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What is the best bustle for a mermaid dress?

When it comes to wedding gowns, not only does the style of the dress matter but also its functionality. One of the important features of a wedding gown is the bustle. A bustle allows a bride to gather up the train of her wedding gown, thereby making it easier to walk and dance in. However, deciding which bustle style to choose can seem daunting, especially for a mermaid dress. In this blog post, we will discuss the best bustle for a mermaid dress.

Types of Bustle

Before discussing the best bustle for a mermaid dress, let us first take a quick look at the types of bustle that are available.

1. The Over Bustle: The over bustle, also known as the ballroom bustle or the American bustle, involves fastening the train of the dress on top of the fabric at the back of the gown, creating a seamless look. This bustle works well for gowns with heavy fabric and can be done with either one or multiple points.

2. The Under Bustle: The under bustle, also known as the French bustle or the European bustle, involves tucking the train of the gown underneath the dress to create a more tucked-in look. This is achieved by using loops and buttons to fasten the train fabric underneath the dress.

Best Bustle Style for a Mermaid Dress

Mermaid dresses are usually designed to fit tightly around the hips and thighs, with a flare towards the bottom. Given this structure, the best bustle style for this type of gown is the French bustle. This style utilizes a fold technique with hidden fasteners beneath the skirt. The extra train fabric is folded underneath the skirt to shorten the length and create an elegant small billow in the back.

This bustle style is not only perfect for a mermaid gown but it is also ideal for other dress styles such as A-line and sheath gowns. Essentially, the French bustle works best for dresses with a structured silhouette that taper towards the bottom.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Bustle

Apart from the gown style, other factors that should be considered when selecting a bustle include fabric, train length, and personal preference. For example, if your mermaid dress has a long train, it would be wise to choose a bustle style that can support the weight of the fabric and keep it secure throughout the wedding day.

It is also important to discuss your preferences with your tailor. Some brides prefer bustles that create a dramatic effect, while others like a more subtle look. Your tailor can help you decide which bustle style works best for your gown and your personal preferences.

Advantages of the French Bustle

The French bustle, also known as the under bustle, has several benefits. Firstly, it creates a clean and seamless look that does not detract from the overall design of the dress. Additionally, it is easier to execute and maintain compared to an over bustle. This is because the buttons and loops used to create the French bustle are hidden underneath the dress, making them less likely to snag or detach.

Furthermore, the French bustle is more versatile when it comes to dance floor movements as it does not drag on the ground like an over bustle. As such, a bride can move and groove with ease without fear of tripping or getting caught up in her train.


In conclusion, when choosing a bustle for a mermaid dress, a French bustle is the best option. This bustle style not only transforms the dress into a functional, dance-friendly attire but also does so while maintaining the structure and design of the garment. Always remember to also consider other factors such as train length and personal preference, and make sure to consult with your tailor before deciding on the final bustle style. With the right bustle, you can enjoy your wedding day without worrying about maneuvering in an overly cumbersome dress.


What is the difference between ballroom and train-flip bustle?

When it comes to wedding gowns, bustles are a popular alteration that is often done to create a seamless transition from a long train to a manageable length that allows the bride to comfortably and easily walk and dance. The two most commonly used types of bustles are ballroom and train-flip bustles.

Ballroom bustles, as the name suggests, are inspired by the elegant and grand ballroom dance style. They create a dramatic and regal look by gathering and securing the train in a series of points with the help of hooks and buttons. Ballroom bustles tend to be the most expensive type of bustle as they require the most amount of work. This type of bustle is often recommended for brides who have a ball gown wedding dress and do not want the bustled look to be visible from the back.

On the other hand, train-flip bustles are a more economical option and are ideal for brides who prefer a less dramatic look. Train-flip bustles are easy to create and give the illusion that there is no bustle at all. This type of bustle involves flipping the train under the dress and pinning it to itself in a discreet and hidden manner. The main benefit of a train-flip bustle is that it allows the bride to comfortably move and dance around without worrying about the train getting in the way.

Ballroom bustles create a grand, dramatic look while train-flip bustles give a more understated, natural look. Factors that may affect the choice of which style of bustle to choose include the type of wedding gown, the bride’s preferences and the type of wedding taking place. whether you choose a ballroom or train-flip bustle, it is important that it is fitted to your dress correctly to ensure that it fits comfortably and flatters your natural figure.

What are the 3 distinct looks of the bustle period?

Bustles were a fashion statement during the Victorian era, and as such, they went through different phases and styles over time. There were two distinct periods in the bustle era: the early bustle period, which spanned from 1869 through 1876, and the later bustle period, which went from 1883 through 1889. During these two periods, three categories of bustle support became popular and helped to create the three distinct looks of the bustle period.

The first type of bustle was the lobster-tail or crayfish style. This type of bustle was most prominent during the early bustle period, around the years 1869 to 1872. It was an elongated style that featured a bustle pad that was positioned low on the backside. The pad was typically stuffed to create a curved effect, and it was reinforced by steel wires that extended downward, creating a V-shape. This design gave the lobster-tail bustle its name, as it resembled the tail of a lobster or crayfish.

The second type of bustle style was the small bustle. This style was popular during the later bustle period, from 1883 to 1886. Unlike the first type, this bustle was smaller and sat higher on the backside of the wearer. It was a simple design that featured a small cushion or pad made of horsehair or cotton batting, which was attached to the back of a pivoted waistband using tapes or buttons. This design allowed women to wear a smaller bustle that was less intrusive and more comfortable.

Finally, the third type of bustle was the bustle pad or cushion. This style was popular during the second half of the later bustle period, between 1886 and 1889. It was a larger style that extended further out from the back of the wearer, but it was made up of a soft cushion or pad rather than a reinforced wire frame. The padding was supported internally by hoops of featherbone or baleen, which gave it enough support to maintain its shape. This style was often paired with long trains on dresses, as it added extra drama to the silhouette.

The bustle period was a time of evolving fashion, and the three distinct looks that emerged during this time reflect this evolution. The lobster-tail bustle from the early bustle period, the small bustle from the later bustle period, and the bustle pad or cushion from the second half of the later bustle period were all unique styles that helped shape the fashion of the time.