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Tips for plus size brides
Buying a wedding dress is a daunting task for any bride, but if you are looking for a plus size gown, you might think you are in for a stressful experience. This is often because in the past, bridal stores only had sample dresses in small sizes, making trying on gowns a very frustrating experience. The great news is that this is no longer the case and modern manufacturers are aware that women of all shapes and sizes get married!
Many bridal stores carry larger samples, and can have dresses made in sizes of up to around size 28 or 30. When calling bridal stores to make an initial appointment, do ask what sizes their samples go up to. If they cannot accommodate your needs, it is their problem, not yours.
There are whole ranges of stunning wedding gowns especially designed with plus size brides in mind. Three collections to look out for in the US are Jai Femme, Beautiful Brides Plus by Bridalane and Julietta by Mori Lee. Regular bridal designers may charge extra to cover the extra fabric and detailed measuring that is required. However designers who offer special plus size collections will not charge this extra fee.
You are recommended to start looking for your dream dress some eight months before the wedding in order to find a gown you love and to give enough time for the dress to be made. This is not a time to be rushing!
Here are some suggestions on styles that you might look for and avoid:
- Slim A-line dresses are flattering to a pear-shaped figure because they highlight the top half of the body and camouflage the lower half. Do not add a voluminous skirt as this will add bulk.
- Princess cut dresses have an A-line shape and no seam at the waist, which is very flattering to the figure. The skirt should flare out just below your natural waist, disguising a heavier bottom.
- A straight column style dress is great for brides who are short and on the heavy side, as it adds height and skims the curves.
- An empire line dress is another good style for fuller-figured brides who wish to accentuate their bust area and disguise wide hips.
Many plus sized brides prefer not to go for strapless dresses as they can feel exposed. Cap sleeves and wide straps are suitable for providing coverage for brides with a large bust as they draw attention away from the bustline. Three quarter sleeves are another good alternative.
Sheer fabrics like netting and tulle can be used to provide coverage without drawing attention to the chest area.
Subtle ruching across the waist and hip area, that is then gathered onto one side is very flattering for curvaceous figures. It is a good way of disguising a large tummy.
A bolero jacket can be used to hide big arms, but do make sure the sleeves are not too tight. The same applies if you choose a dress with sleeves. The best length is three-quarter length, and avoid puffed sleeves.
You may prefer to avoid a full ball gown this style gives the impression of roundness. You should perhaps avoid tea length gowns if you are short as they can make you look shorter and add the impression of heaviness to the ankles.
As well as style, the most important thing to remember is COMFORT. You need to be able to walk, talk, sit, eat and dance comfortably. The perfect dress is the one you forget you are wearing until you hear the compliments flowing!