Glossary edition 4: Bodices

We’re back to expand on your wedding dress glossary! Today we're talking about bodices. You’re probably familiar with a few of these terms but we’re confident there’s still a few more we can educate you on.


Asymmetrical - The fabric covers one shoulder, or attaches over one shoulder with a strap, leaving the other shoulder bare.

Corset - Hugs tight against the body with hook, snap or laced back securing. The bodice can be strapless or strapped, criss-cross strapped or braid-strapped.

Empire - Fitted at the chest, then fabric hangs straight down under the bustline. A very romantic look, and one favored by expecting brides and bridesmaids.

Midriff - Reaches just down to below the ribs, baring your stomach.

Princess-line - Lined with two vertical seams that angle over the breastline down to the hem.

Surplice - Fabric is crossed in the front or the back, sometimes twisted for extra effect.

Tank - Just like a tank top, this one is sleeveless with thin or thick straps.

Glossary edition 2: Skirt Styles

We’re back with the 2nd edition of our glossary special with skirt styles. From the traditional to the modern and onto sexy, here are 13 glossary terms to help you describe your dream wedding dress.

Skirt Styles

Ballgown - Fitted at the bodice and waist, and then the skirt poufs out into a bell shape.

Flared - Fitted at the waist, and then flares out into a tulip shape at the hem.

Flounce - A looser skirt that flares out and has a ruffle at the hem.

Front slit - A slit on a frontal side seam, usually along the leg and not in the middle, that allows for movement.

Pannier - Fabric draping on both hips as an extra layer to accent a more sheath-style dress.

Pencil - Skirt hangs straight down, with no flare at the hem or accent at the waist.

Peplum - A very short ruffled skirt layer over a pencil skirt, originally a 1940s style of fun skirt with a bit of flair and movement for dancing. The ruffled layer may be horizontal in shape or extended down in a back V-shape.

Pleated - Varying numbers of pleats running vertically most often along the front of the skirt, but may also extend fully around the skirt. Multiple pleats is called ‘accordion style’ and two larger pleats is called ‘box style.’

Side slit - A slit at the side of the leg, allowing for movement.

Straight - The skirt extends straight down, with no flare at the hem. A longer version of the pencil skirt, this skirt might reach to the floor.

Tiered - The skirt is comprised of several overlapping layers of different lengths, usually three layers, but may be more depending on style.

Wrap - The skirt overlaps and wraps at the waist, a more informal style ideal for destination weddings and bridesmaid dresses.

Glossary edition 1: Gown Silhouettes

Surplice, flounce, empire, bateau , castillion, alencon, and more. Wedding dress terms can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a lengthy list of terms to help you understand gown silhouettes, fabrics, neck lines, lengths, bodices and trains but we’ll deliver these glossaries to you in “bite-size” increments over the next several weeks. If there is a term your interested in learning more about, send it our way here and we’d be happy to add it to the glossary.

We won’t claim this list will be all encompassing but we’re confident it will be 90% (+/-) comprehensive.

The first “bite-size” section we have for you today is gown silhouettes. Let’s dig right in.

Gown Silhouettes

A-line/Princess - Narrow at the bodice, with vertical seams that flow right down to a slightly flared-out skirt.

Asymmetrical - The bottom of the skirt, as well as perhaps several layers of fabric comprising the skirt, is cut on a diagonal angle.

Ballgown - A fitted bodice that comes in at the waist and then flares out to a full, floor-length skirt with lots of volume for a more formal and traditional bridal look.

Column - A fitted bodice to a narrow, tailored look over the waist and hips, and straight to the floor. No flares, no poofs, and not as fitted as a sheath. You can do floor-length, or shorten it to calf-length for a less formal wedding.

Empire - A Victorian-style of gown, this one features a fitted bodice with a skirt that starts right at the base of the chest and hangs down in a straight, slim line to the floor.

Mermaid - Form-fitting from the chest to a tiny waist, over the hips and then down to the knees, where fabric flares out in dramatic fashion like a mermaid’s tail.

Sheath - A close, form-fitting dress from bodice all the way down to the skirt. May have a slit at the legs for easier walking.

Test your new knoweledge! What silhouette does each of these gowns represent?


Ok that's all we have for silhouettes.But we suspect that was plenty right? Next time we'll have skirt styles for you. Don't forget to message or comment below if you have questions or would like us to explain a specific term!

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L’Fay Bridal

Main Office
7725 Main Street
Fogelsville, PA 18051

484 793 8140