Tips & Guide

How to Choose Ideal Bridesmaid Dresses for Your Body Shape at the 2023 Summer Wedding: A Complete Guide

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Are you looking for a complete guide on what the ideal bridesmaid dress to wear at your bestie's wedding this summer? Not just you, but almost every bridesmaid has this struggle. To make precious memories at the upcoming summer wedding, it is crucial to find fantastic bridesmaid dresses. As Alfred Angelo says, "The perfect bridesmaid dress should complement the bride's gown, enhance the wedding theme, and make each bridesmaid feel beautiful." But each person's body shape is different, so trying to find a bridesmaid dress that fits you perfectly is really difficult.

Is there any way for you to find the right bridesmaid dresses? Of course, there are! The first step is to narrow down the choice of bridesmaid dresses by wedding themes and your body shape to determine what elements and colors are right for you. The second is to finalize the bridesmaid dresses according to your height, weight, aesthetics, and other factors.

How do you identify your body shape? The solution lies in this article of ours. We'll give you a complete guide to help you clear the hurdles, so you can attain reasonable advice and pick out unique bridesmaid dresses that can show off your beauty and elegance.

The Definition of Body Shape

The Definition of Body Shape

Image Source: lazybones

"Body shape" is usually described as an individual's whole physical appearance, including proportions and curves. It may be influenced by factors such as genetics, body fat distribution, and muscle mass. And Dr. W.H. Sheldon introduced the concept of "body type" in the early 1940s, saying that people have three general body structures. He named these three body types as endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph.

How to Correctly Measure Your Body Data

Is it really hard to get the correct data by measuring tape for body? In the 2018 TODAY survey, 71% of viewers believe that the same clothing size is different between brands, indicating that clothing sizes are unreasonable and contribute to ill-fitting clothes. In 2023, My Green Closet also conducted a survey on clothing sizes. They surveyed almost 1,000 people, and about 75% of them had problems finding the right clothes. 

These two surveys reveal the truth that the problem of unfitting clothing is widespread, not to mention bridesmaid dresses. In fact, as long as you master the correct measurement method and know your body shape, there is a good chance that this problem can be solved. To choose ideal bridesmaid dresses, the most important thing for you is to correctly measure your neck girth, bust girth, waist girth, hip girth, height, armhole girth, and arm length, which are crucial bases to judge your body shape.

Neck Girth

Neck Girth

Image Source: textilelearner

The first step in measuring neck girth is to find the correct location for the measurement. The measurement is taken just below the throat knot, which is at the bottom of the neck. The second step is that you should look straight ahead with your shoulders naturally down, not tense, and not hunched over when measuring. Another thing to note is not to pull the tape measure too tight, but naturally close to the neck, and make sure that the tape measure is level.

    Bust Girth

    Bust Girth
    Image Source: textilelearner

    Bust girth is one of the most important body measurements for bridesmaid dresses and also an important indicator to determine your body shape.

    To make the bust data of the dress more accurate, it is better to wear an unpadded bra and then take the measurement with the help of others. Relax your arms naturally at your sides and place the tape measure close to and around the fullest part of your bust, making sure it is horizontal. The final outcome is the required breast size for your bridesmaid dresses.

    Waist Girth

    Waist Girth
    Image Source: nationalworld

    Waist girth also has a huge impact on your body shape and bridesmaid dress choice, so it needs to be measured accurately.

    Before you measure, you will need to put on a snug-fitting garment, stay relaxed, find the narrowest part of your waist, and place the tape measure around it. Note that the tape measure needs to be level and not too tight around your waist and should not be measured while inhaling. If you are not sure where your waist is thinnest, you can pick several areas of your waist to measure and take the lowest number.

    Hip Girth

    Hip Girth

    Image Source: verywellfit

    Measuring out the correct hip girth is one of the key factors that affects body shape and can have a significant impact on the selection of bridesmaid dresses.

    So how can you measure it? Finding the right place is the key! First, stand up straight with your legs together and find the widest part of your hips. Standing in front of a mirror on your side will help you find the widest part of your hips more easily. Next, hold the tape measure parallel to your hip and around it. There should be no tight marks to take the measurement and read the final data. You can also pick other areas of your hip to measure to ensure the accuracy of your hip girth, which is usually about 7 inches below the narrowest waist.

