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Learn to Speak Gown
Ok, there is no way in our right minds that we can keep up with all of the fancy terminology designers and bridal shops use these days. Being well informed will only help you decided which look is right for you. Here is a list of definitions to help make sense of it all:
A-line: shaped resembling the letter “A”; fitted at the bodice and waist and flaring gradually away from the body to the hem.
Ball Gown: very full skirt that gathers at the natural waist
Bustle: a gathering of fabric, ruffles or other design details that fills out the back. (A bustle is sometimes added to the back of a dress in order for the bride to tuck her train away after the ceremony)
Fishtail: slim fitting sheath which flares out at center back seam only-sometimes has a sweep train beginning at the knee.
Empire: high waistline that starts jut under the bust line, which is usually defined by a seam.
Mermaid: slim fitting style that flares out from about the knee level to the hem.
Princess: a gown with vertical seams, which extend from shoulder to hem. The skirt curves outward from the waist
Sheath: a narrow, form fitting style.
Tea –Length: hemline that falls just above the ankles.
Boat or bateau: This shape gently follows the curve of the collarbone, almost to the tip of the shoulders -- and it's cut straight across so less of the décolletage shows. It can be paired with sleeves or a sleeveless style. Pro: Good for Small breasts Con: Not for the well-endowed Halter top: straps that wrap around the back of the neck, or a high neck with deep armholes. Both look best on broad shoulders or taller women -- 5'7" and up. PRO: Cool and fashionable; great with a smaller bust. Good for Broad shoulders. CON: Shows off the upper back, so you'll need to wear a backless bra; shoulders and upper arms should be display-worthy. Not too good for narrow shoulders.
Jewel: Simple round neckline that arcs just under the collarbone. Circles the base of the neck. PRO: Classic and flattering to just about any figure especially small-chested woman (it will make you look bustier) CON: Nott too good for large-chested women (it will make you look bustier too)
Off the Shoulder: While this style is super flattering to medium- or full-chested women, an off-the-shoulder neckline will look good on almost all figures. But if you've got fuller arms and are uncomfortable with baring your shoulders, you may want to consider a portrait neckline instead. PRO: Good for full-chested and pear-shaped women CON: Bad for broad shoulders, fuller arms
Portrait : Similar to an off-the-shoulder style but made with more fabric, the portrait neckline is characterized by a wide, soft scoop from the tip of one shoulder to the tip of the other. PRO: Makes your cleavage look dreamy. It is also good for fuller arms and prominent collarbones CON: Looks best if you have some cleavage to work with.
Scoop: The scoop, a U-shaped neckline, is a universally flattering classic. It can be cut low, and quite often the scoop will continue on the back of the dress. PRO: Good for just about anyone
Strapless: is a popular choice with busty brides, and it looks wonderful when paired with either a sweetheart or straight-across square bodice. PRO: Good for great shoulders and collarbones CON: might end up tugging up on it all night Sweetheart: Think of the top of a heart shape. PRO: 1950s-cute. Great for larger busted women who want to show some serious décolletage CON: Not necessarily for the cleavage-challenged.
V-neck: The name says it all: The neckline dips down in the front (and sometimes in the back as well) in a V-shape, de-emphasizing the bust line. PRO: Good for B or C cups CON: Not the best look for anyone bigger or smaller.
Asymmetrical: waist begins at the natural waistline and angles down to one side.
Basque: slightly elongated, dipping to a point in the center front of the dress.
Curved Basque: similar to the Basque waistline, although this style is rounded at the center point.
Drop Waist: falls several inches below the natural waistline.
Empire: begins just below the bust line
Inverted Basque: rises to a point at the center front of the dress
Natural: Falls at the natural waistline.
Cathedral: extends two and a half yards from the waist (very popular at big, church weddings)
Chapel: extends one and one third yards from the waist (tends to be the most popular of all train lengths, it flows from three to four feet behind the gown)
Detachable: any style of train that can be removed from the gown.
Sweep: short train that sweeps the floor