If you will be wearing a wedding gown on your wedding day you may be wondering if you need a bustle for your dress. Keep reading to learn all about dress bustles from what a bustle is, if you need one, and the different types of bustles!
What Is A Dress Bustle
A dress bustle is an adjustment that you can make to gowns with trains. When you add a bustle to a dress it allows you take the train of the dress and pin it up so that the train isn't always dragging on the floor. This allows you to have a long train and have a dress that is all one length. Bustles can be great for gowns with long trains so they are easier to maneuver on the dance floor and so you don't constantly drag your dress along the ground and get it dirty. Back in the day, bustles referred to padded undergarments that made the dress poof out on the backside. Now-a-days they are more so referred to dresses with long trains and how they are pinned up. There are several ways to bustle a dress, some that cause a nice poof and some that keep gowns looking sleek and slim so there is a bustle for every type of dress and vision!
Do You Need A Bustle
Not all wedding dresses need a bustle. If your dress is one length or a dress that doesn't touch the ground, then there is no need for a bustle. If you have a dress with a train and don't want to have your train down for the full wedding, then a bustle is a great option to have put in your dress.
When Should You Bustle Your Dress
You purchased your gown because you loved it and if your dress has a train then you probably love that train and want to show it off! You won't want to have your gown bustled for the whole wedding. Normally, your train will be down from when you get ready until either the beginning of the reception or after you first dance. You will want your train down for your ceremony and all portraits. Some people want their train down for their first dance and parent dances and others want to have it bustled before they make their reception entrance, that choice is up to you! Once open dancing hits, however, you will want to have your dress bustled so you can dance the night away on the dance floor without people stepping or ripping your dress.
The Different Types Of Bustles
Like I mentioned before, there are several types of bustles depending on your dress and what you are envisioning. I will talk about them all below, however, it is best to talk to your seamstress about which bustle will work best with your dress.
This bustle is one that is the easiest one to install and works best for light weight fabrics and gowns with one layer and short trains. A small loop is placed on the inside of the train and when you are ready to use the bustle, you place that loop on your wrist like a bracelet and carry your dress along that way. This bustle can be a bit cumbersome to use since your train is attached to your wrist all night.
This bustle is less common when you think about bustles. Most bustles are done in the back of the dress but with a side bustle, the bustle is placed, you guessed it, on the side of the dress. This type of bustle may work well if you have an asymmetrical style of dress or have rushing/ruffles on one side of your dress. It can help the train blend in easily into the rushing/ruffles of your dress.
The ballroom bustle is one of the more common type of bustles. With a ballroom bustle, small buttons are added to the back of the dress at the waist and small loops are attached to the train. When it's time to bustle, you pull the loops up and place them over the buttons which causes the train to drape and pleat around the buttons and disappear. Don't worry about the loops and buttons showing, a skilled seamstress adds buttons that match your gown and the loops are very small and can tuck into the backside of your dress so when your train is down, all people see is your gorgeous train!
An English bustle is also very common and is the exact same as a ballroom bustle except for where the buttons are placed. Instead of the buttons being placed around your waist, they are placed lower on the train.
An American bustle is also fairly common and is sort of similar to the ballroom and English bustle. With the American bustle, one button is placed either at the waist of the gown or on down the train and there is one loop installed that is then looped over the button when you want to bustle your gown. This causes the train to cascade down with a few folds.
French Bustle or Under Bustle
With a French or under bustle, the train of the dress gets tucked up under a tuck of fabric. This creates a little billow with your dress. There will be a couple of buttons placed and loops added and when the loops attached over the button it tucks the train under a billow of fabric.
An Austrian bustle is one of the more easier bustles to use. A drawstring type system is added to your dress that when pulled will pull up and ruche your dress.
Train Flip Bustle
If you don't want your dress to look like there is a bustle in place then the train flip bustle is for you! With the train flip bustle, the buttons, hooks, and loops are installed under your dress. When the loops are attached to the button/hooks, your train folds underneath your gown so the extra fabric is inside of your gown.