    Bare Height and Hollow-to-Floor Height

    Both the full height and the length of the hollow-to-floor are important references for determining the length of a bridesmaid's dress.

    First, your bare height and height in heels both need to be measured in order to choose the right dress’s length. When measuring, you need to lean against the wall, stand straight with your legs together, and pull the tape measure vertically from the top of your head to the ground. Use a straightedge or a book to be perpendicular to the top of your head, and the point at the bottom where it meets the tape is your measurement.

    Second, the length of the hollow to the floor also needs to be measured, with and without high heels. The starting position of the tape is in the hollow between the two collarbones, and the tape measure is pulled vertically to the ground to get the final result.

    Armhole Girth

    Armhole Girth
    Image Source: youtube

    The armhole measurement can be more accurate if there is another person to assist you. If you are measuring yourself, it is better to stand in front of a mirror to take the measurement. Place the starting end of the tape measure flat on the center of your shoulder, at the point where your shoulder and arm meet. Wrap the tape measure around your arm root, pulling up from behind your shoulders until you reach the starting position. Then you can get the armhole girth. When measuring, stay relaxed.

    Arm Length

    Arm Length

    Image Source: heritagebarong

    When the bridesmaid dresses have sleeves, such as puff sleeves, flare sleeves, lantern sleeves, etc., you need to measure the arm length. Place your arms naturally on the sides of your body, keeping them slightly bent. Place the start of the tape measure at the center point where the shoulder and arm meet, measure along the arm to the elbow, and then continue to the wrist to finally get the entire arm length. In addition, you can measure the wrist girth and arm girth so that the final design of the sleeves can be more suitable for your needs.

    Identify Your Body Shape and Get Tips on Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses

    Based on the body data generated by the above steps, you can use them to determine your body shape and lay the groundwork for your ultimate summer bridesmaid dress. We will combine the characteristics of each body shape to help you solve the difficulty of finding your body shape and give you some advice about bridesmaid dresses, including styles, necklines, sleeves, waist, and more. Also, the best color for bridesmaid dresses for different body shapes in this summer is bound to be recommended to you. Our suggestions are very comprehensive and you will definitely get something out of them.

    Are you curious to know your body shape? Please read on!

    1. Rectangle Body Shape

    Rectangle Body Shape

    Image Source: dressbarn

    According to your measurements, if your bust, waist, and hip girth are similar and your shoulder width, chest width and hip width are visually almost the same, then you have a rectangle body shape, also known as an "H" body shape. For women with this figure, their waistline is not obvious, and their entire body lacks curves and is relatively flat. This body shape is very malleable, as this kind of body can be easily improved by dressing.

    There are three directions to highlight your body curves to improve this body shape: (1) emphasize the upper body, such as through inflated sleeves, visually wide shoulder designs, or embellish with small but delicate accessories; (2) choose a waist-cinching dress, such as an empire waist; (3) emphasize the lower body, such as a bridesmaid dress with a larger hemline. Otherwise, for women who have plus size rectangle body shape or petite rectangle body, these methods still apply.


      • Styles:  A-line, X-line, and T-line bridesmaid dresses can all bring interesting and stylish shapes to rectangle figures to break up flat lines. Some pleats can also be used to add layers to the bridesmaids' dresses.You are equally suitable for subtle asymmetrical designs that can make bridesmaid dresses more vivid while playing to the strengths of your rectangle figure that will stand out at the wedding.

      • Necklines:  If the bridesmaid dress itself is similar to an H-shaped dress, then you can choose a wider shoulder shape, such as off-shoulder, scoop, Queen Anne, and more necklines, to create contrast and avoid Sabrina and square necklines. If you want your bridesmaid dresses to be A-line or X-line dresses, V-neck, sweetheart, or halter necklines can be your choices.

      • Sleeves:  3/4 sleeves are a method to visually make your waist appear slimmer to create a rectangle body shape, generating the illusion of having more curves.Flared sleeves, puffy sleeves, or other fluffy, fluttering sleeves can increase the volume of the bridesmaids' dresses, thus increasing the curves to create complexity in the upper body.

