30 Puff Sleeve Wedding Dresses For Trendy Brides

Better than an ‘80s flashback, we swear.

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Danielle Frankel

Courtesy of Danielle Frankel

Fashion is full of nostalgia, from 70s-inspired boho dresses to 90s-era minimalist gowns. While both aesthetics work for a bride on her big day, one ’80s trend is bigger than ever as of late—puff sleeve wedding dresses (and yes, pun very much intended). That’s right, über-poofy sleeves, balloon cuffs, and puffed-up shoulders are ruling the bridal scene—but they’re not the same old-school versions you might have seen in your parent’s or grandparent’s wedding photos. Designers have reimagined the voluminous trend, though some dresses take inspiration from decade-defining gowns like Princess Diana’s silk and taffeta creation. 

“We’re all about creating a look that feels unique on your big day, and we love an exaggerated puff sleeve,” says Kaity Gaskill, a buyer at BHLDN. “We have been closely tracking the trend since the first runway emergence and are working to bring it to life in a way that feels fresh and timeless for brides-to-be.” Pia Panaligan, director of styling and visual design at David’s Bridal, is also in favor of the puffy sleeve wedding dress trend, telling Brides, “If there’s something that never goes out of style, it’s a statement piece. There’s something about big puffy sleeves, especially made with transparent fabric, with some structure to it that’s very romantic.”

Puffy sleeve wedding dresses might feel a little too Disney princess for some modern brides, but subtler variations could be a welcome dose of volume. The same goes for Victorian-inspired mutton sleeves or billowing bishop sleeves—both are a lot of look. But when offset with clean lines and minimal accessories, such details will result in a modern bridal moment. Gaskill tells Brides, “We love the many ways a puff sleeve can be executed, whether in an off-the-shoulder silhouette, a dramatic long sleeve, or a simple short sleeve, there’s no wrong way to wear this trend!”

Meet the Expert

  • Pia Panaligan is the director of styling and visual design at David’s Bridal and is based in Philadelphia, PA. With a thorough knowledge of bridal fashion, current trends, and an acute eye for fit and detail, she articulates the brand's voice each season by styling their digital and print fashion editorials and brand visuals.
  • Kaity Gaskill is a buyer at BHLDN, in charge of developing and curating the retailer’s product assortment. She’s been with the brand for over six years, buying for all categories, but loves gowns the best!

Whether you’re here for a subtle play on volume or love the fantasy of puffy design, scroll through our edit of 30 puffy sleeve wedding dresses for every taste and budget.

01
of 30

Most Romantic: Danielle Frankel Rosalie Dress

Danielle Frankel Rosalie Dress

 Courtesy of Danielle Frankel

Danielle Frankel’s empire waist gown, with a sweetheart neckline, is utterly romantic for a modern princess moment. Chorded lace peeks from beneath, under the silk organza, with every step–a unique touch we love, in addition to the crinkled sleeves. 

02
of 30

Best Lace Design: Melissa Sweet Puff Sleeve Plus Size Wedding Dress With Low Back

Melissa Sweet Puff Sleeve Plus Size Wedding Dress With Low Back

Courtesy of David's Bridal 

This puff sleeve design is perfect for the bride craving lace with a modern feel. Style the sleeves on or off the shoulders, and be sure to note the beautiful low back. 

03
of 30

Best Pencil Silhouette: Imad Eduso Bridal Michelle Pencil Dress

Imad Eduso Bridal Michelle Pencil Dress

Courtesy of Imad Eduso Bridal 

This gown is proof that minimalism and drama can beautifully combine. But the balloon sleeves aren’t the only wow-worthy detail—the plunging neckline is incredibly captivating.  

04
of 30

Best Vintage-Inspired: Rixo Louella Floral Lace Wedding Dress

Rixo Louella Floral Lace Wedding Dress

 Courtesy of Rixo

Rixo’s corded lace wedding dress flawlessly sets a nostalgic tone while appearing fresh and modern. We love how the sheer skirt and sleeves offset the demure neckline, not to mention the unique zig-zag hem. 

05
of 30

Best Crystal-Trimmed: Katharine Polk Gwen Gown

Katharine Polk Gwen Gown

Courtesy of Katharine Polk 

Nothing screams vintage quite like taffeta, but Katherine Polk masterfully interprets the fabric for the current decade. The minimal design instantly feels modern, and is made even fresher by its dramatic back cut-out and crystal trim. 

06
of 30

Best Goddess-Inspired: Watters Mist Bridal Gown

Watters Mist Bridal Gown

 Courtesy of Watters

Let your inner goddess shine through in this crinkle chiffon gown by Watters. The corseted bodice gives it an extra feminine feel while feeling supportive for hours on end.  

