Dress Terminology

Styles & Necklines

Dress Styles


Slight diagonal flair from natural waist

A-Line Ball Gown

Diagonal flair from natural waist to very full at bottom of skirt

Fit & Flare

Fitted to knee (or slightly above) then flaring out at hem.


Fitted to slightly below hip line then flaring out to hem


Fitted to knee then super full on lower skirt to hem.

Ball Gown

Very full skirt starting at natural waist.


Slim fitting to hem (no flare). Commonly called column or Grecian in bridal.



No shoulder coverage whatsoever.

Queen Anne

Wide straps extending to back enclosing at upper center back then down sides creating an wide opening at the back which can go to the lower back.


Curved around bust leasing to a “V” at center front. In many styles the V is modified as to how low it goes.

V Neckline

Point of V is at center front then rising up over the shoulder line. Occasionally the back will be different such as rounded.

Sabrina Neckline

Bridal version of the familiar boat neckline known in ready-to-wear.

Princess Cut

Seams going over the bust point down to hem without a waist seam. In the fashion world it is referred as “French sloper seaming.”


Brush Train

Mostly used on informal gowns. Slightly longer than front “brushing” the ground in back.

Chapel Train

Most popular! It will extend three to four feet longer than the front of gown.

Court Train

Approximately five feet past front of gown, used by designers to “look” like a cathedral train without the weight and/or length.

Cathedral Train

Very formal, anywhere from six to nine feet longer than the front of gown.

Extended Cathedral Train

As long as desired! Can extend up to twelve feet or longer.

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