Forum home Archived Live web clinics

Welcome to our fashion webchat with Phillipa Lepley

Hi everyone

Welcome to our wedding fashion webchat with wedding dress designer Phillipa Lepley. She's the expert when it comes to wedding fashion to suit your style and shape and budget so make sure you make the most of her expertise.

If you'd like to ask her a question, simply click "post reply" in this thread and type your question into the box. Her reply will appear in the same thread (but please bear with us if we get busy, your question will be answered as soon as we can!)

Enjoy yourselves




  • jeskiukjeskiuk Posts: 2,051

    I haven't looked at dresses yet as I really am not a dress person and wouldn't know where to start. I am six ft, size 18 but hoping to lose some, with broad shoulders and not much of a chest. Also have a toddler and a clumsy h2b so worry about a strapless dress. And I'm on a really tight budget. Don't suppose you have any suggestions?

    Thanks a lot

  • Hello Im ready and waiting for your questions...Phillipa
  • Hi Teresa,

    If a strapless dress is made properly with the correct corset it will stay exactly where it is!

    Dresses that are very covered up , could look heavy , less is more withe a fuller figure. Princess line maybe with a matt fabric or lace is incredibly flattering. Lace shrugs work beautifully if they are cut with a triangle shaped neckline.....

    A good corste is vital, maybe laced up inside. Feeling very comfortable on your special day is very important for you. You will know when you start trying on dresses.

    Please come back to me with any other questions.



  • petahuntpetahunt Posts: 183
    Hello jeski

    clumsy h2b???

    have you thought of something shorter?

    Also as you say you have broad shoulders I would avoid strapless usually a detailed strap can break up the shoulder line and I love a jacket over a dress

    be realistic about what size you are working down to I think for your height 14-16 is perfect

    all the best

  • jeskiukjeskiuk Posts: 2,051
    Clumsy h2b is probably going to stand on my dress at some point, hence the worry about strapless. Not thought of going for a shorter style as having a church wedding, and I am slightly taller than h2b so don't really want a style which will draw attention to it.
  • Most people are worried about strapless because they have never had a dress made properly that doesnt move, they just have memories of party frocks that do not behave!

  • jolie1000jolie1000 Posts: 21
    Hi Phillipa and Petra

    I am having the well-known 'two dress' debate. My problem is that I would love a dress with movement and fluidity for the reception, but I have a slight frame and would like something fitted with a train for the ceremony. I am not prepared to divide my budget for two dresses, but cannot afford to double it! Can you suggest a suitable style? My ideal dress would not be typical strapless A-line but not evening dress either - something in between, obviously with a wow factor!

    I have thought about removable trains and even removable layers, but so far none of the nice ones have this (possibly it spoils the line of the dress?).

    A tough question but I appreciate the advice. Thanks
  • debronukdebronuk Posts: 379
    Hello, it's not exactly your area but what's your thoughts on underwear? I really don't want to wear a strapless bra with my corseted dress but my fitter says I should get one anyway.....
  • Hi Phillipa

    I love lace, but my mum seems to think that it's really old fashioned - what do you think?

    I'm going for a halter neck dress to suit my shape, what's the best way to incorporate lace into it?



  • FeeFee232FeeFee232 Posts: 1,159
    Hi Phillipa

    I have a dress which is fitted with straps the back of the dress design is gorgeous and I am wondering whether to wear a veil at the back of my head with a tiara or not?

    What would you advise?

    kind regards

  • JessyBukJessyBuk Posts: 29
    Hi there,

    I'm really rather interested in the importance of the under layers of a wedding dress. Please would you be able to explain what I should look for when assessing the quality of the dress and how important the underlayers are at achieving a perfectly fitted dress.

    Thank you


  • Why cant you have layers of chiffon with a long train to give you the movement, drama and fluidity and then loop them up off the floor later.

    if you are tiny, it would be lovely to have a soft aline chiffon skirt (2layers ) over a crepe maybe, coming from the waist. With a small waisted bodice on the top.

  • I've bought an Elizabeth Emanuel Art of Elegance dress and as it has a bustle I don't know if I could still get away with wearing a veil as I really don't want to hide the detail on the dress. Also I am having a victorian themed wedding and don't know if a veil would be in keeping with this...any suggestions?
  • jolie1000jolie1000 Posts: 21
    Thanks Phillipa. I haven't seen any like that - can you recommend any designs you have seen in particular?
  • I always say no bra as it will fight with the shape of the corset and get in the the garment around the bra shape you like , if the dress is trong and boned enough , it wont need abar....worrying to wear a bra as it may show!!!!

  • Hello Db

    I adore lace?????

    there are soooooo many types

    so feminine

    You could have lace just on the bodice

    you could soften the neckline with scollaps appliqued around the edge...very pretty and less heavy.

    Our shop is full of lace frocks!!!

  • KimmybobKimmybob Posts: 1,580
    Hey there.

    Can you advise what a large breasted lady ( me!) would wear. I am curvy... hips and all that and want to know what dresses would best suit me.

    A larger underskirt I fear will make me look like a sugar plum fairy and I would like to assentuate my assetts (sp)


  • Hi Fee

    I adore veils I think it finishes the whole look and really softens everything and definitly adds romance.

    If you want to put the veil over your face , dont have theveil too far at the back of your head, it will flatten your hair at the front and look strange.

