My fiance wants me in a traditional gown with the long train and veil. While I like the idea of going all out traditional, the problem is I’m short-waisted and most every big dress I’ve tried on has some kind of waist issue that leaves me looking boxy. I know that perfect gown is out there, I just haven’t found it.

Sounds like you have the classic undefined, boy waistline. Boy waists aka short waists are common and can be worked. Focus on styles bringing all eyes up to the face, shoulders and bust line while minimizing or hiding your waist. Opt for styles like A-line and princess seams that elongate. Madonna is a fine example of someone who has done well at camouflaging this tricky boy midriff (I’m thinking Evita here not Truth or Dare). Check out her gown in Evita when she does a death waltz with Antonio Banderas—a white A-line shift with a V-neck. Stunning! ·

Empire waists. They look great on you. This style hides the natural waist and focuses on the bust and neck area. An empire can have slim or full skirts, take your pick. ·
Sweetheart or V-necklines. They lengthen your bodice and extend your neck. ·
High necklines like jewel and turtlenecks. They extend the bodice. ·
Vertical lace patterns and prints. Make sure the pattern travels upward. ·
A-line and princess styles. They flatter for the reason there is no defined waist. Fitted through the bodice, these styles taper down to a full skirt. ·
A trapeze or tent style. ·
A suit if the idea appeals to you. Make sure the jacket fits below your bottom.

*Any detail that points to the waistline such as, wearing a gown that has a natural waist, a veil that ends there or any gloves or sleeves that are three-quarter length.
*Any lacy, ruffled or tiered designs.

The gown pictured below is ideal for a short waist as it is both an empire waist and a modified A-line.
The gown below works because it has a jewel neckline.

Top photo by ejones photography
Gowns by Amy-Jo Tatum