Style Decision – Sleeves
Brides can choose whether to have some form of strap or sleeve on their dress and there are a range of options from strapless to full length sleeves.
Wedding dresses which have no straps or sleeves at all are known as strapless dresses. The strapless style has a low neckline, just above the bust and is different to sleeveless dresses (which are described later in this article).
The next option up from strapless is some form of thin strap. These straps are known as Spaghetti straps, as they are very thin, about the width of a piece of spaghetti. They start equal distances from the centre front of the dress, above the bust, following over the shoulder and joining the dress at a similar point on the back. The straps can meet the back of the dress at any point and there are a variety of different options that are usually found in wedding dresses with this type of strap. For example, some straps may cross over at the back, creating an ‘X’ shape. Others may just follow the usual strap shape over the shoulder. Others may follow a halter-neck shape and meet behind the neck.
Thick straps follow all the same styles as Spaghetti straps, the difference being that they are thicker and come in a variety of widths. Thick straps can also be off-the-shoulder or one shoulder. By having just one strap, it will softly curve from the opposite side at the bust continuing across the neckline following the angle of the collarbone and over the shoulder. This option looks particularly good with gathered chiffon on a ‘Grecian’ style dress, or on a satin A-Line dress.
Sleeveless bridal gowns have a sleeve that stops at the very top of the shoulder. A Sleeveless dress is different to a dress with thick straps as Sleeveless dresses often have a higher neckline that starts just above the bust. It is the height of the neckline that is the key difference between these two sleeve types.
Cap Sleeves are the next sleeve length and are sleeves that cover the shoulder joint only. They can be made out of a variety of fabrics, such as lace, organza, satin or chiffon.
Short Sleeves finish between the upper arm and elbow. These are normally fitted to the arm, but can also be made of lighter fabric such as chiffon, which will be designed to just hang over the shoulder and upper arm, so as not to be so tight.
¾ LENGTH SLEEVES
¾ Length Sleeves finish between the bottom of the elbow and half way down the forearm. These are mostly fitted tight around the arm. Again, these sleeves can be made from a variety of fabrics, but are usually seen in lace, satin or on occasion, chiffon.
Full Length Sleeves finish between the lower forearm and the hand. Just as with the ¾ Length Sleeves, they are often fitted to the arm and come in a variety of fabrics.
To see more dresses with a variety of sleeves from a range of designers, click here.