Wedding Dress Bustles 101


What is a Bustle?

A bustle is a set of buttons, loops and/or ties that lift the train of your gown off the ground and into the skirt to create the illusion of not having a train. A bustle allows the bride to easily dance without dragging around her train and risk being stepped on. A bustle can be anywhere from one to hundreds of points. Not to worry, when alterations are complete, your seamstress will teach you and your bride squad how to bustle your dress correctly and will sometimes even take a video tutorial so anyone can easily bustle your dress on your wedding day. Due to the delicate nature of bridal gowns and bustles, it’s common for bustles to break halfway through the reception (we’re sure you’ve seen it happen). Be sure to ask your maid of honor to bring some safety pins just in case!

Types of Bustles

There are three types of bustles: American, French and Ballroom. Oftentimes brides can choose the type of bustle she wants for her gown, depending on which look she likes best. On rare occasions, due to the volume and material of a gown, only one type of bustle may be possible.

The American Bustle

Otherwise known as the over-bustle, the American bustle is the most common type of bustle. It lifts the skirt up and fastens on the top of the skirt. The American bustle can have anywhere from one to eight points.


The French Bustle

Otherwise known as the under-bustle, the French bustle lifts the train under the skirt, often fastening on several layers. The fastens for this bustle are not visible on the outer layer of the skirt, so this type of bustle is often chosen when the skirt is un-embellished or has a very clean look.


The Ballroom Bustle

The ballroom bustle is the least common type of bustle, because of its complexity. The ballroom bustle fastens under the train with snaps and/or ties that fold the skirt into the bodice creating the illusion that there was never a train to begin with.


Not sure which bustle will look best with your dress? Your stylist can help show you the different options and can help you visualize what your bustle options may be! Your bustle won’t be finalized until you have your alterations fittings, so don’t stress if you’re not sure yet which bustle will work better with your specific dress.

Posted on September 18, 2018 and filed under Wedding Inspiration, Wedding Interests.