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What does bustle your dress mean?

When it comes to wedding gowns, one of the most iconic features is the train. A long, flowing trail of fabric that provides an air of luxury and elegance to any dress. However, it is not always the most practical feature, especially when it comes to movement. That’s where the bustle comes in.

What is a Bustle?

A bustle refers to the process of transitioning a wedding gown to function as if it had no train, involving fastening the train to the rest of the dress. The function of a bustle is to sweep up the train off the ground and secure it in place, thereby allowing the bride to move around effortlessly while also giving her the option to remove the bustle for photography and ceremonial purposes.

The bustle is typically fastened to the back of the gown and can be secured in a variety of ways, including hooks, buttons, and ribbons. The style of bustle can vary based on the style of the gown, personal preference, and the amount of fabric in the train.

Types of Bustles

There are several different types of bustles, depending on the style of the dress and amount of fabric in the train. Here are some of the most common types of bustles:

American Bustle

The American bustle, also known as the over-bustle or ballroom bustle, is one of the most popular types of bustles for formal and traditional wedding gowns. The American bustle involves gathering up the train at the bustle point and securing it over the back of the dress with buttons, snaps, or hooks. This style creates a cascading effect at the back of the gown, with the folds of fabric flowing down the back of the dress.

French Bustle

The French bustle, also known as the under-bustle or Victorian bustle, is a classic option that creates a more discrete look. This style involves fastening the train to the lining of the dress with buttons or ribbons, resulting in a smooth, seamless appearance.

Ballroom Bustle

The ballroom bustle is a variation of the American bustle that involves securing the gathers of the train underneath the skirt of the dress, creating a fuller, ballroom-inspired look. This style is especially popular for ball gowns and A-line dresses.

English Bustle

The English bustle, also known as the royal bustle, is a more formal style that involves creating folds of fabric that are layered and secured with a series of hooks or pins. This style is commonly used on dress trains that are made up of multiple layers of fabric, such as chiffon or silk.

How to Bustle a Dress

Bustling a dress can be a tricky process, but it can be done with a little practice and help from a trusted friend or seamstress. Here is a general guideline on how to bustle a dress:

  1. Identify the bustle point on the dress – this is where the train will be gathered and secured.
  2. Decide on the style of bustle – different dresses may require different types of bustles.
  3. Practice bustling the dress before the big day – enlist the help of a friend or family member to practice bustling the dress before the wedding day.
  4. Secure the bustle – use hooks, buttons, or ribbons to secure the train of the dress in place and create the desired look.
  5. Adjust as needed – make sure the bustle is secure and comfortable, and adjust as needed throughout the day.


The bustle is an essential feature that allows brides to have the best of both worlds – the elegance and allure of a train, with the comfort and practicality of a shorter dress. Whether you opt for a classic French bustle or a more dramatic ballroom style, bustling your wedding dress can make a big difference on your special day.


What does it mean to have your dress bustle?

In the world of wedding gowns, a bustle refers to the process of altering a wedding dress to seamlessly transition from the ceremony to the reception. It involves picking up the train of the dress, whether via buttons, hooks, or ties, and securing it closer to the body of the dress. This allows for a bride to better navigate her surroundings without worrying about tripping or getting caught on the train. A bustle can also help showcase the intricate details of a gown, like lace or beading, by allowing the design to be more visible without the distraction of a long, flowing train.

There are various types of bustles that can be created, depending on the style and length of a wedding dress. The most common type, the American bustle or ballroom bustle, involves securing the train to the back of the dress with one or more points of connection. This allows the train to be lifted up and buttoned or tied to the underside of the dress, creating a lifted, bouncy effect. Another option is the French bustle, which involves picking up the train underneath the dress and securing it at the waistline with hooks or buttons. This creates a more seamless, elegant effect that’s perfect for sleek, sophisticated gowns.

In order to create a bustle, a bride will typically need to consult with a seamstress or tailor to determine the best method for her specific gown. The process can involve changes to the hemline, the addition of buttons or hooks, or even the creation of extra fabric for the bustle itself. While the process may seem daunting, creating a bustle is an essential step for many brides in order to make sure that their wedding dress is as practical as it is beautiful.

Can I bustle my own dress?

Wedding budgets can get expensive, and couples are always looking for ways to save some money. One way you can potentially save money is by bustling your own wedding dress. A bustle is a technique used to temporarily tie up the train of a wedding gown to make it easier to move around in during the reception.

It’s important to note that not all wedding dresses are created equal, and some may not be easily bustled without professional help. Generally speaking, most wedding dresses do not come with a pre-made bustle. If you’re thinking of bustling your wedding gown yourself, it’s important to have some basic sewing knowledge and skills.

There are a few different types of bustles that you can choose from, and the type of bustle you choose depends on the style of your dress. The most common types of bustles are the American, French, and ballroom. The American bustle is the simplest, where a series of ties are used to gather the train at the back of the dress. The French bustle is a little more complicated and hides the ties under fabric buttons. The ballroom bustle is the most involved and requires more time and skill to construct.

To bustle your own wedding dress, you’ll need a few essential tools such as a sewing kit, scissors, and pins. Begin by carefully examining your dress and determine what type of bustle will work best. Always practice your bustle before the big day to ensure that everything stays in place.

It’s important to remember that busting your wedding dress yourself may not be ideal for everyone. If you don’t feel comfortable with sewing or are worried about damaging your dress, then it’s best to seek the help of a professional. Professional wedding dress alterations experts have the experience and expertise to ensure that your gown is properly altered without any damage.

Bustling your wedding dress yourself is entirely possible if you have some basic sewing skills and are comfortable working with your dress. If you do not feel confident in your skills, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional wedding dress alterations expert to ensure that your gown looks perfect on your special day.

What does adding a bustle mean?

When it comes to wedding dresses and formal gowns, a common alteration that is made is the addition of a bustle. A bustle is essentially a way to lift and gather the train of the dress, making it easier to move around and dance in without tripping over the excess fabric.

There are a few different types of bustles that can be added to a dress, depending on the style and length of the train. The most common type of bustle is the American bustle, also known as the over bustle. With this type of bustle, 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.

Another type of bustle is the French bustle, also called the under bustle. With this style, the train is lifted and secured underneath the skirt of the dress, creating a seamless look from the waist down. This type of bustle works best for dresses with a more fitted silhouette and a shorter train.

Adding a bustle to a dress is usually done during the alterations process, as it requires the hem of the dress to be lifted and customized to accommodate the bustle. It’s important to have a professional seamstress or tailor make these alterations to ensure that the bustle is secure and the dress still looks beautiful from all angles.

Adding a bustle to a dress is a practical solution that allows the wearer to move around more freely without compromising the elegance and beauty of the gown.