Wedding Dress Bustle Types

Wedding Dress Bustle Types

1) First of all, what is a bustle?
A bustle is the name simply given to the “gathering up” of the train to shorten it so that the bride will not be dragging it along the floor, grass or pavement.

2) What are the different styles of bustling?
There are two basic styles: an overbustle and an underbustle aka “French Bustle” or “Victorian Bustle”.

The overbustle is most often created by the raising of the train by pulling “over” sections of the train and securing it at points on the waistline or at any other point on the back of the train. For instance, in the case of a gown with no waistline, a sheath style or a sweep train, the bustling is done typically behind the knee area or slightly above or below

The underbustle, aka French or Victorian bustle, is accomplished with ribbons that are attached from the underside of the gown and it’s inner slip. At each bustle point a the two ends of the ribbons are tied together to “draw under” the excess fabric of the train. The style of the train can be manipulated in many ways.

) Do I need to know which style is best for my gown when I go for my fitting?
No, the seamstress should be trained in bridal alterations and therefore be able to present to you the options that will show the special features of your gown and the two of you will agree on one together.

4) How many bustle points will I need and how much will it cost?
The average gown uses 3 to 5 bustle points to raise the train off the floor. In most cases a single point bustle is not enough to continually hold up the train throughout the reception. Bustle points should always been done in odd #’s for proper drape. Cathedral trains or trains made of heavy fabrics will, of course, need more than 5 bustle points. Typically 7-9 is adequate to gather them up.
The cost will be approximately $7 per bustle point. The average cost for a complete bustle is approximately $20-35 for the sweep and chapel trains. Cathedral and heavy trains will range from $50-65.

5) On my wedding day, when does the gown get bustled?
Just before you enter your reception venue to appear to your guests as the new husband and wife, the Maid/Matron of Honor or otherwise designated person should bustle the gown for you. It is very important that this person be instructed how to bustle the gown prior to the wedding day to avoid unnecessary stress. It is best if this person can be present at the final fitting so that the seamstress can demonstrate it properly and all questions can be answered at that time.

Your train loop (provided by the manufacturer of your gown) should be used prior to entering the reception when moving about for photographs, getting in and out of vehicles, etc.

There are several types of bustles.

One-Point Overbustle

The most simple and inexpensive is the overbustle, usually secured by one point at the base of the bodice.  This bustle is very full, and works well for brides on a budget with gowns created from lighter fabrics.  The one-point overbustle is notorious for breaking during the reception, so it is not recommended for long trains or gowns made of heavy satin.

Three Point Over-Bustle

A three point overbustle is more secure than the one-point version, and also helps to spread the train so it stays open.  This is a great option for gowns with heavier fabric, and also for the famous Alfred Angelo Dream in Color line.

The Ballroom Bustle

“In the above pictures you see a before picture of the train on the left. Then take a look at what the train looks like on the right after the ballroom bustle has been hooked up.

The ballroom bustle is a statement for girls who don’t like the look of traditional bustles; if they are done well they make the gown look like there was no train at all.  They are a great option for ball gowns with longer trains, and tend to be very secure.  A ballroom bustle is an overbustle created by several points across the bottom of the bodice which spread the train out and create the look of a normal skirt.

One-Point Under Bustle

Under bustles work by ribbon ties placed inside the dress.  The ties are completely hidden and tend to be more secure than over bustles.

The French Bustle

Like the under-bustle, the french bustle is created by a series of ribbons inside the gown.  The train is lifted up and bridesmaids tie together ribbons that are either numbered or color coded to create this elegant, secure look.  This is a great bustle for full gowns and gowns made with heavy or delicate fabrics.  They can be placed low or high and have anywhere from 2 – 25 points in them.

The Double French Bustle

The Triple French Bustle

Also known as ‘whipped cream bustles’, the double or triple french bustle is achieved much like the single french by a series of ties under the skirt. 

The Austrian Bustle

The Austrian bustle is gaining in popularity.  It is a secure bustle created by the use of a loop and pull system similiar to that of a window shade.  A string is pulled and it bunches the train up. 

The Sash Gown Bustle

Creating further problems for brides is a gown with a large sash or other embellishments.  Some brides choose to remove the sash, others tie it up into a loopy bow. 

There are so many other fun and unique ways to bustle your gown.  Ask your seamstress about combining bustle types such as a french and an overbustle, or doing a multi point overbustle with lots of points on it.  Remember that your gown will be bustled for a longer period of time than un-bustled, so make sure that it is not only a great fashion statement, but secure and comfortable to move in!

Happy Planning!