Wedding Ideas

Wedding Dress 101 :
Strap & Sleeve Styles

Posted At : September 2, 2014 3:22 PM   |  Posted By : Fashion Editor   |  Views: 5,196
Articles on these Topics: Fashion & Beauty,Wedding 101
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" A series of posts that explain the ins-and-outs of wedding dress terminology, from silhouettes, to necklines, and even sleeve styles. "

Types of Straps

Click on any of the photos to jump to the silhouette or scroll down to view all.

Strapless wedding dress. Style 9169 by Allure Bridals. Wedding dress with spaghetti straps. Style Cloris by Sophia Tolli. Wedding dress with strap(s). Style Marco by Rosa Clara Two. Wedding dress with elbow length sleeve. Style Kerry by Watters Brides.
Strapless Spaghetti
Straps
Strap(s) Sleeves


Types of Sleeves


Wedding dress with cap sleeves. Style Summer by Sottero and Midgley. Wedding dress with flutter sleeves. Style Haldis by St. Patrick. Wedding dress with short sleeves. Style Maddalena with Matthias Jacket by Watters Brides. Wedding dress with elbow length sleeve. Style 1808 by Mikaella.
Cap Sleeve Flutter Sleeve Short Sleeve Elbow Length

Wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves. Style Silvine by Ines di Santo. Wedding dress with full-length fitted sleeves. Style Anastasia by Sottero and Midgley. Wedding dress with full-length sleeves. Style Ill be There by Ivy and Aster.
3/4 Length Fitted Sleeve Full Length

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Be sure to check out the other articles in our 101 series:

What are Straps?

Straps connect the front of the bodice to the back of the bodice. They can be on one side or both and range in width from a 1/2" wide to full shoulder coverage. Depending on the strap style chosen, straps can be a minor addition to a dress or play a major part in the overall look. Straps be constructed of the same fabric as the main dress or other fabrics, like ribbon or lace. Many dresses have no straps and are simply finished at the top; this style is called strapless.

Types of Straps

Strapless

The strapless gown has been the benchmark of North America bridal fashion for the past three decades.

Definition: A wedding dress that is finished at the top of the neckline and does not have straps connecting the front of the dress to the back of the dress.
Perfect For: Everyone. It has earned its spot as number one thanks to the fact that it is a style that can be worn by anyone.

Style Tip

Brides with larger busts need to ensure that their strapless gown has the correct inner construction or that they wear a supportive undergarment to ensure that they will feel properly supported.

Strapless wedding dress. Style 9169 by Allure Bridals.

Strapless wedding dress. '9169' gown by Allure Bridals

Strapless wedding dress Strapless wedding dress Strapless wedding dress Strapless wedding dress

Site Tip

Want to see the strapless gowns available in Canada? Click here.

Spaghetti Straps

Definition: Thin straps that are typically 1/4" to 1/2" wide. Due to their delicate nature, these straps are more for decoration than support.
Perfect For: Brides that like the look of a strapless dress, but do not want completely bare shoulders.

Style Tip

Since spaghetti straps are mostly for decoration, it is a good idea to make sure that your dress stays put without the straps during your fitting. To test this, simply tuck the straps in and check to see how secure your dress feels.

Wedding dress with spaghetti straps. Style Cloris by Sophia Tolli.

Wedding dress with spaghetti straps. 'Cloris' gown by Sophia Tolli

Spaghetti straps Spaghetti straps Spaghetti straps Spaghetti straps

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with spaghetti straps available in Canada? Click here.


Strap(s)

Definition: Fabric in varying widths that connects the front of the bodice to the back of the bodice.
Perfect For: Everyone. Straps provide a great amount of variety.

Style Tip

You can often add straps to many dresses; some fabrics, like lace are easier to work with, but be sure to ask your consultant about the possibilities.

Style Tip

Consider making your straps detachable to create two different looks with your dress.

Wedding dress with strap(s). Style Marco by Rosa Clara Two.

Wedding dress with straps. 'Marco' gown by Rosa Clara Two.

Wedding dress with strap(s) Wedding dress with straps Wedding dress with straps Wedding dress with straps

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with straps available in Canada? Click here.

What are Sleeves?

Sleeves can be present on any strapped gown and consist of fabric that covers the arm at various lengths, from cap sleeve to full sleeve and everywhere in between.

Tip

When it comes to sleeves, a great way to have the best of both worlds is to wear a bolero or fitted jacket with sleeves for your ceremony, which can later be taken off for a fun, care-free reception look.

