Wedding dress sleeve styles

Choose the sleeve to suit your bridal gown


The long sleeve is slender and runs from shoulder to wrist. A popular choice of fabric for long sleeve dresses is a translucent sheer fabric.


Long and bell‐shaped sleeve styles

Bell‐shaped sleeve

The bell‐shaped sleeve style is slender from shoulder to elbow or mid‐forearm then flares out to the wrist. Sleeve length is typically long and sometimes has tails that extend to beyond the fingers. This style can be good for hiding chubby arms as long as the sleeve isn’t tight.

Juliet sleeve and Balloon sleeve styles

Juliet sleeve

The Juliet sleeve is very Shakespearean with its long fitted sleeve and puff shoulder.

Balloon sleeve

The balloon sleeve is full over the upper arm down to the elbow, then slender from the elbow to wrist.


Whether or not you have sleeves on your wedding dress used to be dictated by seasonal fashion, but is now more related to personal taste. What type of sleeve you have is usually a matter of the overall style of the dress and how you feel about your upper arms.

Sleeves don’t have to be in the same fabric as the rest of the dress ‐‐ they can be made of lighter, more translucent material, which is particularly good for brides not wanting to bare their arms on a warm day.

Cap and Short sleeve styles

The following illustrations show some common types of sleeve.

Cap sleeve

This is a very short sleeve just covering the shoulder. It’s a style best suited to brides with slender or well‐toned upper arms.

Short/ T‐shirt sleeve

In this style, the short sleeve is longer than the cap and extends to the middle of the upper arm. It’s perfect for brides who want to cover their upper arms. If you’re worried about displaying your arms, but have fallen in love with a short sleeved style, try a bolero jacket or a wrap for a stylish cover‐up.

Elbow - Length and 3/4 Length sleeve styles


¾ length

Elbow‐length sleeves

As the name implies, this is a longer version of the short sleeve/ T‐shirt extending to the elbow.

Three‐quarter length sleeves

The three‐quarter length sleeve reaches the midpoint between elbow and wrist. A style which is currently in vogue, three‐quarter length sleeves can help make short arms seem longer. It also allows you to wear a bracelet or even a very delicate watch.

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