Bustle Up

In order to keep the train of a wedding gown up off the floor and away from the dangers of fast-moving feet on the dance floor, a bustle comes in handy. This week, we decided to dedicate ourselves to educating our followers and clients about the bustle.

With our first ever video tutorial for how to fasten an over bustle and under bustle, we are excited to help brides to look and feel the best they can on their special day.

In fashion history, 1870-1890 was considered the “Bustle Era,” a time in which women wanted to accentuate their backsides by adding fabric, and sometimes even a cage, to create a larger shape at the back of their dresses. The Bustle Era included three phases with varying popularity of different types of bustles.

Phase I (1870-1880)

The free-form bustle was popular to create a large, frothy, organic silhouette.

phase 1 bustle

Phase II (1880-1885)

A narrower, thinner skirt became popular to create an elongated, linear shape.

phase 2 bustle

Phase III (1885-1890)

Bustles came from the waist and were made to be even bigger than the bustles of Phase I, often covered in upholstery.

phase 3 bustle

Today, bustles are quite different. While we love an accentuated bottom, bustles on wedding gowns are not meant to give that kind of shape. Instead, they are more functional ways of keeping the train of a gown off the floor, fastened in various ways.

Over Bustle

The over bustle takes the fabric of the train and fastens it to the back of the dress with one or more “points” to keep the dress clean and safe from harm’s way.

over bustle

Under Bustle

The under bustle or French bustle is fastened by tying ribbons together in the underneath skirts of the dress to fold the fabric under itself.

under bustle

These are the two most popular and widely used bustles. They are easy to master with a bit of practice and can save any bride’s dress from a disaster on her big day.

Here at Priscilla Costa Bridal, we work with brides and her bridesmaids to help them understand and perfect the making of a bustle so the wedding and reception go off without a hitch.

Photos courtesy of Lingerie TalkFlickrThe Met MuseumChic Gowns and Adam Barnes