Shopping for a wedding dress can be challenging when you dress modestly. With some of the most common and popular wedding gown designs featuring sleeveless designs, revealing necklines and low backs, brides that prefer not to show a lot of skin can have trouble picking out the dress of their dreams — if they don’t know where to look.
There are several important factors (and tips) to keep in mind if you’re shopping for modest wedding dresses. Here’s what you should know:
1. Choose a sleeve length
When choosing a modest wedding dress, sleeve design plays a major role in the overall style and feel of your dress. There are several modest sleeve lengths to choose from: Cap sleeves, short sleeves, ¾ length sleeves, and long sleeves.
Cap sleeves typically have no (or a small amount of) fabric on the underarm section, but offer shoulder coverage. A cap sleeve will most often only cover the shoulder, leaving the majority of the upper arm exposed.
Short sleeves include any sleeve that hits at the mid-upper arm, above the elbow.
¾ length sleeves, also sometimes called elbow length sleeves, are a chic and popular option for modest brides. While the sleeve is most often fitted, they also exist in looser cuts or a bell sleeve design, for a more bohemian look.
Long sleeves reach the wrist (or just above the wrist) for full coverage. You can select long sleeves with various textures and opacities, depending on your style and how much coverage you want.
Consider your venue, wedding theme, and the time of year when selecting your sleeve length. A cap sleeve may be most appropriate for a warm weather wedding (or consider pairing a cap-sleeved gown with a jacket or wrap to keep warm) while a long sleeve gown is a good fit for a winter wedding or a more formal affair.
2. Modest wedding gowns can follow popular styles
Just because you’re choosing to wear a modest wedding dress does not mean you need to give up on a wedding dress trend you love. For example, our Carolina gown features sheer illusion sleeves, which are extremely popular, but pairs them with a modest cap sleeve for shoulder coverage. For brides who love bohemian style, our Roses gown captures crochet lace, 1970s style. Dresses like our Constantine gown offer a modest take on a sweetheart neckline.
3. Skirt style can offer balance
Whatever sleeve style you choose, you’ll want your skirt cut and texture to balance out the design and create a cohesive look. For example, the subtle stripe effect on our Sloan gown appears at the waist and knee to mimic the modest neckline, for an intentional, well-designed look.
While floor-length gowns are most common, you also have the option of a tea length gown — this offers a vintage look that matches well with a modest aesthetic.