To Bustle or not to Bustle

by Dana Hutchinson
(St. Louis, MO)

Help needed!!! I just picked up my dress for my wedding in October. I LOVE my dress and am adding a one shoulder chiffon piece. However, while doing some wedding alteration research, I realized bustling is apparently quite a thing. I don’t want to ruin the look of my dress, but I don’t want to ruin the dress either….SO should I bustle it or not? Thanks so much for any advice!


I always start by asking my customers how long will they be wearing their dress? If they are changing into a reception dress, then they don't need a bustle. Also if they will be keeping the dress on all day but will not be dancing or moving around a lot, they also won't need a bustle.

Now if you have determined that you will be more comfortable with a a bustle then picking up and holding your train all day the you will need a bustle. There is a way to bustle that dress and make a beautiful design for the back.

To do it, your gown needs a separate bustle for the chiffon and one for the lining. Usually a french style bustle is what works best. Sometimes though this gown style works better with a combination of an American bustle and a french bustle. Ask your sewing professional to let you see what both ways look like.

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