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A Short Bride Can Make Herself Look Elegant, Tall & Slim With Just the "Right" Wedding Gown To Make It Happen!

Updated on January 21, 2019
Deborah McCoy profile image

Deborah McCoy is president of the American Academy of Wedding Professionals and is the author of bridal-reference books.

Short Bride? No Problem: Create the LOOK that makes YOU appear taller & slimmer!

If you're short, it only makes sense that you want to look taller, stately, and as elegant as you can on your wedding day. Being taller definitely has its benefits when it comes to trying on/purchasing clothes and especially when it comes to wedding gowns (they're made for people who are 5'7").

*But there's no reason why you can't achieve the same statuesque look of a bride who may be five or more inches taller than you are. It all comes down to your choice of a wedding gown.

There are definitely styles of bridal gowns that can give the illusion of height--and there are others that will actually make you look smaller than you are--and those are the ones you need to avoid.

So let's look at the first design type you should consider: The Empire...


The "empire" gown...  Photo: Alfred Angelo
The "empire" gown... Photo: Alfred Angelo

The "Empire" Wedding Gown...

The "empire" wedding gown has a seam under the bust-line, with the material flowing from that seam to the floor.

The gown may be strapless, or V-necked, or a halter style. It may even have sleeves, but the key is that the seam is under the bust-line, which makes the lower two-thirds of the body look longer and therefore, taller, (not to mention, slimmer).

Take a look at the above photo. That is a classic Empire design.

A classic A-line gown. Photo: Bellisima Couture.
A classic A-line gown. Photo: Bellisima Couture.

The "A-Line" Wedding Gown...

The other style of wedding gown that will make you look statuesque is the A-line. In the above photo, the dress flows, in two parallel seams, from the neckline to the floor.

The point is that the dress does not divide the body in the middle. Therefore, the dress makes the bride appear taller by focusing on the two lines that go vertically from the shoulders to the floor--and that's what the eye follows.

The A-line may be a strapless gown or off-the-shoulder, for example.

See the above photo.

A "natural" waistline cuts the body in half and will make a short bride look smaller.  Photo: Amsale Bridal.
A "natural" waistline cuts the body in half and will make a short bride look smaller. Photo: Amsale Bridal.

Short Bride? Two Designs You Should NOT Wear...

Any wedding gown that cuts you at the waistline and divides your body will make you look shorter. For that reason, avoid them. This includes the "natural waistline" (see above photo), and the "dropped" waistline, which falls about three or four inches (sometimes lower) from the natural waistline (see bottom photo).

These gowns divide the body in half and will make you look shorter (and heavier) when it's so easy, with the right selection of a gown, to make you look much taller and more stately than you ever thought possible.

The drop-waist gown (below) is particularly unforgiving. Unless you're tall, like the model, the bottom half of the dress will be totally out of proportion and appear much smaller than the top half (above the seam at the dropped waistline). This will make you appear squat. Stay away from them!


P.S. A pair of platform shoes won't hurt either! Just make sure they have excellent support. You don't want to fall off them in the middle of your "first dance".



The "drop waist" wedding gown.
The "drop waist" wedding gown. | Source

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