L’elite Owner Salwa Khoory Shares Wedding Gown Shopping Tips

Here's how to find 'the one,' no matter what your shape.

wedding gowns

PHOTOS COURTESY OF L’ELITE

Salwa Khoory is Boston’s powerhouse of bridal know-how. As the owner of the L’elite brands—L’elite Bridal, Musette Bridal, L’elite Bridesmaids, L’elite Occasions, and Vera Wang Boston Bridal—you might consider her a gown guru.

Firstly, Khoory stresses that it’s not about “wow” factors, where your finest features are emphasized. “It’s about your overall appearance,” she explains. “The dress should not ‘define’ you or be the focal point—you should be the focal point and be radiant wearing your gown.” To Khoory, the dress is merely an embellishment to the real jewel, the bride herself. As such, it should reflect the bride’s true personality, as well as fitting her body perfectly.

Here’s Khoory’s advice on choosing “the one” based on your body type:

Large-Chested

Sweetheart or V-necklines look best on large-chested women. If the bride desires a strapless gown, your expert gown designer or tailor can add ruching to plain fabrics, lace to the bodice area (which acts as a great minimizer), and curved or oblique lines to deflect the eye from the bust line.

wedding gown

Lace and embroidery on the shoulders, cap sleeves, and V-neckline are a great look for larger-chested brides. / Photo courtesy of L’elite

Hourglass

Hourglass figures have shoulder widths that closely match hip measurements, with a small waistline. This body type looks wonderful in fit to flare styles, which are form-fitting and flare from the mid-thigh area to the floor (mermaid style); a straight sheath with a cinched waist with an embellished belt; or an A-line style.

wedding gown

This mermaid style gown is form-fitting with a fit to flare design, and features a cinched waist for a flattering look on an hourglass figure. / Photo courtesy of L’elite

Apple-Shaped

With a thicker middle section, gowns with ruching look great! Loose, bohemian styles look wonderful, as do 1920s inspirations. If a ball gown style is desired, flat pleats on the skirt are also very flattering.

wedding gown

The multi-tiered skirt and volume on the lower half of this dress draws the eye downward and away from the midsection. / Photo courtesy of L’elite

Athletic

Athletic bodies look wonderful in sheath styles, fit to flare, or a gathered skirt style, which adds fullness to the hip area. Small cups can be added to any gown for small-chested women, and bias cut fabrics add “curves” to the dress.

wedding gown

The gathered, full skirt adds dimension to the hip area and is perfect for athletic figures. / Photo courtesy of L’elite

Pear-Shaped

Women with pear-shaped figures look spectacular in gowns with capped sleeves or off-the-shoulder styles to balance their top half with wider hips below. These styles are typically cinched at the waist. A-line, drop-waist, and gathered skirts also look nice on this body type, while straight, tight-fitting styles are not ideal. Fabrics with structure are best suited for this frame, as they minimize certain areas.

wedding gown

Off-the-shoulder styles with the full skirt balances the shoulders and hips for a pear-shaped bride. / Photo courtesy of L’elite

More tips from Khoory:

Are there any fabrics that each body type should shy away from and why?

Fabrics such as organza and satin are sleek with few lines and minimal details, so they show everything. If you have a larger body type or features you’d like to minimize, seek fabrics with details, lines, textures, bias cuts, and embellishments. If you’re a flawless supermodel, you’re fine with simple, sleek fabrics. For those who wish to detract attention from certain areas, lace, embroidery, beading, ruching, oblique lines, printed, and jacquard fabrics are all perfect for deflecting attention to a different part of the body. Rule of thumb: details always minimize size.

Any other advice about choosing a wedding gown for your body?

  1. Trust the mirror. It doesn’t lie.
  2. Keep in mind your venue and time of year when selecting your dress.
  3. Ask yourself if this is your “dream dress” and one you would proudly share in your photo album for the rest of your life.

Finally, Khoory advises that you also try on a range of wedding gown styles, colors, and fabrics, because in doing so, it eliminates doubts and questions. Should I have tried on more dresses? More styles? Different designers or fabrics? Often, the first dress you’re drawn to is the one you end up buying. But it always makes sense to try on a variety of gowns for peace of mind.

 


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