Bridal Affairs

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013


 Are you searching for the perfect gown for your wedding and don't know where to start or how to choose?   Here you will find some tips to help you sort it out and make sense of a very important decision.   And, to find more tips to dress shopping, see my other blog at VIP Magazine.    If you have other questions, let me know.      

 Dress Silhouettes  
Aline- an unbroken line from the bust to the hem with a fitted bodice and a full skirt
          This style is suited to any venue.  Suitable for most body types, but not good for              
           a thick waist.

Ball Gown- the most formal style, with a fitted bodice and waist and a very full skirt- the   
                   Cinderella dress.
                   Suitable for a medium to full bust and to hide a fuller hip.

Empire- falls from under the bust and flows loosely
              Suitable for a small bust and a slimmer figure, but not good for an hourglass.

Mermaid-  contours and hugs the body from the bust to the knee and flares at the hem.
                 Suitable for an hourglass figure or a tall and slim figure, this is a sexy style.

Trumpet- hugs the body to the hips with a straight skirt and flares at the hem.  Suitable   
               for an hourglass or slim figure.

Sheath-  very form fitting and straight to the floor.  Suitable for a tall or petite, slim
               figure.  Not suited to a full figure.

V- Neck- v shape dip in the front that may carry to the back.
              creates good support and good for a busty figure

Bateau- follows the collarbone to the edge of the shoulder.
             suitable for a small bust

Halter- wraps around the neck or a high neck with deep arm holes and an open back.
            good for broad shoulders

Portrait- off the shoulder
              suitable for a medium to full bust and also flattering to a pear shape figure

Scoop- a u- shaped dip in the front and a low cut
            suitable for most body types

Spaghetti Strap- thin straps on a strapless gown.  not meant for support

Strapless- there are three styles of strapless gown---
                 curve- similar to a scoop neckline and suitable for a large bust
                 straight across- a straight line across the bust and suitable for a small bust
                 sweetheart- a dip in the center and suitable for medium to full bust
                 ***a strapless dress should be belted inside the dress to keep from the
                    need to pull on it all day

Charmeuse- light- weight, soft and silky. very revealing and not forgiving of figure flaws
                     suitable for the fit bride and for any weather

Chiffon-  sheer, delicate and easily pulled
               good for a ruched gown and any weather.  

Georgette- light- weight crepe with a nubby, dull texture.  needs to be lined and suitable
                 any weather

Crepe- gauzy, crisp fabric, suitable for any weather, but best in spring or fall

Duchess Satin- a silk and synthetic blend with a shiny, soft feel- like butter
                          wrinkles easily and best suited for winter

Dupioni- raw silk
               great for outdoors or winer

Shantung- raw silk,lighter and nubbier texture than dupioni
                  good for a summer wedding

Faille- ribbed, soft silk or tafetta or cotton

Mikado- rigid and very structured silk with a sheen
             good for a fall wedding

Organza-  sheer and stiffer than chiffon
                 great for outdoors and warm weather

Satin- heavy and smooth silk with a high sheen
          luxurious and elegant for a formal wedding and better in cooler weather      

Tafetta- crisp and smooth silk with a light shimmer and lighter than satin
            suited for a fall or winter wedding

Tulle- silk netting, very sheer and fragile
         good for any weather and ethereal look

The train is the back of the hem that flows behind the dress

Cathedral- the most formal, this falls 7 ½ feet from the waist

Chapel- not as long and less formal, this falls 4 feet from the waist

Court- slightly longer than a sweep, this falls 3 feet from the waist

Sweep- brushes the floor and can’t be bustled


Overbustle- buttons or hooks across the back of the waist that connect to
                    loops around the train.   this bustle hooks on the outside of the dress

Tufted- good for a dress with b

eaded pickups, this bustle brings up a tuft into each bead
           the result is similar to a balloon shade

French- ribbons under the dress, tied to form a drape effect.  it is the most secure type

English- low overbustle and good for a narrow dress- mermaid or trumpet

Austrian- good for an organza gown this bustle threads ribbon through the train and
               pulls up like an Austrian puff shade

Pickup- a narrow bustle created with on button and one loop into an overbustle

Side- good for a ruched, asymetrical gown, the bustle is pulled to the side into the detail    
White, Ivory ( a more yellowed shade), Diamond White ( a more grayed white), Champagne ( more brown than ivory), Blush ( a pink hue) and all manner of color from pinks to reds to black, purple etc.
  *** an ivory or diamond white gown requires an ivory or diamond white veil and the groom should be in an ivory or diamond white shirt.  these colors vary in shade, so make sure to compare before letting your dress look dirty

Glossary of Terms   

Ruching- a pleated look in the bust or skirt
Beading- rhinestones, crystals, pearls or other gems sewn into the dress
Lace- an openworked fabrice with open holes used in decorating or creating a gown.     
         alencon, chantilly, English, Battenberg- the most popular types
Sashes- ribbons ties for adding color or effect to the dress
Corset- a laced up the back effect that is heavily boned and cinches the waist
Brooch- a pin that can be placed on a dress to create a more formal effect.


Cap- hugs the shoulder
¾ - stops at the elbow
Long- stops at the wrist
Bell- flares out at the elbow to create a bell look

To create a more modest look for church or to keep warm in cold weather, consider a bolero ( a short jacket that hugs the body to the should blade), a fur wrap, a lace jacket

with sleeves or a shrug( similar to a bolero).  These can add a layer that can be shed later at the party.

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