Below are some terms you might encounter while looking for your gown.  Hopefully these can help make your wedding gown/ evening gown shopping experience a little bit easier.


A-line: fitted at the bodice and flows out to the ground, with an unbroken line (resembling the outline of an uppercase A)

Ball Gown: fitted at the bodice and has a waistline that leads to a full skirt

Mermaid: fits closely to the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out to the hem

Sheath: fits very closely to the contours of the body. Has a straight skirt with no waist

Trumpet: fits closely to the body until the mid-hip and then widens gradually to the hem. (resembling the mouth of a trumpet).  Often confused with mermaid, but trumpet flairs from mid-hip, whereas mermaid flairs below the knee


Basque Waist: waistline features a low U or V shape

Dropped Waist: features a waist line below the natural waist at the mid hip

has a raised waistline that sits just below the bust, from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem

Natural Waist:
waist line that hits at the natural waist (the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage)

A-line silhouette with vertical seams down the front


Sweep: (also called brush) is the shortest train -usually, the back hem is only a few inches lower than the front hem

slightly longer than the brush, extending approximately 3 feet behind the waist

Chapel Length:
generally 1 1/3 yards or 4 feet from the waistline

Cathedral Length Train:
generally 2 1/2 yards or 7 1/2 feet from the waistline


Alencon lace: re-embroidered, Chantilly lace

lightweight, semi-lustrous soft, is satin-like to the touch

Delicate, sheer, and transparent, with a soft finish. Often layered because of its transparency

Light, soft, and thin, with a crinkled surface

Duchesse Satin:
A lightweight hybrid of silk or polyester and rayon woven into a satin finish

A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen

Sheer and lightweight fabric with a crepe surface

A brand of blended fibers, usually heavier than 100-percent silk

Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar, but more flowing than tulle

heavy and smooth with a high sheen on one side

: Similar to a raw silk, characterized by its rough/nubby texture

Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib

Netting (just like ballerina tutus)

SIZE           chart and measurement


US 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28
UK 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
EUROPE 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58
Bust 31 34 35 36 37 38.5 40 41.5 43 45 47 49 52 56
Waist 24 25 26 27 28 29.5 31 32.5 34 36 38 40 43 47
Hips 32 37 38 39 40 41.5 43 44.5 46 48 50 52 55 59