How to Bustle a Wedding Dress

The train of your wedding dress is a gorgeous, dramatic, and, by nature of having a long swathe of fabric trailing behind you, somewhat cumbersome detail. Enter the bustle, a series of hooks, buttons, or ribbons that lift up and secure the train, making it even with your hemline. Added by our alterations experts at your fitting, a bustle will keep your gown danceable while adding a lovely new dimension to your wedding-day look. Read on for popular types of bustles and which will best enhance your wedding dress silhouette. Watch video >

Illustration of American Bustle or Over Bustle

1. American Bustle or Over Bustle

The American or over bustle means the train is gathered up and fastened over the rest of the skirt, resulting in cascading folds. This works best for ball gown wedding dresses or gowns with cathedral-length trains.

Illustration of French Bustle or Under Bustle

2. French Bustle or Under Bustle

The French or under bustle tucks beneath the skirt, creating a tidy billow or two of fabric. It's recommended for A-line, sheath, and mermaid or trumpet gowns.

Style Tip:

Elect a helper (usuaully your mom or maid of honor) to bustle your dress, and ask them to accompany you to the final fitting. As your alterations expert walks them through the bustling process, have them take video so they can refer to it on the big day.

Illustration of Royal Bustle or Victorian Bustle

3. Royal Bustle or Victorian Bustle

The royal or Victorian bustle is a more elaborate option, as the train is affixed down the back of the dress at multiple points, creating dramatic folds. Try it out on a very full ball gown or a cathedral-length train.

Illustration of Ballroom Bustle

4. Ballroom Bustle

The ballroom bustle disguises the train altogether by fastening it beneath the skirt at several attachment points. Clearly perfect for a ball gown, this type of bustle can actually be used on most silhouettes.

Illustration of Bow Bustle

5. Bow Bustle

The bow bustle adds a little extra romance to the gown. It attaches similarly to the over bustle but is secured with a ribbon or sash. Best for A-line wedding dresses.

Style Tip:

Our wedding dresses come in an array of train lengths, from a barely there sweep to a longer-than-long extended cathedral. Your stylist will make a bustle recommendation based on the amount of fabric in the train, as well as the line of the skirt.

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