One thing that all brides want to make sure of and that’s always.. will the dress suit me? Body shape and type will inevitably come into the equation… BUT let’s stop right there for a min. There’s a few things I wanna make crystal in this blog post and the first one is this… it is your wedding and it is your day and you can wear whatever the hell you want. End of story. If that’s a short dress, a black dress, a white traditional style dress, purple with yellow spots.. anyone else’s opinion is irrelevant. If you love it then you wear it! Will it be to everyones taste? Course not, but you’ll have the biggest smile on your face that’s coming from within and that part is priceless. Whether the dress costs 10euro or 10,000euro – you can’t fake that feeling.
Speaking of which one key thing for me with brides is creating that feeling. You know that feeling when your hair has gone well, your make up is on point, even the brows are behaving, and you just feel so GOOD. Confident, happy and there is just a magic glow coming from inside. A dress should make you feel like that by a million times. So that’s the focus – the colour, style, length, sleeves or not that will all come into play. First is the feeling. As i’ve said above that can’t be faked because it just takes over your body – your smile and your body language are tell tales signs. I’m quite astute with picking up vibes and I can’t tell the second if a bride is uncomfortable and 9 times out of 10 it’s in the shoulders. They hunch up to the ears and it’s a dead giveaway. So i’ve done a lot of research across the net and what i’ve found is a few tidbits of info in different articles, but the main focus of the article is to push a particular designer or bridal store. So, read on for my perspective whether you shop with me or with anyone else this blog post will hopefully give you some insight!
You know your own body shape better than anyone. No matter how much ‘experience’ any one has in the bridal industry you are the one best placed to determine what you are comfortable in. Although you may not be aware of the style you want, believe me when I say the MINUTE you try on something and you’re comfortable in it, you’ll know in an instant. So, don’t worry if you’re feeling that you’ll never know what suits you.. trust me you will. So just remember your own style and keep what you know about your own body front and centre in your mind. Yes, be open to trying different styles – sometimes that’s literally when gold is struck – but don’t discount your gut feeling. In some cases, with bridal stores the assistant is not interested in your dress. It’s sad but it’s the truth. Some sales assistants take their job so seriously and give their heart and soul to finding the perfect dress for a bride. Others are well.. sales assistants. They want to make a sale. More on that here. There are countless stories and feedback from brides to be ending up with something entirely not suitable, something they don’t even like, and the worst part is their confidence getting a knock because of the experience. If you’re a strong minded and confident woman reading this thinking.. nah that won’t happen to me.. think again. People have parted with hundreds – nonrefundable hundreds – in bridal stores. The fact is some – and I do say just some – are geared and structured to create a panic buy situation. You will hear things like..
The fabric is going out of stock
Oh, that one is being discontinued next week
In some cases, it might be true, but in a lot of cases it’s to create a shortage of supply in your mind making you want to buy it right there and then, so you don’t miss out. FOMO at its best and its most expensive. Its basic business of supply and demand. If someone thinks there is little supply of something human nature makes us want it more. So, a very long-winded way of saying listen to your own thoughts and your gut feeling. If it’s a dress that you adore but you’re not ready to make a decision don’t be afraid to reach out directly to the designer to ask if it’s being discontinued.
In this particular blog post I’m going to cover the fuller bust, the blessed, the cursed, the big boobed. Whatever you like to call it because everyone’s perspective is different. In my experience those that have it don’t want it and those that don’t.. do. Everyone is different.
Do your research..
When it comes to wedding dress shopping with a fuller bust what you want and what you need are options. Research the stores before you book an appointment to see if any of their dresses can be altered/tweaked to accommodate wearing a full bra. Also ask for a rough estimate of the cost of tweaking a design as you might find the cost of that can push your budget over its limits. If most of their styles are backless boho type dresses and cannot be tweaked I would argue don’t waste your time.
Once you have a store than can accommodate specific requests you are definitely on to a winner. You find a dress and completely fall in love with it.. colour, style, fabric and cut and if it can be tweaked for you and your body and within budget then that’s the ultimate dream.
