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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!
A-line: fitted at the bodice and flows out to the ground, with an unbroken line (resembling the outline of an uppercase A).
Ballgown: fitted at the bodice and has a waistline that leads to a full skirt
Mermaid: fits closely to the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out to the hem
Sheath: fits very closely to the contours of the body. Has a straight skirt with no waist
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
Square: has a straight horizontal bodice that meets with straps in a 90 degree angle
Scoop: U shaped neckline with varying depth
V-neck: dips down in a V-shape
Sweetheart: neckline is shaped like the top half of a heart
One Shoulder: strap across one shoulder only
Off the Shoulder: sits below the shoulders and highlights the collar bone and shoulders
Sheer: semi sheer net or lace
Halter: has straps that wrap around the back of the neck
High Neck: features high neck/t-shirt neckline
Queen Ann: high rising collar at the back of neckline that sculpts low across the chest
Bateau: (boat neck): follows the curve of the collarbone to the very tip of shoulders
Strapless straight across: straight across neckline with no curves and no straps
Strapless slight curve: neckline curves slightly up or down with no straps
Strapless sweetheart: neckline is shaped like the top half of a heart
Basque Waist: waistline features a low U or V shape
Dropped Waist: features a waist line below the natural waist at the mid hip
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: waist line that hits at the natural waist (the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage)
Princess: A-line silhouette with vertical seams down the front
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
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)
Alençon: Delicate needlepoint lace with a distinct floral pattern outlined with corded detail.
Guipure: Heavy, large patterned decorative lace
Chantilly: The most romantic type, this delicate lace has a sheer quality and features flowers ribbons.
Point D'Esprit: Lightweight lace with small dots woven into a scattered pattern. Often layered with over a dress for a whimsical feel.
Schiffli: This machine made lace is a type of embroidery. Also known as chemical lace.