Wedding dresses: sleeves

Use our guide to sleeves to find the ideal style for your wedding dress

The type of sleeve you choose will depend on the season, the style of the dress, and how you feel about revealing your arms.

If you fall in love with a short-sleeved dress to be worn in autumn or winter, buy or have made a bolero jacket or shrug with long sleeves, which you can remove when things warm up at the reception!

The sleeves described below are the basic lengths, but you will find a variety of sleeve styles and shapes: bell, juliette, leg o'mutton, bishop, puff, butterfly...


Cap sleeves cover just the shoulders and usually do not go all the way under the arm. They are suited to brides with slender and toned upper arms.


Short sleeves reach the middle of the upper arm, and are ideal for brides who want to cover their upper arms.


Elbow length sleeves reach the elbow, and are not the most flattering style for brides with very short or broad arms.


Three quarter length sleeves reach the midpoint between the elbow and the wrist. The sleeve could be cut straight across, or into a V.  


Long sleeves run from the shoulder to the wrist and have a slimming effect on the arm. If you have broad or chunky arms, make sure the sleeves are not too tight. 

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