Wedding Dresses for Column Shaped Brides

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Time for the second installment in our new series on choosing a wedding dress for your body shape, and I must admit, as an hourglass I am more than a little jealous of this silhouette (we always want what we don’t have, right?).Columns/bananas are slim builds, often athletic, with similar measurements throughout the bust/waist/hip zones.They have narrow shoulders, lean limbs, narrow hips and flat bums. They also tend to have long waists with little definition. The look is angular (and very easy to dress well), with both a small upper and trim lower body to accentuate. As with our feature on pear-shaped brides, I’ve chosen some beautiful dresses from the Spring 2014 collections to illustrate.

The biggest complaint from column shaped girls is that they look ‘boyish’, and of course we all want to look and feel feminine and romantic on our Big Day, so it’s important to get this aspect right. Unlike curvier girls, who might use a ballroom or corset gown to emphasize the waist they have, banana shapes need to create the illusion of a waist with a belt or similar detailing. Ruffles and embellishments add volume to the top half (and plenty of girliness) but also draw the eye up, showing off those gorgeous little shoulders and arms. Try to stay away from angular, square cuts. On the bottom half, layering is a good idea, but without too much volume. You’re looking for styles that fit and flare, rather than being too close cut, which can make the body look too drawn out.

The biggest no-no for this body type is the ballroom gown, which can really overwhelm a column shape. The good news is, you can wear pretty much everything else, from A-lines to short styles. Sheath dresses are particularly flattering (a narrow shape that falls straight down from neckline to hem), and trumpet or mermaid styles can also be used to create curves.


As you can imagine, there are quite a few models and actresses who fit the profile of this body shape – a great example is Cameron Diaz and, while she hasn’t got married yet, studying her Oscars dresses will give you such a good idea for how to best rock the look. She’s so good at it! And of course, so was Kate Moss, a typical banana shape, who managed to make herself look curvy in all the right places in her gorgeous wedding gown that hugged and flared in all the right places (see the usage of embellishment and layering there?). Courtney Cox rocked a super slim satin with flattering cowl neck detail, and Hilary Duff went for a trumpet style that also added curve to her frame.

Dress credits (l-r, top to bottom): 1 & 2- Maggie Sottero; 3- Angel Sanchez; 4- Claire Pettibone; 5- Johanna Johnson; 6- Theia; 7- Elizabeth St. John; 8- Rosa Clara; 9 & 10- Amanda Wakeley; 11- Elizabeth Fillmore; 12- Sarah Janks