Wedding Dress Sleeve Styles

As the Bride, you will have a lot of choices and styles available to you when choosing the right style of wedding dress for your wedding day.

It is important that you choose the right style of dress as well as incorporating the correct style of neckline, bodice and sleeve which will hopefully flatter your figure on the day. You must consider the shape, height and size of your body when looking for the perfect sleeve!

As with any special occasion, when choosing your outfit, you should also look at your bust size and how large your shoulders are before making any final decisions. You can of course make your outfit stand out with the right bridal accessories but the right sleeve is just as important as the right shoes or the right headdress.

Remember that your sleeves do not have to be made from the same material as your dress and your preference of whether you wear a full length, three quarter length or short length sleeve will depend on how many factors including the weather and how much skin you are willing to show.

Wedding Dress Sleeve Shapes 

Here are a few of the more popular wedding dress sleeve styles.

  • Long and/or Pointed sleeves: just as it describes these sleeves reach all the way to your wrists, some even extend past the wrists and can be beneficial to those Brides that want to cover any unsightly marks on their arms. Some of the pointed sleeves can finish at an elegant point across the fingers.
  • Petal or Tulip sleeve: this style looks like two petals crossed over the shoulder and works great with any shape and size of arm and the style will flatter dresses of simple and classic designs.
  • T-shirt sleeve: a basic and standard t-shirt designed sleeve, good for covering those upper arms.
  • Juliet sleeve: one to watch out for if you have larger arms as this could make you appear to be very broad shouldered. Similar to the balloon sleeve, this puffs out at the top and then becomes fitted down the remainder of your arms.
  • Balloon sleeve: as the name suggests this balloons over the upper section of your arm and then becomes narrower towards the elbow before ending at the wrist.
  • Poet's sleeve: great for floaty dresses this sleeve starts at the shoulder and widens out before tapering back in to the wrist.
  • Bell sleeve: this can starting at the shoulder or even the elbow and then this loose and flattering sleeve becomes wider as it reaches the wrist.
  • Cap sleeve: A good look for the slimmer armed Brides, this sleeve just covers or 'caps' the top of the shoulder.

As well as those listed above, other shapes that it might be worth asking about include the Bishop sleeve, the butterfly sleeve which is very similar to the bell sleeve except that the very ends of the sleeve are attached to the back of the dress.

As it is such a special occasion you may be tempted to wear a style that you have not worn before but this is not a decision you should take lightly.

Debate it carefully and ensure:

  • Are the sleeves cool enough for you to wear for a number of hours?
  • Are you comfortable showing off a lot of your upper arms?
  • Ask yourself if the material is comfortable.
  • Do you want your sleeves to be the same fabric as your dress?
  • Try on plenty of different styles.
  • You get as much feedback about how your choice looks on you.

Whether you look at the latest fashions or not, your choice of sleeve should be your own personal preference and one that you feel secure about wearing!