      • Waist:  The waist is one of the keys to changing the rectangular shape because it is in the middle of the chest and hips, which can easily change the proportion and pattern of the body. A medium or high waist design, such as an empire waist, rather than a low one, will improve your proportions. Besides, a structured waistline, rather than just a single horizontal line, can add sophistication and uniqueness to you while breaking your rectangle figure.

      • Color:  You can use brighter colors to accentuate the look of the bridesmaid's dresses, improving the original flatness of a rectangle body shape. Combined with this summer's popular colors, our recommended shades of emerald, royal blue, fuchsia, rust, burgundy, marigold, flamingo, and more are compatible with most skin tones and will look very formal and beautiful at weddings. If you prefer neutral colors like black, white, and grey, then you can choose such bridesmaid dresses, which will look more formal and have the ultimate elegance.
      • Fabric: In summer, in addition to being skin-friendly and breathable, the best fabric for bridesmaid dresses should preferably also have a certain drape and luster, so we recommend soft satin. And sequins can bring a chic surprise to a rectangle-shaped body.

      2. Apple Body Shape

      Apple Body Shape

      Image Source: zestphotography

      Based on your body measurements, if your waist is more than 1 inch larger than your hips and the largest measurement is your breasts, then you are generally an apple shape, also known as an "O" shape. Apple-shaped women have a fuller upper body and a thinner lower body. They have more fat around the waist and abdomen, so their waistline is not as pronounced. How do I pick the ideal bridesmaid dresses? Since the wedding is in the summer, lightness, comfort, and style are must-haves for bridesmaids' dresses. But many apple-shaped women think that fashion has nothing to do with them because of their figures. But the truth is, with the right remedy, apple-shaped women can stand out and own their beauty at weddings.


      • Styles: When choosing a bridesmaid dress, the overall styles we recommend are simple and generous, like A-line silhouettes. Avoid dresses that are too loose, too slim, or have tedious designs on their

        bodies. The design of the structure lines of the bridesmaid dresses should preferably be vertical in the whole because the horizontal structure lines may visually widen your figure. A bridesmaid dress that emphasizes vertical designs can make you more flattering. Next, complicated pleated designs may make you look bloated, so if you want to choose a bridesmaid dress with pleats, you should pay more attention to simple straight-line pleats.

      • Necklines:  Necklines that emphasize bridesmaid dresses’ vertical depth, such as a V-neck, an asymmetric neckline with one shoulder, and more, can make your shoulder and neckline sharper, more elegant, and not heavy. These designs allow the visual center of the shoulder and neck of apple-shaped women to be more focused and not spread out.

      • Sleeves:  Whether bridesmaid dresses are sleeved or sleeveless, women with apple-shaped figures can handle them well. If women want a dress with sleeves, then sleeves such as square shoulder sleeves, suit sleeves, and flare sleeves are appropriate. If you want to have light puff sleeves and lantern sleeves, these are also suitable for their dresses. However, for these two types of sleeves, try to avoid being too round or too big, as they may increase the bluntness of the woman. A dropped shoulder sleeve also needed to be avoided.
      • Waist:  For you, the empire waist with a V-shaped or X-shaped design is one of the best choices for bridesmaid dresses in summer. An empire waist allows the skirt piece to cover women’s tummies and hips. The V-shaped and X-shaped line design at the waist can shift the visual center of the dress from horizontal to vertical so that the woman wearing these dresses is not bulky and achieves a slimming effect.

      • Color:  It is more appropriate for apple-shaped women to choose a single color bridesmaid dress. Both dark and light tones can be chosen according to your preference and the theme of the wedding. If you are looking for a slimmer look, darker shades of dresses are ideal, such as burgundy, emerald, navy, black, etc. For those who want a more crisp and fresh feeling, lighter shades are better, such as dusty sage, dusty rose, champagne, etc. All of these colors are popular for summer weddings in 2023.

      • Fabric:  The fabrics of bridesmaid dresses should have a certain drape and stiffness to make the dress more shapely and better flatter women's figures. Too-swollen and soft fabrics will make women with apple-shaped figures appear bloated and decadent.

