As a bride-to-be you have to immerse yourself in a whole new world of wedding-ness as you prepare for your special day. Not only do get to figure out your own personal style in terms of wedding decor, color schemes and your dress, but you also learn a ton along the way. For instance you quickly become familiar with a host of wedding terms like trumpet, bustle, and silhouette while you pour over gowns on pinterest. At a consult with your florist you learn about boutonierres and breakaways, at your cake tasting they’ll be throwing out words like ganache and marzipan. But you may have heard another mysterious remark whilst trying on wedding dresses. Perhaps your stylist mentioned something like, “a crinoline will do wonders for this ballgown.” And you’re thinking, ‘ummmm…a what? What the heck is a crinoline and what is it going to do to this dress?’
A crinoline, my dears, is basically a slip, usually made of horsehair, that helps support the design of your dress. And here’s where you are most likely thinking, ‘Wait, horsehair?’ Yep, that’s right, crinoline is a net-like material that is made from actual horse hair, or a combo of horse hair and polyester, silk or cotton. Merriam-Webster defines a crinoline as, “a full stiff skirt or underskirt made of crinoline.” The fabric is durable, easily shaped, and was first used way back in the 16th century to support the elaborate gowns the European high society wore every day. Throughout history women have worn some type of crinoline or other underpinings to pouf out their skirts. Hoopskirts, petticoats and slips have all been worn for centuries and we find it cool that they are all still used in modern society for brides, royalty and quinceañeras. Check out these awesome vintage underthings that paved the way for current day styles:
Back in the day, the height of fashion apparently dictated a giant hoop skirt contraption, a team of four or five ladies, and some sort of pulley system to lower it over head to achieve a staggering dress width. The completed look is divine but looks at least 12 feet around! A couple thoughts: How did she fit through doorways? And how cute is the puppy in the last shot?
The petticoat, a close sister to the crinoline, is an underskirt usually a little shorter than outer clothing and often made with a ruffled, pleated, or lace edge. We found this amazing pic of a 1950s era lingerie fashion show. Look at all the beautiful slips.
You’ll be able to accentuate the line of almost any style wedding gown you chose with a bridal slip. A poufy crinoline will add dimension and fluff to your ballgown skirts, while a tiered slip with a train will support any softly layered skirt.
Add personality to your ensemble with a softly hued petticoat:
Or even incorporate a richly colored slip for major sass:
Your bridal stylist is an expert in helping you choose the right underpining for your wedding dress.
You might not need anything extra under your gown, as many modern bridal styles are flowy and pre-lined. But, it is nice to know what the heck a crinoline is, and a little about it’s history. Plus, they just look so cool. And, even sometimes edgy: