All About the Dress: Wedding Gown Terminology

This gorgeous gown is completely made from lace appliqués over tulle. Strategically placed for coverage and style. Photography Carlie Statsky Florals Gavita Flora

This post is part two of our series “All about the Dress”! We covered the different gown silhouettes in the last post, today we are talking about wedding gown terminology. It can get confusing to walk into a wedding gown shop and not know what you’re looking for!

Use this glossary to help shape the vision you have for your true dress.

Silhouette - In fashion, the term silhouette refers to the line of a dress, or the garment's overall shape. Silhouettes can be used to emphasize and alter a woman's shape to create a flattering illusion. See our most recent blog about the different silhouettes and shapes in bridal.

Applique - decorative needlework of a fabric or trim onto another one.

These large, oversized appliqués are place over what is a plain tulle skirt. Instant transformation!

Boning - The stiff part of a corset or bodice that gives the gown its frame and structure. 

Bustle - A series of invisible hooks, loops, or buttons added to a gown to hold the train in place and off the floor

Here we show a silk ballgown wedding dress bustled up for dancing. Photography  AGS PhotoArt

Here we show a silk ballgown wedding dress bustled up for dancing. Photography AGS PhotoArt

Cap Sleeve - when there is a partial sleeve that covers the shoulder

A cap sleeve is the perfect touch to just cover your shoulders. These are two examples of the difference you can achieve depending on fabric and style of dress.

A cap sleeve is the perfect touch to just cover your shoulders. These are two examples of the difference you can achieve depending on fabric and style of dress.

Dropped Waist - a waist line below the natural waist

Embroidery - Raised stitching on a gown to embellish a gown

EMBROIDERED BODICE CREPE FIT AND FLARE GOWN - Look your best in this crepe slim gown. Intricate beading with Venice lace illusion bodice. Lace along the back hem finishes the dress.

EMBROIDERED BODICE CREPE FIT AND FLARE GOWN - Look your best in this crepe slim gown. Intricate beading with Venice lace illusion bodice. Lace along the back hem finishes the dress.

Empire - a waistline that is raised and typically below the bust

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Natural Waist - the thinnest point between the hips and the rib cage

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Lead time - The time it takes to order a gown.  It can take 6-9 months to have a gown ordered and produced. Why so long? Because the gown is not produced until you order it. It will be made in the size, color and any custom options that are ordered by you, the bride.

Plunge - A neckline that dips below the chest bone. 

Ruching - when fabric is gathered in pleats

Sabrina - A neckline that covers the chest and typically cuts straight across the collar bone

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Sweetheart - A neckline that looks like the top half of a heart with a v in the middle

All Over Lace - A fabric that consists of a continuous pattern. The lace is cut as you would you any other fabric. Often this lace is then appliquéd with additional lace or beading on wedding dresses.

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Train - The back of the dress that extends and trails behind the gown. 

A Cathedral Train has all the drama!

You know what we realized after defining all these wedding dress terms? How many more there are to learn! Looks like we might have a part two blog in our future!

If you are a bride who is looking for a certain gown or style and are not exactly sure how to describe it, give us a call or drop us an email! We’re here to make sure that every bride finds her dream dress!

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