      3. Pear Body Shape

      Pear Body Shape

      Image Source: theconceptwardrobe

      People with pear-shaped bodies, also called A-shaped bodies, have hips that are larger than their chests and wider than their shoulders, which make the body look like a pear. If your measurements match the above characteristics and your hip girth is more than 5% larger than your shoulder or chest girth, then you have a pear shape. The advantage of this body shape is having a slender upper half of the body, a pronounced waist line, and fuller hips. A lady with a slight pear shape is very beautiful and can manage most kinds of bridesmaid dresses. If the hips are too large, then it may be difficult for women to pick the right bridesmaid dresses. However, once properly selected, the advantages of this figure will be fully exploited.

      Most women with pear-shaped bodies have a thicker lower body compared to the upper body, which causes an imbalance in body shape. Based on this, an important keyword to find the best bridesmaid dresses for pear shaped bodies is "balance".


      • Styles:  A-line, X-line, or T-line bridesmaid dresses can go on your preliminary shopping list. A-line dresses can cover your hips and show off your slim upper body, while X-line dresses can optimize the volume of the upper body and highlight the waist, thus achieving the effect of balancing the pear-shaped body. T-line dresses, which can accentuate the upper part of your body, are often more stylish and unique. If you want to show off your body curves, mermaid bridesmaid dresses, which can emphasize the curve of your buttocks and waist, can be considered, and their hemlines will help weaken your legs. However, when choosing a mermaid dress, a style that is too tight or one that emphasizes the lower half of the body should be avoided, which can make the whole person look bloated and unbalanced. Based on these styles, the design of the summer bridesmaid dress chosen should follow the principle of upper and lower simplicity, to move the visual center of the pear-shaped body from the lower body to the upper body.
      • Necklines:  Since the pear-shaped body has narrow shoulders, the point of the choice of collar type is to widen them. Off-shoulder, scoop, Sabina, Queen Anne and cowl necklines are all good choices to enhance the presence of the shoulders.

      • Sleeves:  For pear-shaped figures, sleeveless or sleeved bridesmaid dresses are good. If you want your bridesmaid dresses with sleeves, then we recommend medium or short puff sleeves, cap sleeves, batwing sleeves, or other flowing sleeves with great structure. When choosing long sleeves, avoid exaggerated designs at the wrist, which can weigh down the lower half of the body.

      • Waist:  Try to choose a high-tightening waist design, which can make you look more elegant. Some distinctive waistline designs can add sophistication and distinction to bridesmaid dresses.

      • Color:  While ensuring that the lower half of the dresses are dark colors, the upper half of the dresses, whether the same color or a light color, can be very good to flatter a pear-shaped body. In the summer of 2023, dresses in the collection of green, blue, and red tones will be more popular. If you want to know specific colors, we recommend emerald, dusty sage, royal blue, burgundy and dusty rose.

      • Fabric:  The fabric of the bridesmaid dresses should not be too thick, because too thick fabric may show you heavy. It will add volume to the lower half of your body. You can choose some light and excellent draping fabrics, such as soft satin and chiffon. In addition, fabrics with a little stretch will make the bridesmaid dresses fit better, such as jersey.

      4. Hourglass Body Shape

      Hourglass Body Shape

      Image Source: sociomix

      According to your body measurements, if the bust and hip girth are approximately the same and the waist is significantly smaller than them, then you are typically an hourglass shape, also called an X-shaped body. Your shoulder width is visually almost as wide as the hip width, plus the slender waist, so your body has attractive curves, just like an hourglass. You should feel proud to have this body shape because the variety of bridesmaid dresses can be very charming on you. If you have the right bridesmaid dresses, your elegance may be fully displayed at the wedding. But finding the right bridesmaid dress which is suitable for you is a difficult task, as your bodies have a large curvature. For the hourglass figure, the material and style design of the bridesmaid dresses are crucial, otherwise it may result in certain parts fitting and certain parts not fitting. The next few tips will give you some clues as to how to solve this problem.


