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What is bustling a wedding dress?

Weddings are a magical time for couples, families, and friends alike. Everything about a wedding, from the venue to the décor to the dress, is selected with the utmost care and attention to detail. And when it comes to the dress, there are countless options to choose from, each with its unique features and designs. One important aspect of a wedding dress, particularly for those with a longer train, is bustling. In this post, we will explore what a bustling is and why it’s essential for brides on their big day.

What is a Bustle?

Many wedding dresses feature a long train that extends from the back and falls gently onto the floor. While this is a stunning detail, it can become impractical and cumbersome during the reception or when the bride needs to move around more. That’s where a bustle comes in. 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. This technique effectively lifts the train off the ground, making it easier and more comfortable to move around.

Why Bustling is Essential for Brides

The primary reason for bustling a wedding dress is to make it more comfortable to move around during the day and night of the wedding. As a bride, you want to enjoy everything about your big day, including dancing, mingling with guests, and walking around. Having a train dragging behind you can make these activities difficult and uncomfortable. With a bustle, you can free yourself from the added weight and length of a train, allowing you to be present and enjoy your special day comfortably.

Another reason why bustling is essential is that it helps to prevent any accidents that may happen throughout the day. For example, if someone accidentally steps on your train while you’re moving around, it can cause you to lose balance and fall. When you have your dress bustled, you won’t have to worry about tripping or falling due to your train.

Moreover, bustling can also extend the life of your gown. Wedding gowns are often made of delicate materials that can easily snag or tear. When the dress is bustled, it protects the hem from wear and tear, and it allows you to wear your gown again without worrying about any damage.

Types of Bustles

Now that we’ve discussed what bustling is and why it’s essential let’s delve into the different types of bustles. Several different styles of bustles can be used to elevate the train of a wedding dress. Here’s a list of the most popular ones:

1. Over Bustle: An over bustle, also known as a ballroom bustle, is a technique that involves picking up the train and fastening it at the waist.

2. Under Bustle: This method, also known as a French bustle, involves picking up the train and fastening it underneath the dress.

3. Train Flip: A train flip is a type of bustle that flips the train of the dress over itself and fastens it to the back of the gown.

4. Pick-Up Points: A pick-up point bustle involves fastening the train of the wedding gown to the back of the dress using a series of hidden hooks and eyes on one or both sides.

Bustling Your Wedding Dress

Bustling your wedding dress may seem like a daunting task, but there’s no need to worry. Many bridal salons, seamstresses, and tailors can perform bustling services for you. When you buy a wedding dress, it’s essential to ask the dressmaker if bustling is needed or included with the dress. If not, you need to find a seamstress that can do the job.

It’s essential to have the bustle of your gown tailored specifically to your hemline and skirt, making sure it looks even and symmetrical. Before the big day, make sure to practice bustling the gown with your maid of honor or bridesmaid so they can help out if needed.


For any bride, a wedding dress is a crucial part of their big day, and bustling is an integral part of making sure that the dress is practical, comfortable, and functional. Taking the time to understand what bustles are, why they are essential, and the types available can ensure you choose the right option that suits your gown and your style. With a bustle, you won’t have to worry about tripping over your train or getting caught on any obstacles, allowing you to enjoy all the events of your wedding day.


How do you make a bustle for a wedding dress?

A bustle is an essential component of a wedding dress. Not only does it add an elegant touch to the gown, but it also serves to lift the train to prevent it from dragging on the floor during the reception. There are several ways to create a bustle, depending on the style and design of your dress.

The first way to make a bustle is to sew ribbons underneath the wedding dress to connect the dress’s outer fabric to the lining. To do this, you need to gather the fabric at the back of the dress, taking care to ensure that the gathers are even. You can then sew ribbons to the gathered fabric, tying them in a bow to create a bustle. This method is ideal for gowns with a smooth, flowing fabric, like silk or chiffon.

