The fashion industry, particularly runway fashion, has come under fire many times for a lack of diversity. But tellingly, it isn’t only minorities that are being under-represented.
As Editor-in-chief of Black Bride Magazine, Chatman laments that not only are bridal models generally white, but there is far too little models for curvier, or even just different, body types.
As we continue to push for more inclusivity, it’s also important to recognize that brides of all shapes and sizes can look gorgeous on their wedding day.
The trick? Finding the dress that flatters your body shape. If you’re an hourglass shape, most styles will work.
Petite: Women who are on on the petite side want to make sure they don’t overwhelm their short stature. Rather than a voluminous ball gown, opt for a classic A-line, which won’t overwhelm you. Even better: trumpets and mermaids create curves and elongate legs.
Athletic: Muscular arms and legs should also be celebrated. Halter necklines are a great way to show off arms, and more fitted silhouettes will create the illusion of curves.
Curvy & Plus Size: Have a lot of curves? What dress you opt for depends on what you want–or don’t want–to accentuate. To show off those curves, go with a drop waist and trumpet or mermaid silhouette with ruching in the bodice and midsection. The attention will be drawn away from the midsection and to beautiful curves. A-lines are also a great option, if you want to show a little less curve.
Big Bust: No matter how much you feel comfortable showing or want to conceal, bigger busts need support. Go for a scoop, off the shoulder, or bateau neckline. Straps or sleeves add extra support for dancing the night away. Focus detailing or beading more on the skirt of the dress and opt for a simpler bodice.
Small Bust: Want to create the illusion of curves? Sweetheart necklines are romantic and can range from elegant to sultry. Also a good pick: soft v-necklines. Bodices with lots of detailing or beading will also create the illusion of a bigger bust.
Just a little more coverage: Sleeves always should be on the table, whether it’s because you have larger arms you don’t want to show off, or simply because of cooler weather. Cap sleeves are great for toned lower arms. Illusion, long, and mid length sleeves elongate arms overall.
And a note about ball gowns: Ball gowns are stunning. Can you pull it off? Even if you think you can’t, you usually can: you’ll want to discuss fabric options that would be most flattering on your shape, and balance the full skirt out with a more fitted bodice. Opt for lighter material if you don’t like the weight of a ballgown, and you can always opt for a fuller A-line for the same appeal.