How to choose a style to suit your body type

Whatever your body type is, check out our guide to creating a balanced look on your wedding day…


Bottom Heavy

Be proud of your womanly curves! Some of the most beautiful women in showbiz are bottom heavy – just look at J Lo or Beyonce! However, there are some things you can do to balance with the top half of your figure.



  • pick darker shades for your bottom half and stick to low‐waisted styles that elongate your torso
  • use interesting detail on the top half, such as an elaborate bodice or heavy jewellery, to distract attention from the hips
  • off the shoulder styles look great on this enviably feminine shape


  • wearing gathered, pleated or long gypsy style skirts will add bulk to the hips due to the extra fabric
  • high waisted styles will give the appearance of even bigger hips
  • halter neck style are not best suited to this shape

Broad Shoulders

If your shape is triangular, with the hips much smaller than the shoulder, you have an athletic look and there are things you can do to give a softer, feminine look.


  • either wear low cut hipster styles to make the most of your narrow waist and hips or go for higher waisted styles give the illusion of curves in the hip area.
  • a sweetheart neckline will have the effect of breaking up the breadth of the shoulders and enhancing the bust area.
  • accessorise with stunning jewellery to draw attention towards your face and neck.


  • halter‐necks, off‐the‐shoulder styles and puff sleeves are best avoided for you.
  • excessively loose styles can create bad body proportions for this shape.

Short Neck

This can make even the skinniest of women look frumpy. You can’t change the way a short neck looks but you can choose the right clothes to minimise the effect.


  • plunging V neck tops will create an illusion of length in neck area.
  • use delicate or minimum jewellery as you don’t want to attract attention to the area.


  • wearing a high neck will give the effect of slicing an already short neck into half.

Small Chest

Having this body type means that you can pretty much have a field day with daring styles as you can probably go bra‐less without worrying about lack of support.


  • try out daring styles like strapless, backless and off the shoulder.
  • choose sleeveless tops and halter necks to focus attention on your neck and shoulders, rather than your chest.
  • with Indian outfits choose one with interesting detail or embroidery across the front.
  • Wear heavy jewellery such as a rani haar, which falls lower down on the chest.


  • tight fitting corsets or low‐cut plunging necklines will only emphasize what is not there.

Top Heavy

To balance the lower half you need to divert the eye downward towards the rest of your body.


  • slender bottoms and skirts for a slim silhouette.
  • a deep V neckline will have the effect of breaking up a large front and bringing more attention to your neck and collarbone.
  • off the shoulder is a romantic alternative to strapless styles and is particularly good for disguising heavier upper arms.
  • use simple detailing on the bodice or choli to avoid making it a bigger feature than it is.
  • glamorous saris in silks a la Madhuri Dixit
  • wearing salwar kameez with the dupatta across the chest.


  • wide belts will cut you in half visually and over‐emphasize your chest area.
  • halter necks and sleeveless tops will make your chest look like hills in a valley.
  • fussy corsets and tops will invariably make you look frumpy

Tall and Thin

You only need to look at the top models to see that this shape looks great in most styles, but you may need to make a bit of an effort to create a curvy and feminine look.


  • strapless tops enhance the neck and shoulders area and looks best on women who have well defined necks, collar bones and arms. Combine with extravagant jewellery.
  • delicate detailed embroidery and soft shades create a more feminine look.
  • classy, simple styles with soft, clingy vertical lines are great on this shape.


  • long waists will only make the body look longer.
  • high heels are best avoided, especially if the groom is shorter than you.

Petite Build

This is a category that a lot of South Asian women fall into. However, it is not impossible to create an illusion of height. Your goal should be to elongate your appearance.


  • a monochromatic outfit gives an illusion of length as that there’s no dividing line.
  • mermaid‐cut lehenga fitted to the mid‐thigh and flaring out.
  • vertical stripes will help lengthen the leg area.
  • high heeled shoes under the lehenga can help add some height.
  • when wearing salwar kameez, the kameez should end just above the knee to make your legs appear longer.
  • a scooped or round neckline, combine with elegant jewellery.
  • halter neck style if you are smaller busted.


  • a full skirt could make you look almost lost in it.
  • close fitted trouser styles as these will make your legs look short.
  • long flowing salwar kameez could look like it’s drowning you.

Useful Tips:

  • Select a style that reflects your personality and that you feel comfortable in.
  • Choose a colour and cut of dress that flatters your complexion and body shape.
  • The outfit must match the mood of the venue, theme of the wedding and weather.

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