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A glossary of terms (Bridal and/or other)     

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More Bridal images...The Style Bible is an easy to read style guide for women - by Simon Rademan - available in bookstoresDo not let shop assistants and dress designers talk “over your head” or be lead down the wrong path.  Let this page be your first stop if you are searching for the perfect gown that will suit your figure and/or the occasion.  This page will also enable you to start the design of your own gown, or alternatively …  contact The Studio to design the perfect gown for you, be it an evening gown or a bridal gown...

Dress styles   Silhoettes    Necklines    Sleeves    Waistlines    Skirts    Why?

Dress - styles

  • Ball gown    –    Tight upper body with wide skirt attached.

  • Bias cut        This is when fabric is cut on the diagonal so it hugs curves – this method is often used in slip dresses.

  • Basque waist        This fitted style shows off your waist. The hem of the bodice comes to a point (a v-line) at the front of the belly, eg Disney's Snow White. The skirt is usually full.

  • Empire waist        This line is named after Empress Josephine, Napoleon's wife. The Empire waist is gathered and/or just under the bust, then falls in a slight A-line shape to the hem/floor line.

  • Mermaid        A gown that's figure hugging, fitted through the bodice, hips, and thighs, adding volume out into a skirt-shaped "bell" around the knees.

  • Princess cut        Seams or darts shape the bodice into a graceful hourglass shape from bust to hips, flowing into an A-line.

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  • A-line    –    A tight fitting bodice with a close fitting waist that slowly tapers to a flared hem

  • Empire waistline    –    A high waistline that starts just under the bust and is usually defined by a seam

  • Princess    –    A fitted shape defined by vertical seams, has a seamless waist and flares slightly to the hem

  • Sheath     –    A straight body-skimming gown, often floor-length, may include a permanent or detachable train

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  • Illusion yoke    –    Has transparent fabric, lace or netting fitted at the neckline and shoulders, often extending down to the bust line

  • On-or off-the-shoulder    –    Can be worn up on the shoulders or down

  • Jewel neckline    –    Rounded to follow the natural contours for the neck, creates a simple background for the jewelry

  • Wedding band collar    –    A traditional standup band that circles the neck

  • Sweetheart neckline    –    Moderately low neckline beginning two inches from the shoulder edge, with a heart-shaped center front

  • Sabrina neckline    –    A straight neckline beginning two inches from the shoulder edge

  • Portrait collar    –    A neckline fabric that frames the shoulders, often gathered in the center above the bust line with a decorative fabric detail or ornament

  • Scoop neck    –    A low, curved neckline cut deep in the front, back or both.

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  • Cap sleeve    –    A short, fitted sleeve that is very full from the shoulder to the elbow, where they end

  • Puffed sleeve        A sleeve that is very full from the shoulder to the elbow, where they end

  • Fitted-point    –    A long sleeve that falls just below the wrist, descending to a point

  • ¾-Sleeve    –    A fitted sleeve that ends at the elbow or slightly below the elbow

  • Pouf    –    A very short, full sleeve worn either on- or off-the-shoulder

  • Bell    –    A short sleeve that is full and slightly gathered at the shoulder and falls above the elbow

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  • Natural    –    Has a seam at the narrowest part of the midriff, which is the point of the normal waistline

  • Basque    –    An elongated waistline that dips to a V-point at the center of the front of the dress

  • Dropped    –    Has a slightly gathered seam line several inches below the natural waistline

Don’t know if it’ll suit you?    Contact us 


  • Bouffant or ball gown    –    A very full skirt gathered at the waist, and usually worn over a crinoline slip

  • Peplum    –    A short flounce or overskirt that is attached at the waistline

  • Tea length    –    Hemline falls below the knee but above the ankle

  • Floor length    –    Hemline falls approximately one cm from the floor

Don’t know if it’ll suit you?    Contact us

Disclaimer:  Even I, have to use dictionaries, and the services of search-engins like Google and Yahoo, and of course my favourite: Wikipedia, to find the meaning and definition of many words.  This page was compiled to make your search easier, as a service to our visitors, and although it may be presented as complete, we do advise that you make use of the same tactics as we did.  You are welcome to contact us if you have any “new” words that should be added for the benefit of others.  Please enjoy these pages…

When asked “why should women acquire a ‘Simon Rademan original’ at least once in their lifetime?”, Mr Rademan answered without hesitation:  “…because we are celebrated for our honesty about the suitability of styles, and our understanding of the female form.”   Back to top

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