by Lisa Cooke
Shopping for a wedding gown can be overwhelming.
For starters, the whole bridal shop experience is far more service
oriented than most women are used to. Not only are the salespeople
willing to help, it's usually mandatory because of the delicate
-- and expensive -- nature of the merchandise.
After you get used to being the center of attention,
it's helpful to know wedding gown terminology. It's much easier
to ask to try on the A-line moiré gown with the chapel
train and bobbin lace, than to resort to "that big white
gown on the end."
Ball gown: Fitted
waist and bodice, full skirt
Basque: Natural waist with V-front
Empire: Small, scooped bodice, gathers at high waist
and has a slender, graceful skirt
Princess/A-line: Slim fitting; vertical seams
flow from shoulders to hem. There is no seam on the waist.
Sheath: Narrow, body-conscious style indented at
the waist or sculpted, following the bust, waist and hips
Brocade: Jacquard-woven fabric with raised designs
Charmeuse: Lightweight, smooth, semilustrous
Chiffon: Delicately sheer, a thin,
transparent fabric of silk or rayon with a soft finish
Crepe: Silk or rayon fabric made with crepe yarn,
with a slight pebbly texture
Eyelet: Open-weave embroidery
Linen: Cloth made of flax, noted for its strength,
Organdy: Sheer, transparent crisp silk or rayon
fabric; sometimes printed or embroidered
Organza: Sheer, crisp fabric like chiffon, but with
a stiff finish
Silk-faced Satin: Smooth, lustrous silk weave with
a glossy face and dull back.
Taffeta: Crisp, smooth fabric with a small, crosswise
Blusher: Loose veil; often attached to longer, three-tiered
veil or attached to a hat
Flyaway: Multiple layers that brush the shoulders
Reprinted with permission. This article originally
ran in The Daily Herald January 28, 2000.