Another way to create a bustle is to use a French bustle, also known as a European bustle. With this method, you sew loops into the inside back of the dress, forming a diamond shape. You can then run a ribbon through the loops, gathering and tying the ribbon to form the bustle. This style of bustle is perfect for gowns with more intricate designs, such as lace or beading, as it creates a seamless transition from the back of the dress to the bustling fabric.

A third way to create a bustle is the American bustle, which involves gathering the back of the dress and securing it with buttons or hooks. This style of the bustle is perfect for gowns with a heavier fabric, such as taffeta or satin. To make an American bustle, you need to gather the fabric at the back of the dress and secure it with hooks or buttons that are hidden from view. The bustle can then be released when it’s time to dance or move around freely during the reception.

Creating a bustle for a wedding dress is an essential skill that every seamstress or tailor should possess. Whether you choose a traditional bustle, French bustle, or American bustle, it’s important to ensure that your gown is comfortable and easy to move around in throughout the day. With patience, practice, and the right materials, you can create a bustle that will enhance the beauty of your wedding dress and make it more functional for your big day.

Do all wedding dresses need to be bustled?

Many brides-to-be may wonder whether they need to have their wedding dresses bustled. The simple answer to this question is no, not all wedding dresses need to be bustled. The need for a bustle depends on the particular style of wedding dress and the bride’s preferences.

A wedding dress bustle is a technique used to lift the train of the bridal gown off the ground and secure it to the back of the dress. The bustle is often created using buttons, hooks, or loops, and it allows the bride to move around more freely without tripping on the train.

However, not every bride wants to bustle her dress, and not every wedding gown needs a bustle. If your dress doesn’t have a train, or it only has a baby train, you won’t need a bustle. A baby train is typically very short in length, so it won’t drag on the ground and cause any issues. Additionally, if your wedding ceremony and reception are both indoors, or if your outdoor venue has a paved surface, you may not need a bustle either.

On the other hand, if your dress has a long train and you will be moving around a lot during your wedding reception, a bustle is recommended. A train that is constantly dragged on the ground can get dirty and damaged, and it can also make it difficult for you to move around. A bustle will lift the train off the ground and help you move around with ease.

Whether a wedding dress needs to be bustled or not depends on the bride’s personal preference and the style of the dress. It’s essential to make sure that you choose a wedding dress that you feel comfortable and confident in, and that meets your needs for your wedding day. Your wedding dress shop consultant and seamstress can help you determine whether your dress needs a bustle and what type of bustle will work best for your dress.

How is a bustle constructed?

A bustle is a framework, or structural undergarment, that was worn by women in the late 19th century. The purpose of a bustle was to create a fullness in the back of a woman’s skirt, creating the fashionable silhouette of that time period. The style of a bustle changed over time, but it was typically constructed using a wide variety of materials such as metal, cane, whalebone hoops, or woven horsehair flounces.

In the early stages of bustle construction, women began by using a small cushion placed at the back of their skirts, which was then followed by a small wire contraption to give it more volume. However, as fashion changed and the style evolved, so did the bustle. They disappeared after two to three years, only to return to fashion in a more exaggerated form from the early 1880s. This led to the use of a more complex structure, which often consisted of multiple layers of ruffles and complicated systems of hoops or wires.

The materials used in bustle construction varied depending on the designer’s preference and availability. Steel and cane hoops were commonly used to provide the support and structure, while horsehair, buckram, and other stiff fabrics were used to cover the hoops. The number of hoops and the size of the bustle varied depending on the desired silhouette. Some bustles were small and modest, while others were large and elaborate, protruding horizontally from the back of the skirt.

The construction of a bustle was an intricate process that required precision and attention to detail. It was a necessary component of women’s fashion during the late 19th century, and its evolution over time reflected changing cultural attitudes toward femininity, fashion, and the female body. Today, the bustle remains an important part of fashion history and continues to inspire modern designers and fashion enthusiasts alike.