07
of 30

For the Tropical Bride: Naeem Khan Sanibel Wedding Dress

Naeem Khan Sanibel Wedding Dress

 Courtesy of Naeem Khan

Minimal and sweet with plenty of movement, we love this bow-adorned design by Naeem Kahn for tropical brides. The perfect shoe choice? Bare feet! 

08
of 30

Best Gown With Removeable Sleeves: Alon Livné White Cassie Wedding Dress

Alon Livné White Cassie Wedding Dress

 Courtesy of Alon Livné

This satin gown is incredibly romantic but also versatile. The sleeves are removable and can be styled asymmetrically for a directional look. 

09
of 30

For a Garden Wedding: Markarian Esmeralda Gown

Markarian Esmeralda Gown

Courtesy of Markarian

Vintage-inspired details are Markarian’s signature, making it a must-try brand for the puff sleeve trend. We can picture this on a garden bride with delicate floral hair accessories.

10
of 30

Best Shirred Detailing: Molly Goddard Violet Dress

Molly Goddard Violet Dress

 Courtesy of Molly Goddard

Molly Goddard is known for fantasy, and this taffeta gown totally gives off modern-princess vibes. The shirred detailing makes it a comfortable choice, too (and less likely to need tailoring!). 

11
of 30

For the Beach Bride: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Myla Gown

Jenny by Jenny Yoo Myla Gown

Courtesy of BHLDN 

This crepe gown boasts a feeling of ease, featuring gently puffed shoulders and billowing sheer sleeves with lace detailing. It’s our top pick for beach brides, thanks to the not-too-fussy design. 

12
of 30

For the Maximalist Bride: Esé Azénabor Wedding Dress

Esé Azénabor Wedding Dress Style #4042

Courtesy of Esé Azénabor 

Does your taste skew maximalist? Then this gown is for you! As if the exaggerated bishop sleeves weren’t enough, the 3D lace makes for a seriously major wow moment. 

13
of 30

For the Laid Back Bride: Reformation Stars Dress

Reformation Stars Dress

Courtesy of Reformation 

Puffy sleeves might not seem like a covetable detail among casual tastes, but this A-line gown proves how effortless the trend can read. The tiered puffed sleeves stand out beautifully against the fitted bodice and simple skirt. 

14
of 30

For the ‘80s-Loving Bride: Halfpenny London Cosmic Dress & Mars Sleeves

Halfpenny London Cosmic Dress & Mars Sleeves

 Courtesy of Halfpenny London

If you’re all about resurrecting ’80s trends to the fullest, then Halpenny London’s Out Of This World collection is right up your alley. The sleeves and dresses from this assortment are separates, so you can mix and match styles to best suit your taste—our favorite combo being massive sleeves and a slim-fitting skirt.

15
of 30

Best Under-$300: ASOS EDITION Lucy Placement Beaded Wedding Dress

ASOS EDITION Lucy Placement Beaded Wedding Dress

 Courtesy of ASOS

This affordable ASOS EDITION wedding dress is a subtler take on the puffy sleeve trend, but statement-making all the same. The sheer lace sleeves exude romance, while the open back serves as a fresh counterbalance.  

16
of 30

For the Minimalist Bride: Pronovias Turner Mermaid Wedding Dress

Pronovias Turner Mermaid Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Pronovias

Pronovias is synonymous with drama, and this puffy sleeve wedding dress is hardly an exception. Though minimal in aesthetic, the Juliet-style sleeves, plunging neckline, and covered buttons lining the cuffs and backside, are breathtaking. 

17
of 30

Best Two-Piece: Laury Bride Kalah Bishop Sleeve Bodysuit & Dina Trumpet Skirt

Laury Bride Kalah Bishop Sleeve Bodysuit & Dina Trumpet Skirt

 Courtesy of Laury Bride

Though you would never guess, many gorgeous wedding dresses feature two pieces. This bodysuit and skirt combo is a sleek pair we love for modern brides. The sleeves are incredibly bold, but well-balanced by the trumpet skirt and dipped-down neckline.

18
of 30

Best Royal-Inspired: Viktor & Rolf Mariage Royal Bow Taffeta Gown

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Royal Bow Taffeta Gown

 Curtesy of Viktor & Rolf Mariage

This dramatic Viktor & Rolf Mariage design is the ultimate modern interpretation of Princess Diana’s iconic gown. Even better, it’s made from eco-friendly taffeta and adorned with enlarged bow detailing worthy of royalty.

19
of 30

Best One-Shoulder: Alexandra Grecco Siren Gown

Alexandra Grecco Siren Gown

 Courtesy of Alexandra Grecco

The easiest way to make puff sleeves feel modern? A one-shoulder silhouette like this Alexandra Grecco number, featuring a metallic fil coupé sleeve.