With a full bust what you want to avoid is a large plane of fabric covering the bust with no gap, detail or any other element to ‘break’ the fabric as such. If you’re reading this and have a fuller bust do a bit of an experiment at home. You’ll need an old t shirt and a scissors! Get an old fit for the bin large round neck t-shirt – his possibly and try it on and stand in the mirror. Looking at the bust area you will note there is nothing to take the eye away and as result focus is on the bust entirely. Take the t shirt off and with the scissors in the centre of the round neck make a cut from the neck line down towards the bust, depending on your torso length maybe 8 or 9 inches. Put the t shirt back on and you will note the the slit running down the front. Fold these fabric parts inside the t shirt and you have created a v neck t-shirt. Examine the area again and note adding the v-neck ‘breaks’ the fabric. This experiment is to give you a visual. Basic as it sounds it can demonstrate on your own body what this can look like.
So, anything with a halter/high neck, high round neck may not suit a bigger bust for this reason. However – what can come into play here is body proportion. So, don’t immediately dismiss these styles. Try them on and see what it’s like on your body and see how you feel. Sometimes a style that wouldn’t generally work on a particular figure can just hang on the body so perfectly and although in theory it shouldn’t work.. sometimes it just does. So, try them and see for yourself on your own body. You might get a surprise.
In general terms along a fuller bust area what we need to do is soften the area from an aesthetic point of view. Adding a change in the fabric cut, direction or adding embellishments directs the eyeline to that area and again can ‘break’ the fabric. Normally this change will be structured in a v-shape to elongate the torso. Even the most subtle of sweetheart neckline can have a big impact.
This next part may seem counter intuitive entirely but don’t rule out a dress with a plunge neck line covered in by illusion fabric. This plunge effect can elongate the torso perfectly and that’s what we are trying to do. A plunging neckline with a fuller bust gives the illusion of length along a horizontal plane. I know you might be thinking holy moly the girls will be all over the place! Not so much once there is enough infrastructure and support in the dress. Also alterations are your absolutely best friend. If you decide on a plunge neck and for some reason change your mind it can be tapered in during alterations.
The bateau.. cue Meghan Markle! This kind of neck line is more commonly known as a boat neck and the rim of the dress runs underneath the collar bone. Traditionally used by sailors as the wide neck facilitated a quick removal if they went overboard. In fashion the bateau dips below the collar bone and off the edge of the shoulder. It’s both elegant and sexy at the same time. The idea of this is to draw the eye up to this area and away from the bust. You will see the v detail in the front of the bust to break the plane of fabric.
Strapless… yep I said it!
Strapless. Yes, I said strapless. This can work. I can hear all the gasps from here! But this can work for any woman. The key is the internal infrastructure and shape of the dress. If the dress is an empire line – seam runs under the bust and then the dress hangs to the floor – this won’t work as the weight of the dress will pull the fabric down. Essentially it will be exactly what you’re thinking, and you’ll be pulling it up and fixing it all day long.
Where this will work is on a style of dress that tapers in at the waist and then flows down. Once the dress tapers at the waist an internal boning infrastructure can be built in. What this means is there will be plastic strips called bones running through the inside of the dress from the neckline to the waist. They are located an inch or 2 apart and run from the front of the dress to the back. When the dress is securely closed this boning infrastructure wraps around your torso and is designed to sit on the hips. Once the cup size is correct, the boning is included and the dress tapers at the waist a strapless one is possible for all bust sizes. When all of the above is achieved try as you might but you will not pull this dress down. Coming back to that feeling that I mentioned at the start – if the dress, regardless of neckline, colour or fabric makes you feel good then that’s what you need to pay attention to.
A lot of the time I get questions on what style will suit a bride. If you’re a bride and wondering this very thing the first thing I advise is to examine your own wardrobe and look back at pics of yourself when you had occasion to really dress up. Examine the style, is it round neck, v neck, strappy, cap sleeves etc. You may not realise it but there generally is a theme running through your clothes and its only when you look for it it becomes apparent what you naturally gravitate towards. This is essential as this is a tried and test style for you and you have felt comfy in it in the past. This can be a great starting point to have an idea before you go dress shopping!
I’m happy to help and offer advice if needed just get in touch