        • Styles:  The point of dressing for an hourglass figure is to follow your body curves. There is no need to make a big effort on the chest and hips; just highlight the waist, and your curves will naturally appear and be even more attractive. Mermaid, A-line, X-line, and sheath bridesmaid dresses can fit you better. If you want to show your curves, mermaid and sheath dresses are better for you. X-line and A-line dresses do well at accentuating your waist and concealing your hips. It is worth noting that do not choose your bridesmaid dresses that have a lot of decoration on the chest or hip part; this will make these two parts look more bloated and uncoordinated.
        • Necklines:  Ladies with hourglass figures are suitable for all types of necklines, such as V-neck, strapless, one-shoulder, halter, and so on. However, avoid necklines that widen the shoulders excessively.

        • Sleeves:  The hourglass figure is also very compatible with many sleeves, whether short, medium, or long. However, for short sleeves, try to avoid inflated sleeves, such as puff sleeves, lantern sleeves, etc., because they may widen the shoulders.

        • Waist:  The waist is the key area that needs to be highlighted for women with an hourglass figure, as it can affect the overall appearance. If you are tall enough, then you can choose a dress that doesn’t have an empire waist, but if you are more petite, then an empire waist dress is more suitable for you.

        • Color:  Dark-colored bridesmaid dresses will look slimmer and shapelier on your body, which will be very beautiful and gorgeous at your important friend's wedding. Light-colored dresses will make you look more elegant and fresh, in line with the summer atmosphere.
        • Fabric:  Some fabrics with a little stretch will be more suitable for hourglass figures because they can make the dress fit better. Besides, as weddings are held in the summer, it is important for the fabrics to be skin-friendly and breathable. Soft satin and jersey can ensure that you wear something comfortable and glamorous at the same time.

        5. Inverted Triangle Body Shape

        Inverted Triangle Body Shape

        Image Source: theconceptwardrobe

        The inverted triangle shape is also known as a Y or T shape. If your shoulders are visually wider than your chest, waist, and hips and your legs are slim, then you belong to this body type. For slim women with an inverted triangle body shape, this figure is certainly a plus point because they are well-proportioned, have beautiful shoulders and necklines, and their shoulders have a certain width, which allows them to hold up their garments and become fashionistas, not to mention bridesmaid dresses. And for women with more fat, which is more distributed in the shoulders and chest, wearing bridesmaid dresses will make them look more sexy, feminine, and luminous.


          • Styles:  Mermaid and A-line bridesmaid dresses can flatter this type of figure because they can emphasize your lower body. If you want to show your hips, wear a mermaid with a floor-length and large hem, which can make your buttocks fuller while enhancing the visual impact of your lower body. A-line dresses can add richness to the lower half of the body with ruffle or pleat variations and embroidery designs. Avoid X-line and T-line bridesmaid dresses, as they may make your shoulders wider. This reveals that weakening the presence of the upper body can achieve the effect of balancing the upper body and the lower body in an inverted triangle figure.
          • Necklines:  Regarding the choice of collar type, avoid completely horizontal lines such as off-shoulder, square, and straight collars, as they make your shoulders appear wider. Choose necklines with vertical depth, such as a deep V-neck, asymmetrical neckline, sweetheart neckline, U-neck, etc., which can create the illusion of weakening the width of your shoulder.

          • Sleeves:  The choice of sleeves also plays a very important role in the shape of the shoulders. The short, fitted sleeves and long, flared sleeves are suitable for an inverted triangle body shape. Spaghetti-strap dresses are also a good choice for summer weddings, which can create a cool and refreshing atmosphere.

          • Waist:  If you are taller and have a slim waist, you will be able to master any waist design, whether relaxed, tightened, or specially structured. If your height is not so tall, then you can choose high-waisted dresses to improve your proportion.

          • Colors:  For women with an inverted triangle shape, there are not many restrictions on colors. You can pick colors according to your preference or according to summer fashions. In short, you are free to pick and choose as long as it fits the wedding theme. You can consider colors such as forest green, dusty sage, rust, mint blue, and burgundy, which are popularin summer.

          • Fabrics:  Fabrics with good drape or some stiffness will be more friendly to people with inverted triangle figures. If you want to be more dazzled and unique at the wedding, then the material with a bright sheen may achieve that and make the bridesmaid dresses more stylish overall. Also, sequins can be used to partially embellish the dresses and add the finishing touch to them.

