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The Language of the Dress

Always wondered what a toile was? Or embroidered tulle?

Bride to Be Magazine has decoded all the most popular dress jargon with a handy bridal fashion dictionary.  

A garment made from cotton calico for the purpose of fitting your couture or made-to-measure gown to the body. They are used in the early stages of your fitting with adjustments made to the toile before cutting the gown from your fabric.

A triangular piece of fabric sewn into a skirt or dress flaring from the waist or hip (pointy side up). They add extra width and volume to the hem of a skirt.

A stiff petticoat with hoops, worn underneath the gown. They give the skirt an even, circular, flared effect.

Named after the city of Chantilly in France, Chantilly is a premium lace known for its eyelash scalloped edge. Usually woven in a floral pattern with a light and shade effect and made from silk.

An overskirt is a skirt, usually with a front opening that can be worn short like a peplum or long. They usually sit over another skirt but can also be designed to sit over pants. Carolina Herrera has made this look famous.

Embroidered tulle is a sheer, fine mesh-like fabric with embroidery sewn on to it. A popular wedding dress fabric that is more cost effective than lace.

A sheer panel of fabric, usually mesh or organza sen on the front or back neckline of a gown. Often, the sheer panel or illusion detail is embellished with intricate beading or lace applique.

Pieces of fabric or lace are cut out and stitched onto the main fabric of the gown creating a styled design or pattern. Applique can be added to any fabric and usually features on the bodice or skirt.

A belt made from the same fabric as the garment it accompanies and visually part of the dress design.

This refers to the technical process of creating the paper pattern for a gown based on exact body measurements.

Sections of fabric are evenly folded by hand and stitched down at the top, creating a flair at the hem. Common types of pleats include ‘Sunray’, ‘Inverted’ and ‘Box’.


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The Styled Bride Blog is our way to keep you updated on what’s happening around our studio as well as a place for us to share recent work and inspiration. We hope this is a place for you to get inspired, educated and just have fun!

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