Wedding dresses: trains

Use our guide to wedding dress trains to find the ideal style for your bridal gown

dress_trainA train adds a touch of magic and majesty to a bride on her wedding day, accentuating the beauty of the bride and her dress.

If you choose a dress with a train, be sure to look at the view of the back of the gown to ensure that the look suits you and your figure, as wide trains that extend from the waistline can add the unwanted illusion of extra pounds. If you choose a long train, ask whether the train is detachable, or get the dressmaker or bridal assistant to show you how to gather up the train into a bustle at the back. Another option is ribbon loops that help you hold the train up so that you can dance. If you are petite, avoid the bustle and look for a detachable train, as you may look swamped by a large bustle.

A sweep, duster or brush train (below left) is a very popular style that extends around one to one-and-a-half feet at the back of the dress. They are usually worn at more informal weddings.

A puddle train (below middle) is similar to a sweep train but has more fabric at the back and sides, forming a "puddle" around the bride's feet.

A court train (below right) is the same length as a sweep or brush train, but extends from the waistline rather than the hemline, changing the silhouette of the bride’s figure.

 sweep_train puddle_train court_train

A panel train (below left) is a separate panel of fabric about a foot wide that is attached to the back of the dress. It is usually detachable, and can be made to any length.

A watteau train (below middle) is attached to the dress at the shoulder or back and drapes down to the hem of the dress, giving the dress an almost Grecian look. This kind of train is not usually worn with a veil.

A chapel train (below right) stretches back 3 or 4 feet from the waistline. This medium-length train is a popular style that is fairly easy to manage.

 panel_train watteau_train   chapel_train

A cathedral train (below left) stretches back 6 or 7 feet from the waistline. You will need the help of your bridesmaids to arrange and hold the train throughout your wedding day. A detachable train is one way of having a cathedral train for the ceremony, and then removing it for dancing at the wedding reception.

A monarch or royal train (below right) can be 12 feet or longer from the waistline. You will definitely need bridesmaids to hold the train for you as you walk down the aisle and throughout the day. This is for brides who truly dream of being a “princess for a day”.

cathedral_train   royal_train

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