How to Find a Wedding Gown That Flatters Your Figure

David Tutera, star of WEtv’s David Tutera’s CELEBrations, shares tips on finding a dress that flatters you best.

Flattering Gowns
Photo: Justin Alexander Signature

That special moment is approaching... the doors will swing open, and you’ll walk down the aisle in a dress that had you in tears the first time you tried it on. Your wedding dress is one of the most important garments you’ll ever wear, so you must ensure that you’re wearing the most flattering dress for your body type.

If you’re shopping for your dress and don’t know where to start... that’s what I’m here for. There are a few things you should know before you start trying on every dress in the showroom, which could take way too long and could get very exhausting. Here are some facts to keep in mind (and use to impress the bridal consultant who’s helping you!):

• There are 200 (count ’em) shades of wedding white — may no bride ever say “I don’t look good in white!”

• Silhouettes include A-line, ballgown, empire and trumpet (sometimes called-fit-and- flare or mermaid); necklines include halter, sweetheart, strapless and many more.

• Fabrics include silk, chiffon, organza, lace, tulle, taffeta and more.

Your Body Type

The key is to flatter your body and work to accentuate your best assets to look amazing in a gown that compliments your every move. Don’t shop without this guide.


You’re a ruler if you have an undefined waist, regular bust and great legs and arms.

I dos: Look for spaghetti straps, dropped or cinched waists, V-necks and A-line gowns with a bit of flare at the hemline.
I don'ts: Nix any dresses that are overly clingy or tight on top.
Ruler celebs: Cameron Diaz, Courteney Cox, Keira Knightley.


You’re an hourglass if you have symmetrical shoulders and hips, a full, shapely bust and distinctly defined waist.

I dos: Go for gowns that enhance your bust and waist, V-neck or scooped necklines, and halter tops.
I don'ts: Stay away from gowns that are too loose or overwhelming in size.
Hourglass celebs: Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson. 


You’re an apple if you have a full face and neck, broad shoulders and a full chest.

I dos: Look for empire or raised waists, fitted corsets and bodices, tops with detail or movement and drop V-necklines.
I don'ts: Avoid billowing ballgown skirts and voluminous layers of tulle.
Apple celebs: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tyra Banks, Drew Barrymore. 


You’re a pear if you have a nar- row back and shoulders, small to medium bust, curvy hips and backside and full legs.

I dos: When shopping, seek out wide-set straps, halter tops, gowns with scooped, draped, V-necked, rounded or squared necklines.
I don'ts: Stay away from body-hugging gowns (mermaid) as well as ballgown skirts.
Pear celebs: Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira.

Shopping Tips

Time is Ticking. Be very conscious of time when ordering your dress. Many brides forget that dresses take six to eight months to order on top of multiple fittings and alterations by a seamstress. Begin early (but not so early that you second-guess your choice) — rush fees can be very costly!

Be Yourself. I always encourage my girls to be who they are on their wedding day. That’s why the dresses I create are inspired by the many different personalities of each and every bride. You should look and feel beautiful in your dress; it should makes you feel like your best self. Please — don’t settle for anything less!