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To Sleeve Or Not To Sleeve: that really is the question.

Sleeves – the great debate.

You’ve done it. You have found the perfect dress, you look amazing, everyone is stunned – you take a photo of ‘the one’, pay your deposit and walk out feeling like a million dollars. Later on, that night, you’re scrolling through your phone and remember the photo from earlier, so you take a sneaky look at your amazing dress and all of a sudden – doubt hits you!

You’ve seen yourself and your dreaded insecurity – your arms! Suddenly all the amazingness drops away and you feel bad, zooming in on those pesky arms wondering if you have made all the wrong choices. Now this is a common occurrence, so incredibly common that we can almost predict to the word the kinds of things you were muttering to yourself when you were looking at those photos.

So, you’ve had this happen to you, right? And you’re thinking “oh my gosh, I need sleeves! I need to cover my arms!” We have heard this panic many times, brides that start to over think their dress because their arms are out, and they think everyone will be staring at them and not at the rest of their bridal beautifulness.

Firstly, you’re wrong. You DO look fabulous in that dress. You ARE stunning. You WILL take everyone’s breath away. And damn girl, YOU LOOK AMAZING. Now that we have that out of the way we can sit back, relax and discuss the reality of it all. In all honesty, no one is going to remember your arms when they walk away from your wedding day, they are going to remember the way your partner looked at you as you walked down the isle, they’ll remember the beautiful song you danced to and that funny thing your Uncle Steve said in his speech when he spilt his beer all over himself. They are not going to think about anything other than your radiance and your fantastically chosen dress. If this isn’t enough of a pep talk to make you feel comfortable with all the awesome things your wedding day will be, then let’s talk sleeves.

As we said, this is a common request but what is just as common is the reaction to the fairly hefty price tag that comes with sleeves. From a dressmaker’s point of view, sleeves are difficult. They are hard to fit, hard to match to your dress and take A LOT of time to construct.

Keep in mind, that if you are wanting sleeves on a strapless dress, we need to build a structure to attach them to and this can change the look of your dress quite significantly. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much.

Consider a cap sleeve:

This is will give you coverage on the top of your arm and doesn’t require as much of a structural base. They can be made most lengths and have a softer finish that a full sleeve. Something sheer with a little matching (or as close too) detail is perfect for this option.

Feel like some beaded glamour:

If you’re thinking you might want something on your arm, some decoration more than a sleeve, then consider a beaded drape. This is a unique option that makes for a pretty feature rather than a traditional sleeve.

How about a flowing sleeve:

This is a good option for more coverage than a cap sleeve as the fullness offers more under the arm. It isn’t joined underneath like a normal sleeve, but they do fall nicely when made from chiffon. Chiffon is the best fabric for this option as it is heavy enough and has a little sheerness. Flowing sleeves compliment a boho chic style.

Hello romantic draped sleeve:

A rather trendy option at the moment is the draped sleeve. This is really a strap of some sort that hangs off the shoulder to give coverage in that armpit region. They can be fitted for smoothness or a bit looser for movement. This can be done on anything from a ballgown to a simple chiffon gown.

Check out a Jacket or Wrap:

If you’re dress is simple and you want to add a little extra something that happens to have a sleeve-esque option then consider a bolero jacet, off the shoulder jacket or a wrap. We can help with the version of this that suits best and talk about how you can permanently or temporarily attach them to your dress so they don’t slide about on your big day. Or if you sneakily get confident enough to want to rip that jacket off, and dance the nigh away, arms out doing their thing, then this is a great option.

So you’re set on a full sleeve:

We know if you have gotten this far then you are wanting something more traditional and fitted. That’s ok, most of the time we can make this dream come true (but not always). We tend to make sheer sleeves with some sort of lace motif, so if you don’t want to be able to see your arms at all, consider if the design you have chosen or that your heart is set on is right.

There are more options, so Google, Pinterest, Instagram your options and show us what you’re thinking, we will do our best to make it a reality.

But if all this sleeve talk is seeming like too much or doesn’t sit right, maybe consider not having them at all. You will blind them with you beauty anyway, so believe in yourself and believe in your dress – you’re amazing, remember.

When all else fails to be clear, send us an email and ask our opinion!

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