The popularity of wedding dresses with sleeves has soared since The Duchess of Cambridge donned a gorgeous long-sleeved lace wedding gown in 2011. Like Kate, you could also be considering a long-sleeved wedding dress for your big day.

What I like most about wedding dresses with sleeves is that they aren’t restricted to one particular bridal style. You can find stunning traditional bridal gowns with elegant long sleeves, but you can also discover contemporary boho designs with billowing bridal sleeves. So whatever look you are going for, consider adding sleeves for extra style and sophistication.

Sleeve Fabrics

Once you’ve decided you want to go for a wedding dress with sleeves you’re then faced with the many fabric options out there. Lace, chiffon and silk crepe are popular materials for sleeves, and your choice will depend on how heavy you want your sleeve to be.

Lace is a beautifully light, breathable fabric, and some types of lace are stretchy too (which is very handy for busting moves on the dance floor)…

Chiffon is also very light and airy, but gives a little more coverage…

Silk crepe is probably the fullest coverage and the heaviest material I would suggest for a wedding dress sleeve…

Sleeved Dresses for a Summer Wedding

You may be thinking that long-sleeved wedding dresses are only for winter brides looking for a bit of extra warmth, but that’s not the case. If you’re a summer bride you can definitely work the trend too. Just be sure to choose a summer wedding dress with sleeves made from fabric that feels light on the skin so you don’t feel too suffocated.

Another good solution is a wedding dress with detachable sleeves. This is perfect for brides who want to cover up during a church ceremony and then remove their sleeves for the after party. Also, brides marrying in the midday sun may want a sleeveless wedding gown which they can then add sleeves to in the evening.

Covering Up

Some self-conscious brides want sleeves on their wedding dress because of their ability to cover up and conceal. However, I’d warn you to be careful of this so-called solution as some materials and patterns can actually draw attention to the arms.

Talk through your fabric options with your bridal designer first to see what designs will work for you.

Guest post by Shanna Melville

Images from designers