Here Comes the Curvy Bride

March 6, 2008 9:28:16 AM PST
It's a daunting task to find the perfect wedding dress, no matter the size, says Michele Weston, Curvy Columnist for Divine But, she adds, being anything bigger than a size 14 is even more challenging, especially when it comes to special occasion wear. She says when shopping for a wedding gown, there are several things a curvy bride should keep in mind. If you shop around, you don't have to spend a fortune to look like a million. And don't be afraid to go bare, Michele advises. "Designers in the past decade have begun to get the message that we curvy girls don't always want to cover up everything -- and I mean everything -- when it comes to walking up the aisle," she says.

Five Things for a Curvy Bride to Keep in Mind from Michele Weston

1. Consider staying away from voluminous styles that overwhelm your figure --bigger is not better, trust me! My bride-to-be friend and I learned that we curvy girls need to pay close attention to what both fits and flatters our curves. Finding a body-skimming silhouette to enhance your female form is still the best way to go for your special day. It's a matter of showing off your assets to their fullest-- no pun intended!

2. It's so important to try on different gown silhouettes. Don't be afraid to reach for a certain style because you think curvy girls can't wear it. Try EVERYTHING on. See what you like.

3. Flatter your shape. Feeling overwhelmed by the many varieties of necklines, bust lines, and dress silhouettes? See To Know Your Shape is to Love Your Shape for my tips on wading through dress terminology to know and choose a style that flatters-- or doesn't flatter-- you! Go to:

4. In choosing a style, you should represent your style. My friend Suzanne started her search by revisiting clippings she had kept from magazines since high school. She had lots of images, some great, and some we crumpled immediately! Keep a scrapbook of images that inspire you, move you, and represent you.

5. Shop around. Spend a lot of time looking and trying, playing and experimenting. "Have fun searching for the perfect gown for your perfect day and for your perfect figure," Michele says. "Yes, you heard me! Your PERFECT figure. Celebrate your curves and have a truly memorable day."

And don't forget the web! Here are some of Michele's favorite online retailers:

  • Evans London launched their new bridal line this spring with an incredible collection of dresses, wide leg trousers, pencil skirt suits, empire lace tops, beaded silk Georgette floor-length dresses, jewelry with extensions for bracelets and necklaces, and wide-width bridal footwear too. The prices here are all under $300 U.S. Leave it to the Brits to up the choices for curvy fashion!

  • Isaac Mizrahi has whipped up a small collection for Target in sizes up to 18 missy ("missy" means that there is not as much ease in the areas really curvy girls may need). The styling is modern and the price is right with most dresses starting at $89.99!

  • Kiyonna is another one worth checking out. They have a truly special high-quality lace dress in a shorter length for $288, and longer length for $420.

  • Be sure to check out David's Bridal for curvy offerings, both online and in their stores around the country. The site has a plus-size section called David's Bridal Woman and gives you lots of dress choices ranging from designers like Galina (shown in the segment), Oleg Cassini and Monique Lou to their very own private label dresses. They have lots of styles in stock as well. It's one-stop shopping with footwear, headpieces, wraps and jewelry as well.
  • For more Shopping tips for the Curvy Bride, visit

    These bridal fashions were shown ABC 7 News at 11 am:

    Kiyonna worn by model Rachel Hanna or 1.888.459.6662

    Scalloped Lace Knee Length Dress with Satin Cummerbund Detail

    For the unconventional bride who wants just a touch of tradition, this modern mid-length dress is given vintage inspired touches with a delicate lace overlay. Specially dyed two-tone ivory scalloped lace and a smartly tailored cummerbund sit atop a satin charmeuse lining for a gorgeous marriage of texture and shimmer. This ultra chic bride need not sacrifice comfort for style. Both the delicate lace overlay and stretch satin charmeuse lining are infused with just the right amount of stretch.

  • SKU: 12060911
  • Sizes 10/12 thru 30/32
  • Price $288 at or Viva La Femme Boutique -- 2115 N. Damen, Chicago; (773) 772-7429 -- also carries the line
  • Galina Woman Collection, exclusively for David's Bridal or 1.877.923.BRIDE

    Spaghetti strap ruched empire chiffon goddess dress with burnout floral fabric worn by model Kristin Arceneaux

  • Color: Ivory Style: 9T9391
  • Sizes: 14W-26W
  • Price: $549 at
  • NOTE: A POP of color is one of the most important bridal trends this season. Consider a wrap, a bag or a headpiece in Atlantis Blue, Citrus Green, Mystic Purple, or Periwinkle. You can find incredible trains with ribbon detail trim and satin sandals, pumps and sling backs in many styles as well as delicate tiaras and colored glass headpieces, as well as great estate looking costume jewelry. All are available at prices that won't break the bank, but make you love your special day. Check out

    Evans London

    Want some sexy alternative ideas? Count on EvansLondon to bring us satin-fitted corset tops, lace wrap tunics and runway fishnet skirts for women size 12 and up. Their newly launched Bridal Collection runs from $75 for tops up to $300 and will make you feel like a princess bride. Complete your look with satin sling backs and 40's inspired pumps that are in wider widths and range up to a 12 1/2, as well as divine accessories from head to toe.

    Think separates for a perfect fit: Sizes 14 to 30W worn by model Johanna Edelberg and Ashley Carmen

  • Ivory Lace Bolero ($80)
  • Ivory Satin Bridal Corset ($90)
  • Long Ivory Satin Mermaid Skirt ($110)
  • V-neck Lace Tunic Top ($85)
  • Also consider a DARE that's a DO! Trousers this season are oh, so elegant for an outdoor wedding on the lake. Worn by model Kimberley Hurley

  • Ivory Bridal Wrap Empire Lace with Georgette Tunic Top ($125)
  • Matte Wide Leg Satin Cummerbund Trouser ($110)
  • Wide-width Ivory Satin Sling back Sandals with Diamante Detailing ($80)
  • All separates available at