20
of 30

Most Ethereal: Dana Harel Kaya Wedding Gown

Dana Harel Kaya Wedding Gown

Courtesy of Dana Harel  

For the bride in favor of ethereal style on her wedding day, this Dana Harel gown is spectacular. The tiered sheer puff sleeves and high collar are entirely romantic, and beautifully enhanced by intricate beadwork.

21
of 30

Best Midi-Length: Elizabeth Fillmore Isadora Wedding Dress

Elizabeth Fillmore Isadora Wedding Dress

 Courtesy of Elizabeth Fillmore

This lacy Elizabeth Fillmore creation is impressively detailed and perfect for the bride in favor of a mid-length wedding dress. Our favorite features apart from the sleeves? The darling swiss dots and scalloped hem. 

22
of 30

Best Add-On Sleeves: Catherine Deane Tamara Sleeves

BHLDN

Courtesy of BHLDN 

Turn any strapless gown into a puffy sleeve dress with these gossamer silk sleeves. It’s the perfect way to try the trend without committing wholeheartedly. 

23
of 30

Best A-Line Silhouette: Lela Rose The Melrose Wedding Dress

Lela Rose The Melrose Wedding Dress

 Courtesy of Lela Rose

It should come as no surprise that a voluminous A-line skirt and puffy sleeves are a match made in bridal heaven. The low-back on this design gives it a modern touch. Plus, the sleeves are removable for versatile styling on the big day. 

24
of 30

Best Budget: Lulus Dear Forever White Lace Cold-Shoulder Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress

Lulus Dear Forever White Lace Cold-Shoulder Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Lulus 

Hear ye, hear ye: This Lulu’s gown is proof you can find a gorgeous puff sleeve wedding dress for under $100.

25
of 30

Best Cut-Out: Khaite Rosaline Ruched Cotton Dress

Khaite Rosaline Ruched Cotton Dress

 Courtesy of Moda Operandi

From the moment this ruched dress walked the Khaite runway at New York Fashion Week, we pictured it on an edgy bride-to-be. What the puffed shoulders might lack in high-octane drama, the waist-accentuating cut-outs make up in allure. 

26
of 30

Best Slit: Berta Wedding Dress

Berta

Courtesy of Berta

Berta always delivers on sensuality, and this high-slit gown is no different. The puffed shoulders and long sleeves, however, bring an elegant balance to the otherwise skin-baring design. 

27
of 30

Best Under-$500: Azazie Vendela Wedding Dress

Azazie Vendela Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Azazie 

High drama for under $500? Yes, please! And plenty of romance to boot. For the bride in search of a fairytale ballgown, this budget-friendly buy is it. 

28
of 30

Best Long-Sleeve: Temperley London Eleanor Dress

Temperley London Eleanor Dress

 Courtesy of Temperley London 

This long-sleeve gown by Temperly London is a beautiful ode to decades past. The high neckline and billowing sleeves are sophisticated as ever, flawlessly setting a retro tone.

29
of 30

Best Tea-Length: Gabriela Hearst Puga Puff Sleeve Linen-Plissé Midi Dress

Gabriela Hearst Puga Puff-Sleeve Linen-Plissé Midi Dress

 Courtesy of MATCHEDFASHION

This puff sleeve midi is spot on for brides in search of a "not overly bridal" tea-length wedding dress. Made from sustainably sourced linen fabric, it’s a fitting choice for summer brides with pared-back taste

30
of 30

Best Floral Appliqué: Isabelle Armstrong Lugo Wedding Dress

Isabelle Armstrong Lugo Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Isabelle Armstrong

It doesn’t get more dramatic than Isabelle Armstrong’s puff sleeve wedding dress, featuring 3D floral appliqués and a sheer bodice. Let the detailing of this dress have its moment in the spotlight, and keep accessories and makeup to a minimum.  

Shopping FAQs

Considering a puff sleeve wedding dress? We’ve answered three common questions when shopping for this wedding dress style.

  • Should I buy a puffy sleeve wedding dress? Puffy sleeve wedding dresses are best suited for brides in favor of drama, or those who want romantic and feminine touches. They feature large sleeves or shoulders, and range in aesthetic from minimal to ornate. Some sleeves will be super statement-making and expansive, while others boast subtle volume.
  • Where and when can you wear a puffy sleeve wedding dress? You can wear a puffy sleeve wedding dress any time of year and at any venue. Super exaggerated styles and heavier-weight fabrics are best in the cooler months. In contrast, lightweight materials, arm and shoulder-baring silhouettes, or designs featuring cut-outs are most comfortable in warm weather.
  • How do you style a puffy sleeve wedding dress? Puffy sleeve wedding dresses are statement-making on their own, so keeping accessories to a minimum is best to let their magnificence shine. A general rule of thumb: for super voluminous and decorative dresses, simple shoes, veils, and minimal jewelry are ideal. If you choose a simpler design, you can consider a detailed veil, statement shoes, or bold jewelry. 

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