All About The Bustle

You know that gorgeous gown you bought? Or the one you’ve been cyber-stalking for months? The one you see yourself getting married in? Yeah, that gorgeous gown. While I’m sure you’ve long-considered the price, the lace, the neckline, have you given much thought to how you’d like it bustled? Your gown will actually spend most of its time in view of your guests bustled, so it’s something that you might want to give a little thought. The info below will give you all sorts of ideas for how to bustle your wedding dress and some photos to help you imagine it.

1.       The only dresses that need to be bustled are those with a train.

If you went with a floor-length gown or shorter, you don’t have to concern yourself with bustling. Get back to your flower arranging! If you’ve chosen a long show-stopper, you’ll definitely want to have a seamstress add a bustle to your gown. She can do this so easily while finishing all of your other alterations. At your fitting she can even show you what each of these bustle styles would look like with your dress, and some seamstresses can draw you a little cheat sheet to give you a reminder of how to bustle it. But with that long train you will definitely want to bustle your gown so that you don’t have guests stepping all over your dress on your big day.

2.       The non-bustling, bustling options.

Yeah, that’s confusing. Let me explain, since a bustle is a particular way of shortening the dress by adding ties or hooks to the back, there are other ways to shorten your dress. Unfortunately, there’s just not a great term for them. So we’ll call them the non-bustling bustling options. You with me?

So here’s the first: carrying your dress over your arm. This is not a great option as it only leaves you with one hand available to hug people, drink, toss your bouquet, etc. I mention it though because it does look incredibly lovely and delicate in photos. Also, you’d need a gown with a crazy long train to be able to do this.

The second option is a wrist tie. This is the little loop that’s sewn into the dress lining that you can hook over one wrist. It creates a beautiful drape to your dress, and most dresses already have them sewn in. The pitfall is that you are having to hoist the weight of your dress’s train all night. It might seem light for half an hour, but if you’re planning on a longer reception, be prepared to have a really sore arm the next day!

3.       The American Bustle.

The American bustle is also called the “outer bustle” because the train of your dress is lifted up and attached to the outer side of your dress. Imagine picking a spot in the middle of your train and lifting it up so that the train becomes the same length as the front of your dress. Your seamstress can pick one lift point or several. This style usually gives the dress a little flare in the back.

4.       The French Bustle.

The French bustle is otherwise known as the “under bustle” because the train is tucked up and tied under the back of your gown. So your seamstress will pick a spot in the middle of your train, push it up and under the fabric above it, and attach it. This gives a kind of pillow-y or folded look in the back with the bottom of the train falling to the floor underneath.

5.       The Ballroom Bustle.

The ballroom bustle is a less popular bustle because it takes quite a bit more work and it often loses the “drama” of the dress. This style is called the “flip under” because your seamstress will put in a row of buttons or ties all along the inside of your dress so that you can button up the train so that your dress looks just like a floor-length gown. All of the train fabric is hidden by buttoning it up on the underside of the dress.