    Just wear the veil for the church and take off soon afterwards...there will be plenty of chance to see the back of the dress later.

  • fairyqueenukfairyqueenuk Posts: 227
    Hi phillipa,

    I am a short bride... 5ft 1inches.... AT the moment i am overweight and looking to lose about 2half stones.... However i know my shape will always be an hourglass... The problem is I have a slim waist but my legs are short and my thighs to me feel stumpy even when i am at a good weight.. what dress can you suggest for short legs and im short in height too.... Also I need to tone my arms up, I can only decribe them as like a rugby players with broad shoulders.... but i think i will always be broad shouldered even if i lose weight so would like something to make me look feminine....

    ANy ideas??


  • Hi Jessy b

    Yes the under corset on the dress is vital. It will control the whole fit of the dress.

    If the corset doesnt have enough shaping at the waist, then you won't

    ! If it is not thick enougha nd strong enough the bones will bend throughout the day. It does take years of experience and experimentation to get a good corset.

    The are lots of very good designers who have mastered the art.

    YOu will know as soon as you try on whether it has the x factor or not.


  • chiffon waisted dresses are just lovely...we have several.

  • Regarding a veil with Emanuel dress....keeping the victorian look...

    try it on see how it looks?

    you will know staright away...and how does it feel???

    a wedding is always very romantic with a veil

  • fairyqueenukfairyqueenuk Posts: 227
    also forgot to say I have large boobs even when i lose weight lol
  • Hi Phillipa,

    I am a size 6-8 with no boobs!! I don't think strapless dresses suit me and would like some kind of straps (maybe halter or spagetti). I like the lacey / the floaty material (not sure what it's called!). I would also like to incorporate some pearls or sparkles. And i really like the big sashes around the waist, my colour theme is probably going to be gold. I am getting married in December, and don't like the fur shrugs. I also don;t want the dress to be too fussy!

    Any ideas what would suit me? I am hoping to come your shop soon, so would appreciate any suggestions!!

    Thank you xx
  • Hello Kim

    large breasted lady with curves....

    well don't eccentuate the waist too much as it will make your hips look bigger!

    Have the fullness of the skirt flaring from your widest part , dont add inches to your widest part.....

    Have the neckline cut as low as is acceptable ( not too naughty in church) to minimise the boobies...

  • Hi I am getting married i feb in austria having a snowy wedding amongst the mountains. I have gone for a pure white dress with fur shrug. I cannot decide on colours for bridesmaids/ groom etc. my choices are 'black and white' theme with a hint of red or dark purple? What do you think? I thought abot having the bridesmaids with shrugs 2 to match me but in black or purple. Do you know where I can get these??
  • FeeFee232FeeFee232 Posts: 1,159
    Hi Phillipa

    I am getting married in a hotel therefore I am having doubts about having a veil.

    I have already chosen my underwear and this weekend I go and collect a body to wear under my dress to ensure I am comfortable under the dress. It had to be pocketed for my prothesis.

    I was disappointed when I went to chose my dress as I had my heart set on a v-neck but it would not sit right even with a correctly fitting mastectomy bra and prothesis no matter what we did the v would not sit in the middle. I therefore had to change my mind completely. I was upset to start with but have now chosen a strap dress with a straight neckline.

    I already have a tiara and I know the tiara goes well with the dress.

    I had no idea how much time and patience the ladies have in a bridal shop to make sure brides are happy with their choices and to make sure the dresses fit correctly. When I chose my dress on the internet I thought if I email the shop and let them know my size I could chose it off the peg and take it home the same day. I have had my eyes opened and am deeply touched that staff in bridal shops make sure their clients are well looked after.

    best wishes.

  • Hi Renx

    I'm sure its not that bad.....I'm sure we could sort out something becomes so apparent in front of that magic mirror.

    maybe have a dress with no break (ie not a bodice and skirt grown on ) as this would shorten you.

    Little short shrugs , with a triangle neckline are very narrowing...3/4 length sleeves maybe


  • madstephmadsteph Posts: 524
    Hi Phillipa,

    I'm wondering if you can help me. I'm a plus size girl and whilst I desperately will try to lose weight for my wedding, I doubt I will ever be stick thin. At the moment I'm too embarrassed to go into a dress shop as I'm worried I won't find anything to fit - I'm currently a 22/24 on top and a 28 on the bottom. Like I said I hope to lose weight before my wedding next year although I'm really worried as to what size my dress might come out as if I was to try any on now sob!

    I was just wondering, in your opinion, what style of dress might suit me? Are there any designers in particular that cater for the bigger bride?

    Can you recommend anyone you know that does plus size gowns within a reasonable distance from Birmingham?

    Any advice would be fab x
  • matsbridematsbride Posts: 346
    Hi Phillipa and Peta, and thanks for the great tips so far!

    I'm getting married 29th August 2009 and the wedding has really spurred me on to lose weight. I have a lot to lose, but so far it's going well. I'm just not sure when would be the best time to go dress shopping - I've heard a year in advance is best, but if all goes well and I lose the weight how will this effect my dress (we're talking stones here, not a few pounds!!!).

    Also (and here comes the cheeky second question!) do you have any tips for fab mothers' wear? Our budget is pretty healthy and we're in London.

    Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks xxx
Sign In or Register to comment.