Should you Choose Bridesmaid Dresses with Sleeves?

Deciding between sleeved or non-sleeved bridesmaid dresses is another step in the wedding planning process. However, there are pros and cons on each side that make it worthwhile consideration. The time of year the wedding is booked for could be the deciding factor. Or perhaps dress sleeves will work towards the overall feel you’re trying to create. 

Lets take a look at the types if sleeves on offer and what you should think about to make up your mind. 

Types of sleeves 

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple choosing between sleeves or no sleeves. There are many different types of dress sleeves available, each of which will appeal to more to certain styles and preferences. As such, sleeves can offer another level of customisation to your bridesmaids’ look, while allowing them to contribute towards a unified theme. 

The three main types of bridesmaid dress sleeves are: 

  • Set-in sleeve – a sleeve attached at the armhole with sewing that goes all the way around. Set-in sleeves are usually made from a different fabric to the bodice. 
  • Raglan sleeve – a sleeve that extends from the neckline as opposed to the shoulder. This creates space underneath the arm, allowing for better movement. 
  • Kimono sleeve – a sleeve that doesn’t feature separate sewing. Instead, it is in one piece connected to the bodice. This usually creates a wide sleeve with hanging fabric. 

Pros of Dress Sleeves 

More coverage 

Choosing a bridesmaid dress style with a greater coverage is sometimes a more practical option. Short strapless bridesmaids dresses might be something you envisioned, however, it’s not going to work too well in the middle of winter. Dress sleeves provide some extra warmth, helping bridesmaids stay comfortable well into the evening. 

Religious considerations 

Some ceremonies will place a high value on religious customs, which may limit how much skin can be shown. This is usually a request made by the bride or their family. In this case, sleeves are a way to honour the bride’s wishes. 

Fit the wedding theme 

Bridesmaid dresses with sleeves have an extra layer of style that can be adapted to fit within the overall theme of the event. For instance, those going for a ballroom aesthetic could benefit from having their bridesmaids sport flowing sleeves with lots of folds. 

One sleeve doesn’t have to fit all 

Your choice of sleeve doesn’t have to be the same across the entire bridal party. Sleeve style can be a way for bridesmaids to play around with their look while staying consistent as a group. After all, a differing factor between the bride and bridesmaids might be the presence of sleeves. 

Cons of Dress Sleeves 

Can Emphasise certain features 

This is less of a con and just something to be aware of. As sleeves cover the shoulders, this can make particularly broad frames stand out. Again, this isn’t a bad thing so long as the bridesmaid in question is comfortable. This won’t happen in every case, although it may mean different length sleeves are needed across your bridal group. Sleeved dresses that lead to alterations can increase expenses. 

Can be restrictive 

Some types of sleeve can restrict movement. This is a risk most present with set-in sleeves due to their heavy amount of sewing. This is an important consideration, as every wedding inevitably involves dancing after a certain point in the evening. Not to mention trying to catch the bouquet. 

Not ideal in hot weather 

Maybe your arms been twisted into bridesmaid dresses with sleeves due to theme or religious considerations. For summer weddings, this can lead to overheating. The last thing you want is perspiration to show up in your timeless wedding photos. A way to remedy this is to choose very light sleeve fabric or even an airy style of sleeve like a split sleeve. 

Bridesmaid dress styles with sleeves 

Whether you choose to have bridesmaids dresses with or without sleeves is completely up to you. It’s another consideration that will reflect you, your style and the overall theme of the wedding. With that, here are some dress styles that work wonderfully with sleeves. 

Maxi bridesmaid dresses lend themselves to sleeves with their flowing fabric. Additionally, where this style of dress is usually straightforward in appearance, the sleeves are an area where some extra flair and creativity can be added. 

Open back dresses naturally flare out the shoulders. As such, many feature sleeves to accentuate this and make it look as though the fabric is draped over the body.  

Another option is to simply add sleeves to whatever style of dress you like at a later date. An experienced seamstress will be able to add sleeves to any bridesmaid dress style no problem. 

Shop Bridesmaid Dresses UK

Maids to Measure has a lot to choose from with both sleeved and non-sleeved dresses. Our range of bridesmaid dresses contains a wide variety of styles and colours to fit any wedding theme. Whether you’re after classic or contemporary, our boutique is ready to welcome you. 

Book an appointment today.