.
But not every dress will suit every bride.
It’s important to consider the wedding dress silhouettes that will suit your figure best and show it to advantage. Let’s take a look at the best wedding dresses for plus sized brides to make you feel and look your absolute best.
The A-Line Silhouette for the Plus Sized Bride
A-Line Dress for Plus Sized Brides by La Sabina Plus Size. Check price here.
If you’re looking for more coverage and wanting to be more discreet, the A-line dress, which is a universal design that suits most body types, is an excellent choice.
The design is similar to the letter A, with a narrow top gradually flaring as it reaches the bottom. For a curvy bride with wider hips, the A-line provides a skirt that balances the proportions of your body.
This silhouette is perfect at defining the waist while hiding any unflattering bulges or larger lower half under the flared skirt. The result is a gorgeously proportioned figure, with a clearly defined waist.
The Dropped Waist for The Plus Sized Bride
Flapper Style Wedding Dress by Gatsby Lady. Check price here.
Another excellent option is a wedding dress with a dropped waist which can complement your curves in all the right places.
The drop waist dress, also known as the flapper dress, is designed with a low waist that allows the lower half of the dress to fall more in line with the hips than at the natural level of the waist. This dress style suits larger brides as it gives the illusion of lengthening the body. The elongated bodice of a dropped waist gown defines the waist, making you appear taller.
However, note that this style can be unforgiving, depending on the type of fabric it’s made of. Choose a more structured fabric to avoid unnecessary clinginess and highlighting of unflattering aspects of your body.
The Ball Gown for The Plus Sized Bride
Ballgown Wedding Dress by Brides and Tailor. Check price here.
Another design that brings out the best of curves is the ballgown which is very similar to the A-line, with the key difference being that the ball gown has a fuller skirt. It’s more of a princess-style design, perfect if you’ve always wanted that big white wedding.
The ball gown highlights the upper half of the body and shows off your waist, accentuating this slimmest part of the torso. For the plus sized bride, the ball gown enhances the upper half and allows the flowing fabric to hide a large lower body.
However, a word of warning. For brides with a large upper body, the ballgown can make you look overlarge. If you feel this is the case, the less fuller skirts of the A-line silhouette would be a better alternative.
The Fit and Flare (a.k.a. Mermaid or Trumpet) For The Plus Sized Bride
Mermaid Style Wedding Gown by IJ Bridal Official. Check price here.
One excellent option for plus sized brides is the fit and flare style, which includes mermaid and trumpet designs. If you aren’t sure what the difference is between mermaid and trumpet silhouettes, we cover it in this article.
A fit and flare wedding gown has a figure-hugging bodice and a skirt that flares beneath the hips. These tend to compliment the curvy upper body while giving an illusion of added height. The mermaid wedding dress silhouette has its skirt flaring out below the knees. These dresses are fitted and accentuate the waist. The trumpet wedding dress silhouette has a skirt that flares around the thighs, giving the illusion of longer legs.
For the plus sized bride, these styles are most flattering fabric like organza is used along with ruching that creates a 3-dimensional look and emphasises the curves and contours of the figure while still hiding any unflattering aspects.
The Sheath Dress for The Plus Sized Bride
Sheath Wedding Gown by Shop Coffee and Cotton. Check price here.
Opting for a sheath dress can make any bride appear taller and leaner, making this an ideal option for plus sized brides.
Similar to the sheath of a sword, this silhouette is a narrow long dress that skims the body in an uninterrupted line from top to bottom. It can be loose or tight, depending on the design and your preference and particularly complements full figured brides with proportional body curves.
An added bonus with the sheath wedding dress silhouette is that it can be an effortless dress to wear making it more comfortable, as it requires less fabric than other silhouettes.
Tips to Consider When Selecting the Perfect Plus Sized Wedding Dress
Now that you have covered the basics on wedding dress silhouettes, here are some additional bridal fashion tips that you should consider when selecting your perfect dress.
- Consider using an inbuilt corset with your dress as it tends to shapen your body and gives you a slimmer appearance. The corset gives a lot of support while emphasising the waist and carving out the curves of a full-figured bride beautifully.
- Consider the neckline. While the sweetheart neckline is the most popular, a silhouette with straps or sleeves allow you to avoid strap free silhouettes that may not fit your figure well or need to be hoisted up. Further, straps and sleeves provide a supporting element that will add to your comfort while being stylish and beautiful. Since its runway hit in 2015, the illusion high neck has been a fashion trend suitable for any wedding type and gives the look of a long, lean neck for the full-figured bride.
- Choosing a wedding dress silhouette with a high-low hemline can create the illusion of height as it tends to elongate the legs. The high-low hemline adds drama as it is quite unconventional and is best suited for an avant garde bride that wants to stand out.
- Why not consider non-traditional wedding attire, like bridal jumpsuits? These suit the modern bride who prefers to have the best of both worlds. Unlike wedding dress silhouettes, jumpsuits allow brides to be comfortable on their special day while providing shape and structure that accentuates the waist and legs. For a plus sized bride with proportional curves, the jumpsuit can be very flattering.
- Sleeves tend to flatter your upper body allowing the plus sized bride to have just enough upper arm coverage that can add to style and romance.
- Wedding dress alterations are costly but it’s generally more expensive to make a dress bigger than smaller. Aim to find a dress that best fits the largest area of your body and have the dress tailored to fit the smaller areas, saving you money in the process.
- Look for ruching as this can flatter a plus sized figure while giving the dress a lot more structure. When a dress is ruched in asymmetrical patterns, this gives a vertical shape to the gown and draws the eye up to the face. Overall, look for asymmetry in detailing which balances out the proportions and adds in an artistic factor.
Tulle and Lace Wedding Dress by La Sabina Plus Size. Check price here.
- Avoid sheer or clingy fabrics like chiffon or charmeuse, as they tend to highlight the contours. Instead, opt for fabrics such as taffeta, organza, lace, and duchess satin that flatter the curvy figure due to their more structured style.
- Most designers offer their dress sizes up to size 24. If your size is not available on the rack, go ahead and contact the label. At times there could be an extra charge as the sizes go up, but it could be worth it.
Note that these are all guidelines. At the end of the day, the important thing is how you feel about the dress you’re going to wear as that will impact on your confidence which in turn, impacts on how you look.