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Does a bustle make your dress shorter?

Are you planning a wedding or attending a formal event where a long dress or gown is required? If so, you may have heard of a bustle. A bustle is a common alteration made to the back of long dresses to help lift and secure the train, but does it make your dress shorter?

The short answer is yes, a bustle can make your dress appear shorter. However, the actual length of your dress remains the same. Confused? Let’s dive deeper into what a bustle is and how it works.

What is a Bustle?

In simple terms, a bustle is a sewing alteration that lifts and secures the back of a long dress, creating a makeshift hemline. A bustle can be applied to any type of long dress or gown, including wedding dresses, formal gowns, and even prom dresses.

Types of Bustles

There are several different types of bustles that can be tailored to suit your dress style and body shape. The most common types include:

Ballroom Bustle

The ballroom bustle is a popular choice for formal gowns and wedding dresses. This style tucks the train under the skirt and attaches it at pickup points around the bodice of your gown. This bustle is ideal for dresses that have a lot of volume and fabric, and it creates a glamorous yet practical look for dancing and moving around.

American Bustle

The American bustle gathers the train from beneath the dress and attaches it to the lower back of your gown. The gathering points are often hidden under a decorative element such as a button, bow, or flower. This style is ideal for dresses with a moderate amount of fabric and creates a classic and timeless look.

French Bustle

The French bustle, also known as the under-bustle, is a popular choice for slimmer or more fitted gowns. This style tucks the train under the dress and secures it at the top of the skirt. The gathering points are often hidden beneath an element such a button, snap, or hook. This style keeps the back of your dress sleek, elegant, and elongated.

Does a Bustle Make Your Dress Shorter?

Now that we have a better understanding of what a bustle is, let’s get back to the big question: does a bustle make your dress shorter? The answer is yes, in a way.

When a bustle is applied to the back of your dress, it lifts the excess fabric off the ground and creates a makeshift hemline. This means that the length of your dress at the back is no longer the same as it was before, but the actual length of your dress remains the same. The front of your dress will still be the same length, and the back will be lifted off the ground.

However, this does not mean that your dress will look shorter overall. In fact, the addition of a bustle can make your gown look even more elegant and grand, as it accentuates the design of the dress and shows off any intricate details or embellishments.


In conclusion, a bustle does not make your dress shorter in the traditional sense. It simply lifts and secures the back of your gown, creating a makeshift hemline that does not affect the overall length of your dress. However, it can make your dress appear shorter from the back, while still maintaining the overall length from the front. This alteration is a popular choice for formal occasions and wedding dresses and can add an extra touch of elegance and practicality to your long gown.


What is the point of a bustle on a wedding dress?

A wedding dress is undoubtedly one of the most important components of a bride’s wedding day. It is understandable that the bride wants to look her best and feel confident when walking down the aisle. However, wearing a dress with a long train can be challenging, especially during the reception when dancing and constant movement may be required. That is where a bustle comes in handy.

A bustle is a mechanism that pulls the train of a wedding dress off the ground, allowing the bride to move freely without getting dirty or tripping. It is a series of buttons, hooks, or ribbons that are placed along the back of the gown to secure the train in an upright position. When the bustle is tied up, the excess fabric is lifted and attached to the back of the gown, creating an elegant and effortless look.

Bustles are available in varying styles and types, with the most popular being the over-bustle and under-bustle. The over-bustle involves lifting the train over the gown’s bodice, and the hooks, buttons, or ties are placed on the outer layer of the dress. This technique is ideal for gowns with intricate detailing and lacework. On the other hand, the under-bustle involves lifting the train from underneath the dress, securing the fabric, and creating a cascading effect. This technique is perfect for satin and silk fabrics, as the train will flow seamlessly, creating a sleek and classic look.

It is worth noting that most wedding dresses do not come with a bustle and are not designed with a bustle in mind. That means that the bustle has to be added by a seamstress or tailor, depending on the bride’s preferences. It is recommended that the bride brings her shoes to the fitting so that the right height can be determined, and the hemline can be adjusted accordingly.

A bustle is a handy mechanism that allows the bride to enjoy her special day comfortably. It raises the train off the ground, allows for seamless movement, and alleviates some of the fear of tripping or tearing the train of the gown. It is an essential component of any wedding dress, and every bride should consider investing in one for her special day.

Is it necessary to have a bustle?

When it comes to wedding gowns, many brides-to-be wonder whether or not they need to have a bustle. The answer is that it really depends on the type of dress you have and your personal preferences. Some dresses are designed to be bustled, while others may not need one at all.

If your dress is one length and doesn’t have a train, then there is no need for a bustle. Likewise, if you have a dress that is tea-length or knee-length, then you won’t need to worry about a bustle either. However, if you have a dress with a train, then it’s worth considering having a bustle put in place. A train can be a beautiful addition to your wedding dress, but it can also be a practical issue if you plan on moving around a lot during your reception.

A bustle allows you to easily transition from a more formal look for the ceremony to a more practical one for the reception. Essentially, the bustle lifts the train of your dress up off the ground and secures it in place so that you don’t have to worry about accidentally stepping on it or tripping over it. This makes it much easier to dance, move around, and enjoy the celebration without worrying about your dress.

There are several different types of bustles you can choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, an American bustle involves gathering the train and securing it to the base of the dress with buttons or hooks. This creates a series of “bumps” on the back of your dress, but also makes it easy to maneuver during the reception. By contrast, a French bustle tucks the train underneath the dress and creates a seamless look, but can be more cumbersome to install and remove.

The decision of whether or not to have a bustle is up to you. Consider the style of your dress, the length of the train, and how much you want to move around during the reception. Talk to your seamstress or tailor about the different options available and choose the bustle that best fits your needs.

Do you wear wedding dress for first dance?

It is a common question for brides-to-be whether they should wear their wedding dress for their first dance. While it is ultimately up to personal preference, there are a few things to consider before you make your decision.

Wearing your wedding dress during your first dance can add an extra element of elegance and glamour to the occasion. It gives you the opportunity to show off your beautiful gown in front of your guests and feel like a real princess. You will also have the chance to see how well you can move in your dress, which will be very helpful on your big day as you’ll already know what to expect.

On the other hand, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind. Your wedding dress is likely to be quite heavy and cumbersome, which can make it difficult to move around. You may also end up stepping on your dress and tripping over, especially if you are planning to do any complex dance moves. Therefore, it is crucial that you practice with your dress on beforehand so that you can get used to how it feels and ensure that you won’t have any accidents on your big day.

Another thing to consider is when your first dance will take place. If it is the first dance of the evening, you may find it more comfortable to wear a different dress that is more lightweight and easier to dance in. But if your first dance is later in the evening, you may feel more comfortable wearing your wedding dress as you will have had plenty of time to get used to it by then.

If you do decide to wear your wedding dress, it is important to choose the right type of shoes to go with it. You will want to wear shoes that are comfortable to dance in and offer good support, but also ones that look good with your dress. Practice dancing in your shoes, so you can get a feel of how they will work on the dance floor and how you will look while wearing them.

Whether or not to wear your wedding dress for your first dance ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you want to show off your dress and feel like a princess, then go for it! But just make sure you are comfortable when you dance and that you have practiced enough in your dress beforehand to avoid any potential mishaps. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy your special day!