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Bride Chic: Bridal Looks for the Petite Bride

About Bride Chic Recently I was out shopping for fabric and was surprised at how many huge floral and big prints are out there. For brides over 5'8, these work fine but what about the so-called average and petite bride? Here's an example of the kind of email I get from the concerned shorter bride: I'm very small boned. Most gowns I’ve tried on are for women that are 5’6’’. This means whenever I get in front of the mirror I’m swimming in the dress. Almost any sleeve, belt, print or lace looks magnified on me. What are my options? One of the most important things for the vertically challenged to remember is scale. If you’re petite and in shape, you can wear just about any gown as long as you scale down to the right proportion. Also thinking vertically (up, up, up) it will be easier to figure out which treatments suit you best. For instance, choose a bodice and neckline that draw the eye up to your decolletage. Here’s some more to consider: GO FOR: * A gown with a panel or seam(s) running up the front. The unbroken lines give you height. * Empire waists are one of your best options considering you go floor length. You want to keep that vertical line going. * A V or U-neck, it gives the impression of a longer neck. * Modified Mermaid. The to-the-floor sash on this gown in photo 2 draws the eye up. * A mermaid. If you’re slim and petite consider this style. It’s fitted like an evening gown up top and has all the bounce and swirl of a ball gown below. * An A-line. Think of it as your very own scaled down version of a ball gown. * Sheath and evening gown silhouettes, long and columnar; they will flatter you. * Length over volume in your skirt * Sleeves that are long and straight. * Best proportion is a floor length gown with veil or train of the same length. * Prints and laces as well as any motifs should be scaled down and worn on the upper portions of the body. Busy designs below the waist (even small ones) draw all eyes downward. * Soft and sheer fabrics like crepe and chiffon that drape to the body. PASS UP: * Any ball gown. The volume in the skirts will consume you. * Heavy, elaborate fabrics like brocade or any print or design that is large. * Wide belts, sashes and cummerbunds interrupt the vertical lines you want to create. If you do wear a sash or belt go thin (1-1 ½ inches) and as close to the shade of your gown as you can get. * Any design with big puffy sleeves or shoulder pads. * Any train longer than a sweep.
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