The Best Bustle
The best bustle is the one that keeps your gown from dragging on the floor, but there are all kinds of bustles, and your seamstress will help you choose the one that suits your gown. For some great photos of different styles, go to WeddingWire.com/Wedding-Ideas/Wedding-Dress-Bustles. Avoid the one that isn’t pictured–when you just turn under the skirt and attach it to the lining. The center back of the gown is now the hemline, which is abraded when it rubs against the ground. Often when the gown is cleaned, you can still see a line across the back of the gown where the fibers have been damaged.
Whichever bustle type you choose, make sure you know how to use it! If you can, take the person who will help you on the day of the wedding with you to your last fitting so she can practice. The easiest bustle is the one with buttons or pearls at the waistline. Then you just have to start with the loop at the center back of your train and match the right loops to the right buttons.
Many bustles require you to match ribbons on the under side of your gown. Again if you begin from the center back and work outward, it should not be very hard to match them properly. Sometimes seamstresses use colored ribbons or sew colored threads on the ribbons so it is even easier to tie the right ribbons together. Or the seamstress may write numbers on the ribbons. Note: it’s best if the seamstress uses an indelible marking pen so the ink does not run when your gown is cleaned. For really complicated bustles, you will always need numbers to tie them properly–especially if your bustle involves so many ties that the skirt looks like a series of “pick-ups.”
For some gowns such as a lace gown with a satin slip, you will also need to bustle your petticoat separately from the gown. The same rules as above will apply, and it is not likely you will forget because the petticoat will show if you forget to loop it up, too.