A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Perfect Formal Wedding Guest Dress for Your Body Type

May 27, 2023

You may need to dress differently than usual depending on where the wedding occurs. For example, a black-tie event will likely require women to wear a dark-colored dress covering more of their bodies.

You will also need to consider the season and your style. Choosing the right dress will help you feel confident and look great.

Petite Body

Finding the perfect formal wedding guest dresses can be challenging for five-foot-tall or shorter women. However, with the proper knowledge, you can easily find a dress that will flatter your figure while making a statement. First, you’ll need to identify your body shape. Those with a pear body shape have proportioned shoulders and hips and a defined waist. These women should avoid dresses that are too tight around the stomach area and settle for those that offer a flowy skirt. They should also focus on enhancing the curves of their legs and arms. Those with an oval-shaped body should consider a body-hugging style to help balance their broad shoulders and total bust.

A long-sleeved dress can be great for fall and winter events if you're petite. You can also find a dress with sleeves fitted to the wrists or wide lace sleeves that can be worn unbuttoned for a more relaxed look. Wrap dresses are also suitable for petite women, as they can create a slimming vertical line.

Petite women can also wear midi dresses to about the knee or above the ankle. Skirts that are cinched at the waist can also work well for petites. For summer events, choose a sleeveless dress in a bright color or a floral print. You can also opt for a jumpsuit, another great option for petite women, because it can cover more of your legs without making you look short.

Plus-Sized Body

The perfect formal wedding guest dress for your body shape should highlight your best features while being comfortable throughout the day. This can be accomplished by determining your natural silhouette, which is easy to do with the help of some measuring tape. Measure the circumference of your shoulders, waist, hips, and thighs to discover which part of your body is broader or narrower. From there, you can determine your body type and how to dress for different occasions.

If you’re attending a wedding that requires black-tie attire, your dress should be a bit more conservative in color and style. You may also want to consider a dress with long sleeves. This option is great for fall and winter weddings because it will keep you warm while still allowing you to show some skin, but not too much.

Women with apple-shaped bodies typically have full breasts, a slim waistline, and narrow hips. Choosing a dress that flatters your curves and transfers attention to your bust can be a huge confidence booster for women with this body type.

No matter your body shape, there’s a formal wedding dress out there that’s perfect for you! Shop your favorite online stores, including Revolve, Express, and Nordstrom, to find the right apparel for the occasion. You can also check out the selections at department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s to find a formal dress that suits your budget.

Pear or Triangle-Shaped Body

Women with a pear or triangle body shape typically have wider hips and shoulders but slimmer waists. They also have well-proportioned thin arms. The key to dressing a pear body shape is to balance the silhouette by adding weight to the upper half and de-emphasizing the hips and thighs. Nipped tops and dresses with a defined waist are great for this body type as they draw attention upwards. Bold colors, patterns, and details on the shoulders and bust area also help add visual weight to this shape.

Generally, sleeve lengths should be longer to add weight to the upper body and avoid narrow necklines that can accentuate this shape’s shoulder width. Wider sleeve widths like cap and puff sleeves look good as they add a feminine touch to the overall outfit. Alternatively, sleeves that taper toward the wrist can be more flattering for a pear-shaped body and will create the illusion of longer arms.

Dresses that are fit and flare will also work on a pear-shaped body. However, if you prefer something more fitted and straight-lined, an A-line skirt is also suitable, as it will define your waist to balance your silhouette. Dresses with a halter neck or off-the-shoulder neckline are also flattering for this body shape as they visually enlarge the shoulders and draw attention to this upper body area.

Round/Oval Body

Women with oval body shapes have narrow hips and wide busts. This figure type looks excellent in dresses that highlight their shoulders and legs. Dresses with long sleeves and a high neckline are a perfect choice. Tops that nip at the waist and flare out toward the bottom are flattering. Avoid skirts that are too short, as this can make you look top-heavy.

A-line skirts that skim over the tummy area work well for this figure type, and midi styles are also excellent. This pink floral print midi dress is perfect for summer weddings, and the cowl neck and front tie detail create a gorgeous silhouette. Add a pair of pumps and a clutch bag for a complete look.

If you have an invitation to a winter or fall wedding, choose a dark-colored dress made from a lightweight fabric. For example, velvet is a stunning material for a winter wedding. This plum-colored long-sleeved midi dress is just as beautiful, and the gathered details at the sides and back are particularly flattering.

If you’re attending a black tie or other fancier wedding, opt for a full-length dress fitted at the top with a full skirt. The gown can be solid or feature prints such as stripes, flowers, polka dots, and other classic patterns.


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I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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