Types of Sleeves

Cap Sleeve

Definition: The smallest of the sleeve styles, a sleeve that is 1 1/2" - 3" wide that just covers the shoulder tip.
Perfect For: Brides having a religious ceremony where shoulder coverage is required.

Wedding dress with cap sleeves. Style Summer by Sottero and Midgley.

Wedding dress with cap sleeves. 'Summer' gown by Sottero & Midgley.

Wedding dress with cap sleeves Wedding dress with cap sleeves Wedding dress with cap sleeves Wedding dress with cap sleeves

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with cap sleeves available in Canada? Click here.

Flutter Sleeve

Definition: Precisely how it sounds, a loose light-weight sleeve that flutters when you move. This sleeve is typically short in length and often made of a sheer fabric.
Perfect For: Brides wanting to add a soft, romantic touch to their wedding dress.

Wedding dress with flutter sleeves. Style Haldis by St. Patrick.

Wedding dress with flutter sleeves. 'Haldis' by St. Patrick.

Wedding dress with flutter sleeves Wedding dress with flutter sleeves Wedding dress with flutter sleeves Wedding dress with flutter sleeves

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with flutter sleeves available in Canada? Click here.

Short Sleeve

Definition: A sleeve style that is around 5"-7" in length. You might think of this as a "t-shirt length" sleeve.
Perfect For: Brides looking for a slightly less formal, carefree sleeve style.

Wedding dress with short sleeves. Style Maddalena with Matthias Jacket by Watters Brides.

Short sleeve wedding dress. 'Maddalena with Matthia Jacket' by Watters Brides

Wedding dress with short sleeves Wedding dress with short sleeves Wedding dress with short sleeves Wedding dress with short sleeves

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with short sleeves available in Canada? Click here.

Elbow Length Sleeve

Definition: A sleeve that ends at the elbow.

Tip

If you dress also has a sash or seam at the waist, it is a good idea to have your elbow sleeve end an inch or two after the waist seam (as pictured below), in order to avoid creating a straight horizontal line.

Wedding dress with elbow length sleeve. Style 1808 by Mikaella.

Wedding dress with elbow length sleeves. '1808' by Mikaella.

Wedding dress with elbow length sleeve Wedding dress with elbow length sleeve Wedding dress with elbow length sleeve Wedding dress with elbow length sleeve

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with elbow length sleeves available in Canada? Click here.

3/4 Length Sleeve

Definition: A sleeve that ends mid-way down the forearm. 3/4 length sleeves are usually fitted.
Perfect For: Brides that want an elegant look without the more conservative coverage of a full sleeve.

Wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves. Style Silvine by Ines di Santo.

Wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves. 'Silvine' by Ines di Santo

Wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves Wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves Wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves Wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with 3/4 length sleeves available in Canada? Click here.

Fitted Sleeve

Definition: A full-length, fitted sleeve that ends at the wrist.

Tip

Full coverage sleeves can be too conservative for some brides. A great way to wear this refined look in a less conservative way is to look for slightly opaque (see-through) sleeves that are made of lace or tulle (like the dress below!)

Wedding dress with full-length fitted sleeves. Style Anastasia by Sottero and Midgley.

Wedding dress with fitted sleeves. 'Anastasia' by Sottero & Midgley.

Wedding dress with full-length fitted sleeves. Wedding dress with full-length fitted sleeves Wedding dress with full-length fitted sleeves Wedding dress with full-length fitted sleeves

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with fitted sleeves available in Canada? Click here.

Full Length Sleeve

Definition: A loose-fitting sleeve that ends at the wrist. Sleeve may be loose at the wrist or end in a cuff (a tight-fitting band of fabric at the wrist, that closes with buttons or a zipper).

Wedding dress with full-length sleeves. Style Ill be There by Ivy and Aster.

Wedding dress with full-length Sleeves. 'I'll Be There' gown by Ivy & Aster.

Wedding dress with full-length sleeves Wedding dress with full-length sleeves Wedding dress with full-length sleeves Wedding dress with full-length sleeves

Site Tip

Want to see the gowns with full length sleeves available in Canada? Click here.

You are now an expert on wedding dress straps and sleeves!
Have you read the other articles in our 101 series yet?

Wedding Dress 101 : Silhouettes
Wedding Dress 101 : Necklines

Ready to start browsing our gown gallery? Click here to get started.

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