A-line? Silk Mikado? A bustle? What does it all mean?
There are many terms when it comes to describing a wedding gown. We hope this glossary will help you in learning about the countless terms surrounding wedding gowns.
If you ever have any questions, please Ask Us and we will be glad to help.
Bateau or Sabrina – Follows collarbone from shoulder to shoulder
Halter – Straps go around to back of neck
Off-the-Shoulder – Gown sits just below shoulder line and is held up by bodice
Portrait – Wide scoop that sits just on shoulder bone
Scoop – Wide “U” shape
Spaghetti Straps – Thin straps that go over shoulders
Square – Self explanatory
Strapless – No straps, gown is kept up by bodice
Sweetheart – Heart shaped
T-Shirt or Jewel – Round like a T-shirt
V-Neck – Shaped like a “V”
Batiste – Semi-transparent fabric
Brocade – Heavy material with a pattern
Chiffon – Lightweight, flowing sheer fabric
Crepe – Lightweight porous-like fabric
Damask – Medium weight patterned fabric
Duchess Satin – Hybrid of silk and polyester
Dupioni – Thick coarse looking silk
Gazar – Criss cross weaved fabric,linen-like
Illusion – Semi-transparent fabric similar to organza
Organdy – Stiffer transparent fabric
Organza – Sheer fabric similar to tulle but more tightly woven
Polyester – Man made fabric often blended with silks or made to mimic a certain type of fabric
Rayon – Similar to polyester but more elastic
Satin – Smooth textured fabric very common in wedding gowns. Comes in Silk or Polyester
Shantung – Rough textured fabric with lines and “nubs”. Comes in Silk or Polyester
Silk – A soft and fine fabric that comes in a variety of finishes such as shantung or satin
Silk Mikado – A type of blended silk that is heavier than regular silk
Taffeta – Crisp, rustling fabric
Tulle – Stiff netting similar to organza but stiffer and coarser
2 Piece – Separate skirt and top. This may apply to any of the silhoutees below
A-line – Fitted bodice with slight flare starting at the waist or higher and going to the floor
Ball Gown – Traditional full skirt and fitted bodice
Mermaid – Sheath gown to the knees and then a flare out
Trumpet- Very similar to a mermaid silhouette, but the gown starts to flare out higher on the leg
Sheath – Column or tube shaped gown following the contours of the body
Basque – Waistline dips below natural waist forming a “V” in the center
Dropped – Waistline dips below natural waistline and sits more on hips
Empire – High waistline just under bust
Princess Cut- Many gowns especially a-lines have no defined waist
Natural- Waistline sits between the empire and dropped waistlines.
Words & Terms
Bustle – a technique used to bring the train up after the ceremony. Usually done with eyes and hooks by a seamstress.
Corset back – a method of closing the gown using loops and ties rather than a zipper.
Horsehair – Stiff trim used to provide structure and/or design to a gown
Applique – ornamentation, as a cutout design, that is sewn on to the gown.
Train – Wedding dress trains are the portion of the gown’s skirt that extends behind the bride and trails along the ground. Lengths from short to long are, sweep, puddle, chapel, cathedral