Retro Wedding Dresses for Your Full Figure Shape

The right retro-style dress will finish your wedding look.

Photo: NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Vintage or retro wedding dress styles can flatter a wide range of figures, including voluptuous vixens, for pinup-perfect style. Gowns inspired by vintage dresses range from romance novel-ready empire waist regency styles to full-skirted 50s dresses. Pick a shape and style that flatters your body, whether you're showing off stunning shoulders, emphasizing your hourglass curves or going all-out glam.

Hourglass Figures

If you have a classic hourglass figure, with a small waist and curvy hips and bust, you should choose a vintage-style dress that emphasizes your waistline. Look for a 50s or early 60s-style dress with a nipped-in waist. You can choose a less formal tea-length style to show off those sexy shoes or a longer ballgown to feel like a princess on your big day. Opt for a sweetheart or portrait-style neckline to show off your curves and cleavage. You can choose cap sleeves or three-quarter sleeves for a ladylike look.

Pear Shapes

If you carry weight in your hips and thighs, an A-line dress is ideal. If you like retro styles, you can wear a 1950s dress with a fitted waist, but avoid gathered or pleated skirts. Emphasize your smaller upper half by selecting a dress with detailing like elegant embroidery, sequins or lace along the bust or neckline. You also can pair a simpler dress with a stunning sparkling necklace. A deep V-neck and slender straps can show off your shoulders, cleavage and collarbone.

Rounder Brides

Carrying weight in your middle doesn't rule out a retro-wedding dress. Skip the snug, fitted styles of the 50s in favor of empire waistlines. If you're a bohemian girl, a simple empire waist dress can evoke styles of the late 60s and early 70s or you can go way back to the early 19th century with an empire waist regency style. Tank style straps and scoop necklines are universally flattering, but you also might want to try a delicate puffed sleeve. While these styles can be simple, elaborate embellished lace or chiffon can add bridal bling.

Straight Shapes

If you don't have curves of your own, let your vintage style dress create them. Look for a dress inspired by 1930s Hollywood glamor that is cut on the bias, or diagonal, of the fabric. While your dress should fit close to the body, it shouldn't cling. The seams of a bias-cut dress curve, creating the shape you want for your wedding. Heavier silks and satins will smooth your figure. If you're a daring diva, try a bold color in place of white or ivory.

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