When a bride chooses a wedding dress, it’s always a special event. The fittings require a good amount of time, and care should be taken with each alteration as well as the consideration of the bustle. Following are explanations of bustle terms, as well as descriptions of styles that may help you choose what bustle goes best with your gown. Ask your seamstress for her expert advice in choosing a style, and be sure to consider more than one during your fitting to decide which accents both your figure and the style of the gown!
PICK-UP/OVERPOINT: This simple style of over-bustle requires the least amount of buttons or hook/eyes (sometimes just one) and match eyelets to create a little lift to your gowns train. Usually the most inexpensive bustle, be careful if your dress is made of a heavier fabric or has many layers, because the bustle may not hold up. Ask your seamstress for her professional opinion. For beach weddings and other such occasions that require lighter weight fabrics, this bustle will be just the thing.
AMERICAN: This style of over-bustle is made by raising and securing pieces of the outside of the train to the waistline of the dress. A very easy way to bustle a gown, bringing the fabric tension up and to your waistline. The hooks/buttons are placed on the bodice, and are very small.
FRENCH: This unique under bustle is created by tying a series of ribbons underneath the gowns train. On the outside, it looks like an understated fold. French Bustles can be singular, doubled or even tripled for the longest of gowns. Make sure your seamstress codes your ties with a series of numbers (tie #1 to #1, #2 to #2, etc) underneath for a quick and easy bustling before the reception. Some dresses could have 8 to 10 connecting points depending on the amount of train. Try not to use colored ribbons because the colors can bleed through to your white dress!
TUFTED: This bustle is ideal for a gown that already has a series of pick-ups or tufts on the train. A seamstress can easily create more tufts to blend and shorten the train to floor-length.
: The Ballroom gown bustle is perfect for a gown that is long and has detail in the train of the gown. The train essentially flips under the dress and the hem is left even with the floor. (image: here)
It’s easy to dance in, has an even weight, and looks like a waterfall of fabric.
AUSTRIAN: Much like the Austrian theatre curtains, the trains on an Austrian bustle are softly gathered onto an internal cord and ruched together. The result is a soft gathering of fabric that shows your entire dress, leaving your original hem near the ground. A perfect solution for bodiced dresses with a simple skirt.
ACCENTS: If you have a lovely sash or a large detail on the back of the wedding gown, it can sometimes lay along the train, and have hefty length. If this is the case, bustling the bow into large, romantic loops is an efficient way of neatening the dress for the reception. Consider asking your seamstress to bustle your ribbons for an added touch of detail.