Wedding Dress 101

Wedding dresses come in a dizzying amount of options.  Here is a glossary of wedding dress terms to help you find the style that's perfect for you!

 

Silhouettes

A-Line

A-line: fitted at the bodice and flows out to the ground, with an unbroken line (resembling the outline of an uppercase A).

Ballgown

Ballgown: fitted at the bodice and has a waistline that leads to a full skirt

Mermaid

Mermaid: fits closely to the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out to the hem

Sheath

Sheath: fits very closely to the contours of the body. Has a straight skirt with no waist

Trumpet

Trumpet: fits closely to the body until the midhip and then widens gradually to the hem. (resembling the mouth of a trumpet).  Often confused with mermaid, but trumpet flairs from mid-hip, whereas mermaid flairs below the knee

   

Necklines

Square

Square: has a straight horizontal bodice that meets with straps in a 90 degree angle

Scoop

Scoop: U shaped neckline with varying depth

V-Neck

V-neck:  dips down in a V-shape

Sweetheart

Sweetheartneckline is shaped like the top half of a heart

One Shoulder

One Shoulder: strap across one shoulder only

Portrait

Off the Shoulder: sits below the shoulders and highlights the collar bone and shoulders

Sheer

Sheer: semi sheer net or lace

Halter

Halter: has straps that wrap around the back of the neck

High Neck

High Neck: features high neck/t-shirt neckline

Queen Ann

Queen Ann: high rising collar at the back of neckline that sculpts low across the chest

Bateau

Bateau: (boat neck): follows the curve of the collarbone to the very tip of  shoulders

Straight Across Strapless straight across: straight across neckline with no curves and no straps
Slight Curve Strapless slight curve: neckline curves slightly up or down with no straps Strapless Sweetheart Strapless sweetheart: neckline is shaped like the top half of a heart

Waistlines

Basque

Basque Waist: waistline features a low U or V shape

Dropped Waist

Dropped Waist: features a waist line below the natural waist at the mid hip

Empire

Empire: has a raised waistline that sits just below the bust, from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem

Natural Waist

Natural Waist: waist line that hits at the natural waist (the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage)

Princess

Princess: A-line silhouette with vertical seams down the front

   

Sleeve Style

Sleeve Style


Dress Length

Dress Length


Trains

Sweep: (also called brush) is the shortest  trains -usually, the back hem is only a few inches lower than the front hem

Court: slightly longer than the brush, extending approximately 3 feet behind the waist

Chapel Length: generally 1 1/3 yards or 4 feet from the waistline

Cathedral Length Train: generally 2 1/2 yards or 7 1/2 feet from the waistline


Fabrics

A wedding dress can be made from either silk or polyester.  How the fiber is woven determines if the dress is:

Charmeuse: lightweight, semi-lustrous soft,  is satin-like to the touch

Chiffon: Delicate, sheer, and transparent, with a soft finish. Often layered because of its transparency

Crepe: Light, soft, and thin, with a crinkled surface

Duchesse Satin: A lightweight hybrid of silk or polyester and rayon woven into a satin finish

Dupioni: A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen

Georgette: Sheer and lightweight fabric with a crepe surface

Mikado: A brand of blended fibers, usually heavier than 100-percent silk

Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar, but more flowing than tulle

Satin: heavy and smooth with a high sheen on one side

Shantung: Similar to a raw silk, characterized by its rough/nubby texture

Taffeta: Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib

Tulle: Netting (just like ballerina tutus)

From our blog:

The Look of Lace
By Josie on July 24th, 2014
Lace Wedding Dresses
Does any fabric say bridal quite like lace?  Every since Princess Kate wowed the world with her Alexander McQueen gown, brides everywhere have a fallen in love with lace’s elegant, feminine and ultra-romantic look.  It’s perfect for the bride who … Continue reading
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