Ballerina Falls to or slightly below
the center of the calf.
Floor Most traditional length, rests
about an inch from the floor
Knee Nontraditional length
Mini Above the knee; often chosen by
Basque Sits at the natural waistline
in the back and dips lower to form a V-shape in the front.
Dropped Falls below the natural waistline
in classic flapper style.
Natural Sits at the waist
Bateau Shallow curve cut the same in
front and back.
Illusion High collar made of a sheer fabric such as net, point d'esprit or chiffon; appears almost invisible.
Jewel High, rounded neckline with no
collar or binding.
Off-the-shoulder Falls just below the
shoulder, with a collar or sleeve on the arm.
Portrait Open neckline with a high back,
gathered in front above the bustline.
Queen Anne High at the nape of neck;
sweeps low in front.
Scoop Low, curved sweep extending to
the shoulders; may be cut deep in front, back, or both.
Sweetheart Low-cut, resembling the rounded
curves of a heart.
V Shaped like a V; cut deep or shallow
in the front, back, or both.
Wedding band collar High, fitted collar,
popular in the 1890s.
Bishop Full sleeve gathered into a band
at the wrist.
Cap Short sleeve that just covers the
top of the arm.
Gigot See leg o'mutton.
Juliet Long, fitted sleeve with short
puff at the shoulder.
Leg o'mutton Wide and rounded at shoulder,
fitted snugly on the lower arm; also called gigot.
Puff Short, rounded sleeve; gathered
at armhole or cuff.
Three-quarter Ends just below the elbow;
often finished with small cuff or band.
Wedding point V-shaped extension of a
long, fitted sleeve that comes to a point over the bride's hand.
Cathedral Longer than one yard; reserved
for the most formal weddings.
Chapel Formal; extends about one yard.
Court Separate piece of fabric that falls
from the shoulders.
Detachable Normally attached at back
of waist, but may attach to the shoulders or wrap around the waist.
Sweep Just brushes the floor.
Watteau Cascades from the shoulders.
Ballet Comes to just an inch above the
floor; also called waltz.
Bird cage Stiff; covers the face; falls
just below the chin.
Blusher Loose, worn forward over the
bride's face, or lifted back over the headpiece.
Cathedral Falls 3 1/2 yards from the
Chapel Falls 2 1/2 yards from the headpiece;
Fingertip Most popular style, reaches
to the fingertips; suitable for all but ultraformal gowns.
Flyaway Multiple layers that just brush
Waltz See ballet.
Floral wreath Worn over the forehead
or nestled in the hair.
Juliet-cap Fits tightly to crown of head;
may be made entirely of pearls or jewels.
Mantilla Lace veil worn surrounding face.
Profile Decorative comb worn on one side
of head silhouetting the face.
Tiara Crown that rests on top of the
Care of Couture Collections
Glossary of Fabrics
Gown Preservation FAQ