Sleeved Wedding Dresses, A-Z

Posted by Azure on September 7th, 2011

Since sleeved wedding dresses have made a major comeback, I thought it only appropriate to dig into all the different types of sleeves that brides can choose from.

I was sent a fabulous little book entitled Quest for the Dress by Nancy DiFabbio, and this gem helps you find your dream gown without losing your sanity, friends or groom. The nuggets of wisdom in this book are endless, and I'll be sharing the most valuable pieces of advice over the next few months. But today... we talk sleeves!

  • Bell: The full-length Bell sleeve fits smoothly at the shoulder, and bells out at the wrist. Bridal Fit Tip- the perfect style to balance out a heavy upper arm.
  • Bishop: A long sleeve that is wider at the bottom than at the top, and is gathered and cinched at the cuff. The Bishop sleeve works well with chiffon and organza wedding dress fabrics.
  • Cap: A dainty short, set-in sleeve without any volume. The cap sleeve extends barely three inches from the shoulder, and was featured on Pippa Middleton's bridesmaid dress for the royal wedding.
  • Dolman/Raglan: Think of this sleeve as a continuation of the bodice. The Dolman features extra fullness under the armpit, and has no armhole seam. Dolman sleeves only work with soft fabrics that drape well, so keep this in mind when searching for your dream wedding dress.
  • Flutter: The romantic Flutter sleeve typically hits above the elbow, and fits loosely over the upper arm. Bridal designer Claire Pettibone has an affinity for the flutter sleeve, so check out her gowns if you love this look.
  • Leg of Mutton: This style of sleeve was popular in the 1800s and 1980s. The Leg of Mutton sleeve is gathered and poufed at the cap (aka shoulder), and tapers down to fit tightly around the lower arm and wrist. Oftentimes, this sleeve ends in a point that rests on the top of the hand.
  • Pouf/Puffed: The Pouf sleeve is gathered at the shoulder and the cuff, and can be short or elbow-length.
  • Three-quarter length: A slim sleeve that extends a few inches below the elbow. Bridal Fit Tip- avoid a 3/4 length sleeve if you have a large bust or thicker waist (as this style of sleeve will make this area of the body look broader).

Will your dream wedding dress feature sleeves? If so, which sleeve type is perfect for you?

Posted in Wedding Dresses

More Popular Posts & Galleries