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Can you bustle an A-line dress?

Wedding dresses come in a variety of styles and shapes, and each design presents unique challenges when it comes to bustling. If you are planning to wear an A-line dress on your big day, the question arises: Can you bustle an A-line dress? The short answer is yes! This post will dive into what a bustle is, how to properly bustle your A-line dress, and the types of A-line gowns that are best suited for bustling.

What is a bustle?

A bustle is created by fastening the back of a gown so that the train is lifted off the ground. It’s a common alteration made to wedding dresses that allow the bride to move and dance comfortably during the reception without tripping over her gown. Depending on the dress’s style and length, there are a few different ways to bustle the fabric.

How to Bustle an A-line Dress

A-line dresses are a popular choice for brides because they are elegant, timeless, and accentuate the waistline. In some cases, however, the train can cause problems when navigating the dance floor. This is when bustling comes in handy. Here are the steps to follow to bustle your A-line dress:

Step 1: First, put on your wedding shoes to ensure the hemline is at the correct length. The ideal hemline for an A-line dress is just above the ground, so you do not step on the fabric when walking.

Step 2: Take a look at the dress’s undercarriage, specifically the layers of tulle or organza. This is where you will be attaching the bustle.

Step 3: Use a measuring tape to determine how far up on the skirt the bustle needs to be attached. This will depend on the length of your dress’s train.

Step 4: Once you know where to attach the bustle, talk to your seamstress about which type of bustle will work best for your dress. An experienced seamstress will be able to recommend an ideal option that complements your dress design.

Step 5: Once your bustle is in place, it’s time for a fitting. Your seamstress will help you put on the dress and adjust the train’s placement so that the bustle is secure and does not drag on the ground.

Types of Bustles

There are several types of bustles, and depending on the dress style, a specific one may work better than others.

1. American Bustle: The American bustle is a popular choice for A-line dresses. It involves lifting the train and tucking it underneath the dress so that it falls in a vertical line from the waist.

2. French Bustle: A French bustle involves pulling the train together and securing it with buttons or hooks underneath the dress. This option is recommended for A-line, sheath, and mermaid or trumpet gowns.

3. Ballroom Bustle: A ballroom bustle gathers the train and creates a cascade effect, adding fullness and dimension to the back of the gown. This bustle works best for A-line or ballgown style dresses.


In conclusion, A-line dresses can be bustled, and there are several options to choose from depending on the dress style. The key to bustling your A-line dress successfully is finding a reputable seamstress who can guide you through the process and recommend the perfect bustle type for your dress. By doing so, you’ll be able to dance the night away without worrying about tripping over your train or getting it dirty.


Can all dresses be bustled?

Bustling is an essential feature in the design of longer dresses, especially wedding gowns. Wedding dresses, prom dresses, evening gowns, and other types of dresses can be challenging to maneuver around in without bustling. A bustle lifts the extra fabric off the ground, allowing the wearer to move around more freely and comfortably.

The good news is that nearly all dresses can be bustled. However, the bustle design will depend on the dress’s style, fabric, and the bride’s preference. A bustle is created by gathering the extra length of fabric that drags along the ground and securing it with buttons, hooks, or ribbons. There are different types of bustles, and the seamstress will choose the right one for the dress style and the bride’s preference.

For instance, a ballroom bustle works well for dresses with built-in trains, while an under-bustle is often the best choice for a-dress-with-a-sweeping-train. The French bustle style is common for dresses with a soft, flowing fabric, while the American bustle style is suitable for dresses with heavier fabric.

It’s worth noting that while most dresses can be bustled, some dresses may not require or need one. For example, short or tea-length dresses typically do not have enough length to create a train, let alone require bustling.

Bustling is an essential feature for longer dresses, and almost all long dresses, including wedding dresses, evening gowns, and prom dresses, can be bustled. The specific bustle design, however, will depend on the dress’s style, fabric, and the wearer’s preference.

Is it hard to add a bustle to a dress?

Adding a bustle to a dress is a common alteration that is done to wedding gowns and other formal dresses. A bustle is a technique used to lift the train off the floor to make it easier to walk and dance in. While the concept of a bustle may appear simple, the process of adding one to a dress can be quite complex.

