Are you getting ready to shop for your wedding gown? Look in any wedding magazine and you'll find an article that tells you what to look for and what to avoid if you fall into several different body shape categories; hourglass, straight, full-busted, pear, plus-sized, thick middle, etc. But there is one consideration that these articles almost always leave out - your height.
Wedding gown samples are a standard length, usually being an appropriate hem for a bride who stands about 5'9" and is planning on wearing a 2" heel. As you look at the dresses in the magazine you should note that the models are usally 6' tall. Today's styles are often featuring a mermaid/trumpet/drop hip silhouette that may not fall on the right spot of someone 5'6" or shorter.
A bride came into my store crying because she had ordered her dress from another store and when it came in and she had it hemmed she HATED it. Why? Because she was about 5' tall and had chosen a style with a hip sash that looked great on the model and when she had tried it on standing on the pedestal. But once it was hemmed it looked like she was all torso and her legs were 18" tall. And now she was looking for another dress at the last minute.
My recommendation if you are petite (in bridal this refers to length only, not wedding gown size)and are drawn to this silhouette is to:
1. Make sure you bring appropriately sized heels to try on gowns
2. If you find a gown you like, step down off a pedestal and turn the hem under and look in the mirror to see if it still looks good on you when it is "hemmed". Do you look like you have a long torso and stumpy legs?
3. Ask about options for having the dresses made to your height. Most designers offer a petite or custom hem option, but this does not usually alter the placement of any seams across the torso. A few manufacturers will offer custom measurements and can create the dress shorter thru the torso as well as the skirt.
4. If you are liking the shape of the gowns, but haven't found one that doesn't make you look like your legs are too short, ask your consultant to recommend a style that doesn't narrow quite so low. We are used to helping brides find the right shape - let us show you your options!
If you are very petite, but you like fitted, look for an empire seamed dress that is cut close to the body.