And you thought all you had to consider with dress styles is color and the bustline…no so, ladies.  As you are probably well aware, bridesmaids come in all beautiful shapes and sizes.  Just as important as the bustline is where the waist of the dress falls.  Depending on your body, there are different cuts that will flatter.  And not to worry – there are cuts that are universally flattering as well.

First, the Empire (or om-peer) Waist.  The seam on an Empire Waist dress falls above the natural waist and below the bustline.  This is a great cut for anyone who wants to hide a larger mid-section or fuller hips.  It’s also a good cut for shorter girls because it can give the illusion of lengthing the body.  This cut, more often than others, also lets you eat and drink as much as you want at the reception since it’s a little more roomy in the belly.  Nice.

Style 1507 by Vineyard

Next is the Natural Waist.  A lot of women don’t know where their natural waist falls…it’s not your fault.  We all wear our jeans so low these days (thankfully), that we often think our waist is below our belly button.  Remember back in the 90’s when your jeans were so high that they made your bum look extraordinarily large?  Those jeans fell at your natural waist.  It’s the hourglass point under the ribs and above the belly button.  Dresses that fall at the natural waist work very well to accentuate a small waistline.  The natural waist brings attention to a woman’s natural curves.  The only time I would steer clear of this cut is if you are more pear-shaped, meaning you carry most of your weight around the bum and hips, but are smaller on top.

Style 3025 by Simple Silhouettes

Our third cut is the Drop Waist.  This is my personal favorite because I have a shorter torso and a bum.  The drop waist makes me look taller and makes my hips look straighter.  I love (and own) this dress by Thread.  The drop waist is also a good style for larger busted women – it elongates below the bust, minimizing a larger bustline.

The last waistline to talk about is none at all.  These styles tend to hug the figure, and are very flattering if you are looking to show off your curves.  This cut also helps women with a straighter shape to look a little more curvy.  These photos are both great examples – the models aren’t exactly curvy women, but the silhouettes do a beautiful job of making them look so.

 Style 5828 by Jim Hjelm  Jolie dress by Jenny Yoo