Beware that adding a bustle to your wedding dress isn’t a simple task, so make sure to leave that bit to a professional. Unless you have professional sewing and alterations expertise, doing this yourself can end in a disaster. It’s best left to the experts who have had years of experience in handling delicate fabrics and working on formal garments to avoid damaging the dress entirely.

Depending on the style of the dress and the type of bustle being added, it can take several hours to complete. A tailor or seamstress will need to assess the dress and determine the best way to add in the bustle, taking into account not only the style of the dress but also your preferences for how you want it to look.

Different types of bustles for different kinds of dresses exist, such as the over bustle, the under bustle, the French bustle, and the waterfall bustle, each of which requires specific techniques and skills. Additionally, the bustle needs to be tailored to your unique body shape, ensuring that it is the right length and sits in the right place.

Adding a bustle to a dress is not an easy task. It will require an expert tailor or seamstress to complete successfully. Doing it yourself is a big risk as it may damage the dress, costing you more money in the long run. However, if you are looking to add this alteration to your wedding or formal dress, it is worth the expense and effort to make sure that your dress looks beautiful for your special day.

Why are a-line dresses so flattering?

A-line dresses have been a popular style for decades, and one of the reasons behind this is their universally flattering shape. The term ‘A-line’ refers to a dress style that flows out from the waistline, forming an ‘A’ shape. Unlike other dress styles, such as empire waists or loose-fitting dresses, the A-line silhouette creates an illusion of a narrower waist and wider hips. This makes it one of the most flattering styles out there and is perfect for women of all body types and sizes.

The A-line dress silhouette is fitted at the top, gently skimming the body from the waist down to the hips, where it flares out to the hemline. This design creates a diagonal line on both sides of the waist that draws the eye inward, creating a slimming effect. The flare of the A-line skirt adds volume to the lower body, making the hips appear wider and the legs longer. It also creates a balanced silhouette, accentuating the curves while flattering any parts of the body you may not feel the most confident about.

Moreover, an A-line dress with a cinched waist accentuates the narrowest part of the waist, further emphasizing that hourglass shape. The dress’s fitted top also highlights the smallest part of the torso, creating a flattering and feminine silhouette. The A-line dress style can also be incredibly versatile, coming in a range of fabrics, lengths, and styles. It can be dressed up with a pair of heels or dresses down with sandals or sneakers, making it the perfect closet staple for many occasions.

The A-line silhouette is one of the most flattering styles to exist since it creates an illusion of a narrower waist and wider hips, making it perfect for women’s figures. It can flatter every body type, from petite to curvy, and can also be versatile, making it one of the most popular dress styles to date.

When did people stop wearing bustles?

The bustle was a fashion trend during the late 19th century, which involved a padded understructure that was worn at the back of a skirt or dress to create a more pronounced rear end. The bustle evolved from the previous fashion trend of the crinoline, which was a large cage-like structure worn under skirts that created a wide and sweeping silhouette.

According to historical records and fashion experts, the bustle went out of fashion around 1888. Unlike the crinoline, which has made occasional comebacks as wedding garb or in costume designs, the bustle hasn’t reappeared in mainstream fashion. The decline of the bustle can be attributed to various social, cultural, and economic factors.

One reason why the bustle fell out of favor was because of the trend towards more natural and unstructured clothing styles. The Art Nouveau movement, which was influential in the late 1800s, emphasized free-flowing lines and organic forms, which were the opposite of the rigid and structured shapes created by the bustle.

Another factor that contributed to the decline of the bustle was the rise of women’s sports and physical activities. Women who were participating in sports or other active pursuits found it difficult to move, run, or play while wearing a heavy and bulky undergarment.

Economic factors also played a role in the decline of the bustle. Advances in textile manufacturing and clothing design made it possible for women to wear lighter weight and more comfortable clothing. The bustle was often made from heavy materials like steel, whalebone, or horsehair, which were expensive and not always available.

People stopped wearing bustles around 1888, mainly due to the trend towards natural and unstructured clothing styles, the rise of women’s sports and physical activities, and advances in textile manufacturing and clothing design that made it possible for women to wear lighter weight and more comfortable clothing. While the bustle may not be in fashion today, it remains an interesting and important part of fashion history.