The Ultimate Wedding Dress Bustle Guide

The Ultimate Wedding Dress Bustle Guide

What is a wedding dress bustle and why might you want to get one for your bridal gown? How can a wedding dress alterations expert create a bustle for your dress? Find out in this in-depth guide from Alterations Boutique.

What is a Wedding Dress Bustle?

A bustle stops your wedding dress from dragging along the ground by gathering up the train and any other extra fabric. Essentially, the bustle is the saviour of wedding dresses with lots of fabric or long trains! Using a series of ties or buttons, the bustle either lifts or tucks away the excess fabric nice and neatly.

Dress designers first created the bustle in the 1800s when women had frames to support their very full-skirted dresses. So, you can rest assured that a proper bustle will provide the best support for even the most lavish of wedding dresses on your big day! Though you don’t have to have a cumbersome frame under your dress these days, as the bustling method has come along a long way since the Victorian era.

Do I Need a Wedding Dress Bustle?

It’s not a requirement by any means, but many brides prefer a wedding dress bustle for reasons of convenience and dress preservation. With a bustle in place, the long train of the wedding dress won’t be getting in your way or tripping you up, especially during your first dance and reception festivities. Plus, the hem of your dress will suffer a lot less from dirt and damage on the day when it can be swept up and away from the floor.

Creating a Wedding Dress Bustle

A wedding dress doesn’t always come with a bustle incorporated, so you may well be looking to add a bustle to your gown after you’ve purchased it. Thankfully, there are many methods a professional wedding dress alterations seamstress can use to create the perfect bustle for this most important item of your bridal ensemble. Here are a few bustle styles to consider for your gown:

Under Bustle

Also known as the French Bustle or Victorian Bustle, the under bustle gathers the train of the dress underneath the main skirt with a series of subtle ribbons. You’ll need an experienced helper to tie these together for you on the day, so think about bringing a bridesmaid to your final dress fitting!

Over Bustle

In contrast to the under bustle, with the Over Bustle (or American Bustle) style the seamstress adds hooks or buttons to the waistline to enable the train to be lifted over the top of the dress. This type of bustle creates an elegant and traditional ballgown style that is suited to long trains.

Ballroom Bustle

If you want your dress to look as if it’s not been bustled at all, the Ballroom Bustle is the look for you. Many bustle points around the bodice allow the train to subtly fold into itself, to the point where it looks like your dress was always ballgown length.

Austrian Bustle

A more unique and contemporary style of bustle, the Austrian Bustle involves gathering the fabric of the gown centrally down the back. This forms a ruche-like look by pulling the two sides of the skirt/train and tying them together with ribbons.

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