When you have a slender or athletic build with minimal curves—like the ever-fashionable Catherine Middleton, Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow—it’s hard to find a wedding dress that doesn’t look good on your slim frame.
Your silhouette style: “Brides with a ruler figure can pull off a fitted silhouette without looking too bottom or top heavy,” says Julia Kepniss, co-owner of the bridal couture salon Hitched. “Look for a mermaid, fit-to-flare or very full ball gown silhouette. The extreme fullness of a ball gown skirt will create the illusion of a very small waist.”
The best bodice: Ruler-shaped bodies tend to have broad shoulders and should avoid a straight neckline since that doesn’t create softening curves. “A sweetheart or scoop neckline will taper the bust line and draw attention to the slender curve of the neck—not the wideness of the shoulders,” advises Carin Levine, co-owner of Hitched.
The right embellishments: To add the illusion of a cinched waist, Kepniss recommends choosing a wedding dress with ruching in the bodice or adding a sash in a color at the waist. “Any type of seaming or embroidery applied to the dress to create the illusion of curves will work well,” she explains.
The most flattering fabrics: An athletic and toned figure can wear a range of fabrics, from soft (charmeuse) to heavy (damask). Adds Levine, “Ruching and pleating details that will be most flattering on a ruler body type are executed best in soft fabrics that are pliable while still having structure, such as taffeta, thai silk or organza.”