Wedding Dress Sleeves 101: Beautiful Options

Wedding Dress Sleeves

Looking for the perfect sleeves for your dream wedding dress but not sure what they’re called? Loving those dreamy, whimsical sleeves on Pinterest, but not sure how to describe them to your bridal stylist? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Read on for a guide to all the beautiful sleeve options available to you for your special day. After all the right wedding dress sleeves make a timeless and captivating style statement.

Batwing or Dolman

Batwing sleeves are also known as “Dolman” sleeves. These are long sleeves, cut wide at the shoulder with deep armholes that lead to thin tapered wrists, giving it a “wing-like” appearance. Historically Batwing Sleeves can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Originally they were loose sleeves folded from the fabric of cape-like robes.

Bell or Peasant

Bell Sleeves aka Peasant Sleeves can be either long or short and usually flow from the shoulder and flare out toward the bottom. They look a lot like poet sleeves. One way to tell the difference is that bell sleeves hardly ever have ruffles, while poet sleeves often do.

Bishop or Lantern

Bishop sleeves are long sleeves that are gathered at the bottom with a button cuff. These are pretty much the same thing as Lantern sleeves. One difference is that Lantern sleeves usually feature sheer fabric.

Bracelet or Long Sleeves

Bracelet aka “long” sleeves reach just above the wrist.


Similar in style to bell sleeves, butterfly sleeves flare out from the shoulder, but usually do not fully cover the arms.


Cap sleeves are short sleeves designed to cover the shoulder and the top of the arm, with little or no extension under the arm.


Flutter sleeves are very similar to butterfly sleeves except they are generally a little shorter and wider, and fall loosely.

Juliet or Leg of Mutton

Juliet or Leg of Mutton sleeves are full and gathered at the top, with a lower part fitted and seemed to the top part above the elbow. These sleeves are very old-fashioned and yet they are starting to appear in the newest, cutting-edge bridal designs. Everything old is new again.


Kimono sleeves are super wide and come in short or wrist length. This style is based on traditional Japanese dresses and is popular with boho brides.


Lantern sleeves balloon out between the wrists and the elbows and then gather again around the wrist. Very similar to Bishop sleeves except lanterns feature sheerness.


Vintage vibes radiate from Marie Sleeves which are full to the wrist but tied in intervals with ribbons or bands.

Marie sleeves are named for someone who wore them often, Marie Antoinette.


Off-Shoulder Sleeves are any type and length of sleeve that do not cover the shoulders.


Poet sleeves are fitted from the shoulder to the elbow and then they dramatically flare from elbow to wrist. They often feature ruffles on the cuffs.


Puff sleeves are short sleeves that gather at the top and cuff and are very full in the middle.

We hope you enjoyed this guide to all the amazing sleeve styles for bridal gowns. If you’d like to learn more, please check out these awesome posts:

Choosing the right sleeve length for your wedding gown

The ultimate guide to Wedding Dress Sleeves 

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