Your bridesmaids are some of your favorite women in the world, and you want nothing more than for them to feel amazing standing by your side on your big day. We know it can be a challenge to choose the right dress style for each of your bridesmaids so that they look and feel great. So, we have asked Ilana Stern, founder and CEO of Weddington Way to share style advice with us on how to choose the best style for each body type.

Every day the ladies at Weddington Way are working with brides around the country to find that perfect color for their bridesmaid dresses and the perfect silhouette for their diverse group of bridesmaids. Today Ilana answers some of our questions to help every bride navigate this sometimes tricky subject.

Q: When choosing bridesmaid dress options, how do you balance what might work best for each individual bridesmaid while also ensuring that your brides accomplish the consistent look they’re going for with their bridesmaids?
A: That’s a great question and something we talk to our brides about ALL THE TIME. This question is actually part of the inspiration behind why I started Weddington Way. At Weddington Way, we carry a wide variety of dresses that come in the same color and fabric but different silhouettes (perfect for the bride who wants a consistent look but has bridesmaids of all shapes and sizes). Gone are the days when all bridesmaids need to be in the exact same dress and Weddington Way has created social tools to make coordinating so easy!

Q: So that brings us to the question – how do you figure out which dress is best for your body type?
A: Every woman is unique, but we have found that there are 5 main categories of body types that help our customers understand what qualities in a dress will bring out their best assets!

Hourglass Shape (Think Marilyn Monroe!)
You have an evenly balanced top and bottom with a small waist. We recommend that you highlight your waist with a defined waistband and get playful with a ribbon or contrast trim! Flowy fabrics like chiffon will drape over your curves and highlight your shape.

Pear Shape (Hello J.Lo and Beyonce!)
If whenever you try on jeans, you find that they fit you perfectly over the hips and are just huge at the waist, you are probably pear shape. Petite on top and curvier on bottom, natural waist dresses with a-line or bubble skirts are a great choice for you. Emphasize your shoulders and arms in sleeveless dresses and your neckline in v-necks and sweethearts. Just remember, with a body like yours, J. Lo had to insure her “assets” for millions.

Apple Shape (Think Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liz Hurley and Drew Barrymore)
Your narrow hips, lean legs and full bust are the envy of many. You carry more of your weight in your upper body and waist and probably prefer a more modest bodice that allows you to draw attention your lean limbs. An empire waist dress on you will be drop-dead perfect as will a short skirt to show off your legs (if the event is not black tie)! Structured fabrics like dupioni, peau de soie and taffeta work really well for you as do draped or ruched chiffons.

Maternity (Think Reese Witherspoon, one cute pregnant celeb)
Your body is changing constantly and you’re not sure what to expect. For you, we definitely recommend getting some sage advice from a style professional (at Weddington Way, our stylists are experts at working with pregnant brides). The key is to make space for your growing bust and baby bump – don’t fret – there is a solution for you! If you’re going to be less than 6 months pregnant when you wear the dress, you can probably get away with a non-maternity empire waist dress and feel great. If you’re going to be in your third trimester, we definitely recommend a maternity dress or buying fabric to match the other bridesmaids and work with a seamstress to make a dress that will be perfect for your body. We love our maternity dresses on Weddington Way.

Plus-sized (Think Amber Riley and America Ferrara)
Real women have curves and you rock them! A defined waist, soft ruffles and ruching and flowy skirts are all details that will make you feel fabulous. Both structured and softer, flowy fabrics work really for you. We recommend straps or sleeves for bust support and a v-neck or sweetheart to show off your neckline! At Weddington Way, most of our dresses are made through size 24 or 28, so we have many beautiful options so you will look fabulous on your friend’s big day.

Now that you have a handy guide for necklines and styles for your girls, head on to Weddington Way to see any of the above recommended dresses or shop our selection of over 700 additional styles!

As a special for Ruffled readers, we would like to give away one fabric swatch free using code: RBSWATCH

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