          How to Choose the Ideal Length

          Some common basic body shapes can help you filter out some of the elements that will fit your bridesmaid dresses. But the proper length of your bridesmaid dress depends on your height, leg shape, and weight; ultimately, it depends on your preference.

          The Length of Petite Bridesmaid Dresses

          Women who are relatively petite, usually shorter than 5'4'', can choose high-slit floor-length bridesmaid dresses basically without error, and with a high waistline, the illusion of improved body proportions can be achieved. And no matter what your leg shape is, this length of the dress will cover them and allow you to show off your elegance.

          If you want to try other lengths of bridesmaid dresses, then you have to judge your leg shape. And ankle-length dresses are also suitable for you. Avoid knee-length dresses, as they may visually make the legs look short. If you prefer a shorter length, why not try a bridesmaid's dress that is above the knee in length, which will make you lighter overall and shift the visual center of gravity upwards to achieve a taller effect?

          The Length of Medium-Height Bridesmaid Dresses

          For women who have medium heights, generally between 5'4'' and 5'7'', most lengths of bridesmaid dresses can be mastered. But if you want to find the ideal length, then you also need to refer to your leg shape. Generally speaking, floor-length and ankle-length bridesmaid dresses will be safer, and you can't go wrong. If your calves are stronger, then avoid tea-length bridesmaid dresses, but choose the length of the bridesmaid dresses above the knee or below the calves. Do not be shy about leaking your calves, because covering only half of the calves shows leg thickness.

          The Length of Tall Bridesmaid Dresses

          If you're taller than 5'7'', you're basically a relatively tall woman. If you have well-shaped legs, you'll be able to match almost all bridesmaid dress lengths. Floor-length and ankle-length bridesmaid dresses can be your better choices as they fit most figures, such as inverted triangle body shapes or apple body shapes. Tea-length bridesmaid dresses are suitable for you too, if you have slim calves. Also, you can try to wear knee-length dresses to show your well-behaved temperament.

            When to Order Bridesmaid Dresses Is Suitable

            Once you master your body data and body shape, I'm sure this will be one of your sources of inspiration for picking your bridesmaid dresses.

            So when do you start placing orders for bridesmaid dresses? We'll tell you more about it next. There is actually a process between picking a dress and placing an order.

            It's best to start collecting bridesmaid dress inspiration, elements, and colors and styles at least 8 months in advance, and of course, you need to discuss this with the bride. For dress inspiration, you can look in some magazines about brides, such as Brides, The Knot, etc. Or find a dress that suits you purposefully on Pinterest and take a cue from it. You can also focus on brands that specialize in bridesmaid dresses to see their hot styles.

            If you want to buy ready-made bridesmaid dresses, then you need to place an order 2-3 months in advance. Whether you buy online or in-store, you need to allow a certain amount of time to try them on, return them, or modify them.

            But if you choose to customize the bridesmaid dresses, then you need to place an order even longer in advance—that is, 4-6 months in advance, or even more. It’s important for you to communicate and work with the designer, and the body data given must be accurate to ensure the final presentation of the bridesmaid dresses. Different brands of bridesmaid dresses may have slightly out-of-place measurements for custom body data, so you need to ask the designer for specific measurements. Of course, you can tell the designer the body shape you have determined based on the content of our article, and they will provide you with more detailed answers.

            Determining and placing an order for bridesmaid dresses is a long process and must be done with full patience, as bridesmaids are key players in the wedding and are closely related to the various wedding processes. For your bestie's wedding to go smoothly and to make unforgettable memories, it is important to choose the right bridesmaid dresses.


            In this article, we tell you how to determine your body shape by using the method of measuring the general body and then choose the right bridesmaid dress for you according to your body shape. This can greatly improve the efficiency of the wedding preparation process and reduce the probability of unsuitable bridesmaid dresses.

            Boldly pick the style of bridesmaid dresses you like. However, you should pay attention to the maintenance method of the dress because different fabrics correspond to different ways of caring for them. For example, silk fabrics should not be exposed to the sun but can be dried in ventilation when the sun is not too strong.

            Summer weddings are wonderful, and wearing a beautiful and appropriate bridesmaid dress not only shows your elegance and generosity but also expresses your good wishes to the bride and groom. We would be honored if our article could be helpful to you.


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