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Tips For A Better Wedding Gown Fit

FOUR STEPS TO A BETTER FIT

Take a minute to acquaint yourself with these measurements tips. Your dress will be ore comfortable. You'll save alteration time. And you'll be able to speak with confidence about the location of your clavicle.


stepsmeasure.gifMEASUREMENTS
Stand comfortably with equal weight on both feet and arms resting easily at sides.

1 BUST
Measure around the fullest part of the bust, keeping the tape measure parallel to the floor.


2 WAIST
Measure the natural waistline.


3 HIP
Measure 8-10" below the waist to find the fullest hip. Measure the fullest part of the hip, keeping the tape measure parallel to the floor.


4 LENGTH
Dress lengths are taken from the bottom of the clavicle hollow at the front of the neck to the bottom of the hem of the dress.

Skirt lengths without waistbands are taken from the center of the back, starting at the finished edge of the skirt.

Skirt lengths with waistbands are taken from the center back, starting at the bottom waistband seam.

 

LENGTH MEASUREMENT GUIDE

DRESSES
Dress lengths are taken from the bottom of the clavicle hollow at the front of the neck to the bottom hem of the dress.

Standard floor length 58". Extra length 63"

SKIRTS
Skirt lengths without waistbands are taken from the center of the back, starting at the finished edge of the skirt.

Skirt lengths with waistbands are taken from the center back, starting at the bottom waistband seam.

Standard floor length 44". Extra length 49"


HOW TO SELECT YOUR SIZE
Select the range for each measurement. The lowest number in a range allows for more ease and comfort. The higher number in a range still allows for ease, but would have a tighter fit. If measurements fall between two sizes, consider the largest measurements of the body first, and then determine which measurements would be easier to alter.

You should consider the type of fabric and the style of the garment when making a final sizing decision. Velvet is a thicker fabric than crepe or satin, and does not allow for the same flexibility of movement.

 

 

GENERIC GOWN DESCRIPTIONS

 

NECKLINES

1. Bateau- Follows a line curving slightly downward below the collarbone from shoulder to shoulder.
2. De'colletage- Plunging, cleavage revealing neckline.
3. Fichu collar- Similar in shape to portrait collar but envelops more off the shoulders with shawl like effect.
4. High Neck- Covering collar extending to just below jawline.
5. Illusion- Transparent lace or netting that begins at high or jeweled neckline and ends just above the bustline.
6. Jewel- Circles the base of the neck.
7. Portrait Collar- Wraps around shoulders, gathering at a point just above the bustline in front center.
8. Queen Anne- High at the back and sides of the neck, angling outward and then across top of bustline.
9. Queen Elizabeth- High standing collar in back of the neck that flows to a V-front.
10. Sabrina- Straight neck line beginning 2" inside the shoulder line; slightly higher that bateau neckline.
11. Scoop- Low, rounded neckline.
12. Square- Shaped like half a square.
13. Sweetheart- Begins 2" inside the shoulder line and dips to a heart shape at bustline.

 

SLEEVES

1. Balloon- Very large pouf sleeve extending from shoulder to elbow.
2. Bishop- Softly gathered at the shoulders and full to the cuffs
3. Cap- Very short fitted sleeves that just cover the shoulders.
4. Fitted Point- Long sleeves with little or no fullness that fall just below the waist.
5. Gauntlet- Lace or fabric that covers forearm and wrist (detachable).
6. Juliet- Long sleeve with poufed top. Fitted on the lower arm.
7. Leg of Mutton- Full and rounded from shoulder to just above the elbow, tapering to more fitted sleeve from forearm to wrist.
8. Pouf- short, full, gathered sleeve, can be worn on or off the shoulder

 

LACES

1. Alencon- Delicate floral or leaf design in a fine net background outlined with heavy threads to define the pattern and add dimension.
2. Battenberg- Made by applying a coarse linen tape to the design and connecting tape with decorative linen stitching.
3. Chantilly- Web-like floral pattern on a lace background outlined with silk threads, soft to the touch.
4. Point D'Esprit- Oval or square dots woven in a pattern on net fabric.
5. Schiffli- Intricate floral pattern embroidered directly onto the gown as opposed to a separate lace sewn to the fabric.
6. Lyons- Ornamental design on a net background outlined in silk or cotton.
7. Venise- Heavy needlepoint, floral or leaf pattern with motifs connected by bars.

 

WAISTLINES

1. Asymmetrical- Begins at the natural waistline and angles down to one side.
2. Basque- Slightly elongated, dipping to a point at the center front.
3. Dropped- Falls to several inches below the natural waistline.

 

DRESS LENGTH

1. Ballet- Hemline falls just above the ankles.
2. Floor- Hemline falls to 1 " from floor.
3. Intermission- Hemline falls mid-calf in front, floor length in back.
4. Street- Hemline just covers knees.
5. Tea- Hemline falls several inches above ankles

 

SKIRT DETAILS

1. Bustle- Gathering of fabric at the back waistline of gown.
2. Flounce- Wide piece of fabric of lace, gathered and attached at the hem.
3. Peplum- Short overskirt of flounce starting at the waistline.
4. Tiered- Layered panels of fabric that fall from the waist to the hem in varying lengths.

 

TRAINS

1. Catherdral- Extends 2  yards from the waist.
2. Chapel- Extends 1 & 1/3 yards from waist.
3. Court- Extends 1 yard from waist.
4. Extended Cathedral or Royal- Extends 3 yards from waist.
5. Sweep- Short train, barely sweeps the floor.
6. Watteau- Attaches at the shoulders of the gown.

 

SILHOUETTES

1. Ballgown- Sleeves may be short and full or off the shoulder with a natural waistline and very full skirt.
2. Empire- High waist that starts just beneath a fitted bodice with a slim skirt.
3. Mermaid- Narrow, body-hugging style with a skirt flaring from or just below knee.
4. Princess- Vertical seams extended from shoulders to hem with skirt curving outward at waistline.
5. Sheath- No-waisted, narrow, form-fitting style.

 

HEADPIECES

1. Floral Wreath- Circle of flowers that sits on top of the head or rests at mid-forehead.
2. Half Hat- Small hat covering half or less than half the crown.
3. Juliet Cap- Small cap that hugs back of head.
4. Mantilla- Lace-trimmed veiling that frames the face and is usually secured with a comb.
5. Picture Hat- Wide brimmed hat, usually decorated with lace, pearls, or sequins.
6. Pillbox- Structured, rounded, brimless hat worn on top of the head.
7. Profile- Floral comb worn asymmetrically on one side of the head and adorned with lace, pearls, or crystals. 
8. Tiara- Ornamental crown of pearls, crystals, rhinestones, or lace worn on top of the head.

 

VEILS

1. Ballet or Waltz Length- Falls to the ankle.
2. Blusher- Shot, single veil worn forward to cover bride's face as she enters ceremony and worn back afterward, usually attached to longer veil.
3. Cathedral Length- Falls 3  yards from headpiece, usually worn with cathedral train.
4. Chapel Length- Falls 2  yards from the headpiece.
5. Fingertip Length- Touches fingertips when arms are held straight at sides.
6. Fly-Away- Multi layers that brush shoulders, usually worn with an informal dress.
7. Pouf- Short, gathered veiling attached to a headpiece, usually worn with an informal dress.