Bridal Gown Terms

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A-Line – Typically refers to skirt design characterized by a flared hem and a close fitting waist, often gathered into a train.

Antebellum waist
– natural waistline that dips 2 to 2 1/2 inches to a point in the center front.

Applique – ornamentation created from decoratively attached fabric or lace.

Apron – overskirt joined at the back waist of the gown.

Basque waistline – elongated waist, about two inches below the natural waist, that may dip to a point at the center point.

Bateau neckline – boat-shaped design formed by a straight line between the shoulders, often dipping in front. May or may not reveal the shoulders and is usually trimmed in lace.

Blusher – short veil covering bride’s face as the enters the wedding ceremony.

Brush train – the shortest train that simply brushes the floor.

Bustle – exaggerated gathering of fabric or a gathering of fabric caught up with a detail at the back of the gown.

Cathedral train – train extending 3 yards from the waist.

Chapel train – train extending 1 1/3 yards from the waist.

Dolman sleeve – sleeve very wide at armhole and tight at wrist, often cut in one piece with the bodice.

Drop waist – waistline positioned several inches below natural waist.

Empire waistline – shortened waist style created by attaching to skirt to the bodice just below the bust line.

Leg-of-mutton sleeve – sleeve characterized by a full puff shoulder and a fitted forearm.

Moire – silk or synthetic fabric characterized by a watery or wavelike effect.

Organza – sheer silk or synthetic fabric characterized by a plain weave.

– short sleeve with layered panels.

Point D’Espirit
– net fabric characterized by oval or square dots woven in a pattern.

Queen Anne neckline
– sculptured design that is high on the sides and back, with an angled open bodice with a sweetheart shape.

Raised neckline
– waistline about 1 inch above the natural waistline.

Royal train – the longest train length, extending more than 3 yards from the waist.

Ruche – strip of pleated fabric or lace used as a trim.

Sabrina neckline – straight neckline that begins 2 inches inside the shoulder length and is often trimmed in lace.

Sheath – straight, fitted gown, often floor length and is worn with a detachable train.

Shirred waistline
– waistline characterized by gathered fabric that creates a horizontal panel at the waist.

Strapless neckline
– neckline designed to reveal the shoulders, often designed with a coordinating jacket or wrap.

Sweep train
– short train, slightly longer than a brush train, that sweeps the floor.

Sweetheart neckline
– open neckline that begins 2 inches inside the shoulder line and is shaped like a heart.

– silk or synthetic fabric of light or medium weight, characterized by a smooth, crisp, lustrous plain weave or fine rib effect.