Whether you’re a fan of sheath dresses, figure-flattering wraps, or swingy midis, certain silhouettes always feel fail-safe for a wedding guest dress. Sleeves are a trickier part of the equation, however. Do you need them? Will you look inappropriate without them? What style is most suitable for the venue or wedding theme at hand? So many factors!
When attending a wedding, you obviously want to look your best—it’s an occasion when you can put your most fashionable looks on display. At the same time, you want to look appropriate—especially if you’re attending a conservative ceremony or traditional wedding in a church. A dress with long sleeves is an elegant way to feel polished and appropriate as a wedding guest and in the cooler season, and a number of gorgeous styles are on offer that are sure to feel utterly elegant.
This season, there are myriad long-sleeve dresses available that are gorgeous and versatile for a wedding guest dress from dramatic and trendy puff sleeves to sculptural shoulders and breezier shapes that billow just so at the cuff. These unique sleeves details are a great way to stand out as a wedding guest and are capable of taking a dress from stylish to statement-making in an instant. The thing to remember is that when it comes to long sleeves is there are no set rules. Yes, it’s common practice to cover your shoulders for more conservative venues, but that hardly means style is not a factor. It’s about choosing a sleeve that you feel most comfortable in.
One of our favorite aspects of a dress with long sleeves is that is an elegant reprieve from strapless, off-the-shoulder, and spaghetti strap silhouettes you likely wore on repeat throughout the summer. When there’s a chill in the air—which is likely the case for October and November weddings—a dress with more coverage will help keep you warm with variations available from classic to fashion-forward.
A velvet wrap dress or satin sheath will appeal to those with classic taste while a silk jacquard dress with Victorian-style shoulders with feel fresh for someone with a feminine aesthetic. If you’re craving something bold and directional, look to vibrant shades of yellow for a notice-me-moment, or, go for a minimal, asymmetric silhouette for a subtler take on statement-making style. If you’re all about a little black dress, a square neckline with sheer sleeves adorned with floral appliqués is a romantic way to take the noir into modern territory.
If you think a long-sleeve wedding guest dress sounds flawless for a fall or winter wedding, ahead, we’ve scouted 34 gorgeous versions that are guaranteed to wow, for every budget and style.