What's the best wedding dress style for your body type? We asked Austin Scarlett, best known as a finalist on Bravo's hit reality show Project Runway. There he made himself known for his eccentric, yet elegant and sophisticated style—and his keen understanding of the female form. And those skills have come in particularly useful lately: He joined renowned wedding dress designer Amsale's team, under her Kenneth Pool line, in early 2006. We asked Scarlett to walk us through the most popular wedding dress silhouettes—and the wedding dress do's and don'ts for every body type.
The Most Popular Wedding Dress Styles
A-line Wedding Dresses
Scarlett describes a-line wedding dresses as the most flattering of all. "They look slimming without losing the full-skirt traditional bridal feeling," he says. Scarlett suggests full a-line wedding dresses because they hide flaws and don't require too much excess fabric. Do you have sexy curves? Show them off with a modified a-line.
Ball Gown Wedding Dresses
Scarlett says ball gowns enhance small waistlines, while hiding those last ten pounds you've wanted to lose from your butt or thighs. (In other words, buy a ball gown to side-step the need for any last-minute crash dieting!) He especially recommends "flat-front ball gowns," which have skirts that are smooth and seamless in front and fully pleated in the back. Want to work your day in the sun with some sex appeal? Scarlett suggests a dropped-waist ball gown, where the bodice is fitted through the hips.
Sheath Wedding Dresses
Are you a height extreme? Then this silhouette may be the right choice for you. Scarlett says, "They're great on petite brides, as well as tall brides." He loves soft sheaths for slender figures and constructed sheaths for curvy brides.
Trumpet and Mermaid Wedding Dresses
If you've been hitting the gym and want to show off your shape, Scarlett recommends the trumpet or mermaid silhouette. "This shape accentuates a sexy figure, showing off curves through the body, then flaring into a full hemline," he says. Whether you're tall or petite—and especially if you have small hips—Scarlett says this style should make it into your dressing room.
Click here for Austin Scarlett's must-know do's and don'ts for each body type