What's even better than a dress with pockets? A dress with sleeves. In general, finding an elegant evening gown or cocktail dress that covers your arms is no easy feat. Most dresses, especially more elegant options, tend to be sleeveless or strapless, but if you're not comfortable with showing your arms (or you simply want something that offers a bit more warmth), then you may have to search a little harder to find exactly what you desire. Fortunately for the moms who are currently shopping, mother of the bride or groom dresses with sleeves have become more popular and accessible as of late.
Ready to start your search? We've put together a selection of the best mother of the bride or groom dresses with sleeves that will stand out in the best way possible. When compiling our list, we looked for styles that offer wide size and color ranges, high quality materials, and various price points to suit your needs.
Best Column Gown
Amsale Pryce Off-Shoulder Satin Column Gown
Size: 0-24 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: 9
It's hard to beat the sophistication and elegance of a good column gown. This one comes in luxe satin, in several different color options. The slight off-the-shoulder neckline works perfectly with the blousy sleeves.
Price at time of publish: $495
Best with Jacket
Alex Evenings Scalloped Sequin Lace and Satin Jacket Dress
Size: 6-18 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Midnight, Taupe, Eggplant
A dress with a jacket is a great option when you want more coverage with the freedom to take it off. The combination of a satin skirt and sequined bodice tastefully combines two opulent fabrics. Underneath the jacket you'll find a square neck tank top that is just as elegant.
Price at time of publish: $229
Best Plus Size
Oleg Cassini Lace Capelet Sheath Dress
Size: 14-24 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Champagne, Wine
This shimmering capelet offers plenty of coverage for your upper half and is covered in a glittering floral design. Another great feature? The sheath dress underneath has an alluring slit in the front.
Price at time of publish: $170
La Femme Floral Lace & Tulle Gown in Burgundy
Size: 4-20 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: 4
A ballet neckline, elbow-length sleeves, lace design, and gauzy tulle make this dress extra feminine and delicate. It comes in several different colors and would work for every season aside from summer.
Price at time of publish: $619
AW Adina Dress
Size: 0-30 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: 42
For a softer and more romantic look, opt for a chiffon gown like this AW Bridal number. Coming in 42 colors and sizes up to 30, it's easy to find the right shade and size for you. Plus you can enter your measurements for a custom fit, for free.
Price at time of publish: $90
DB Studio Metallic Foil Lace Mermaid With Cropped Popover
Size: 2-24 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Midnight
This form-fitting dark navy lace gown is a classic look that will never go out of style. The metallic foil lace and full-length trumpet skirt give it a very dressed-up feel. Plus, you can take off the shrug if you want to change up your look for the reception.
Price at time of publish: $72
Best Short Sleeves
Jenny Yoo Ellis Velvet Open Back Dress
Size: 0-26 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: 4
A dress with sleeves isn't confined to only long sleeves. This gown features flutter short sleeves that offer just enough coverage for any mother of the bride or groom. In several different colors and done in a lovely velvet, this is ideal for a fall wedding.
Price at time of publish: $295
Mac Duggal Sequined V-Neck Cape Sleeve Column Gown
Size: 2-20 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Rose, Slate Blue
Covered in glittering sequins and featuring scalloped cape sleeves, this Mac Duggal gown has a vintage flair to it. The sequins and beading make it so unique and give it a lot of beautiful detail.
Price at time of publish: $698
Baltic Born Meghan Velvet Wrap Maxi Dress
Size: XS - 4XL | Length: Floor-length | Colors: 21
For something simple and budget-friendly, opt for this wrap-style maxi dress by Baltic Born. It's beautiful and more minimalist, and it comes in a huge selection of colors, so you're bound to find something that works for you.
Price at time of publish: $88
Adrianna Papell Plus Metallic Blouson Gown
Size: 14-24 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Burgundy
This lovely metallic dress would look perfect for a fall or winter wedding. Dolman sleeves and gathering at the waist provide a nice design detail to this otherwise minimalist ensemble.
Price at time of publish: $131
Oleg Cassini Long Sleeve Beaded Illusion Godet Hem Dress
Size: 2-16 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Taupe
An illusion neckline and sleeves keeps you covered while also remaining light. Add in gorgeous floral beading and godet hemline full of movement, and you'll feel ultra glamorous.
Price at time of publish: $350
AW Bridal Simone Dress
Size: 0-30 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: 5
Heading to a wedding around the holidays? Sequins are always fitting for the season. This glittering gown comes in five rich shades and features an A-line skirt and boat neck. We love how it comes in a wide size range, and you can customize the size for free.
Price at time of publish: $100
Oleg Cassini Long Sleeve Floral Chiffon Maxi Dress
Size: 2-24 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Rose
Made of light chiffon, this gown has a romantic and feminine bohemian feel to it. The pinks and oranges in the floral design make this an ideal dress for a spring or early summer wedding.
Price at time of publish: $160
Best Flutter Sleeve
BHLDN Leila Satin Charmeuse Maxi Dress
Size: 0-26 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: 11
Show just the right amount of skin with this satin dress. A plunging neckline adds some intrigue while flutter sleeves and an A-line skirt keeps it classy. Coming in 11 different shades ranging from desert rose to emerald green, this dress suits any season and venue.
Price at time of publish: $248
Mac Duggal Faux Wrap Long Sleeve Tiered Gown
Size: 2-18 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Green, Mocha
The pleated bodice, sumptuous tiered skirt, soft colors, and blousy sheer sleeves make this dress feel so romantic and whimsical. It's also surprisingly versatile and can work with many dress codes.
Price at time of publish: $598
Best Shawl Collar
Reem Acra Embellished Wrap-Effect Satin Pique Gown
Size: XS-XXL | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Pink, Navy
The shawl collar has a distinct mother of the bride look to it, but in this gown by Reem Acra, it appears more elegant than usual. A wrap effect and rippling bow allows this look to flatter almost all body types.
Price at time of publish: $1,950
Tadashi Shoji Sequin Stud Plunge Neck Long Sleeve Midi Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Knee | Colors: Navy
Not looking for a full-length gown? Opt for a midi dress that is still chic enough for a wedding. With high-low hemline and glittering rhinestones throughout, this Tadashi Shoji dress is stunning for a fall or winter wedding.
Price at time of publish: $528
Best Cape Effect
Talbot Runof Draped Metallic Voile Gown
Size: 2-18 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Turquoise
Between the turquoise color, the metallic sheen, and the cape effect, this gown has such a unique look to it and will be something no one will soon forget. It also has a more modern and trendy feel for fashion-forward mothers of the bride and groom.
Price at time of publish: $1,450
Solace London Sage Maxi Dress
Size: 0-10 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Green
Want to really make a statement? Opt for this fierce design that features a vibrant shade of green, dramatic sleeves, and pleating. Just be sure the bride is okay with so many eyes being on this gown.
Price at time of publish: $990
Ralph Lauren Collection Aletta Jersey Long-Sleeve Evening Dress
Size: 00-20 | Length: Floor-length | Colors: Olive
Made of a high-shine yarn, this jersey gown has an alluring shimmer to it that is hard to copy. We love the long sleeves, with the off-the-shoulder neckline, for a chic look.
Price at time of publish: $2,990
What to Look for in a Mother of the Bride or Groom Dress With Sleeves
Looking for the perfect mother of the bride or groom dress with sleeves all comes down to your personal style and preferences. If you want something on the conservative side that provides optimal coverage, look for long sleeves, capelets, or matching jackets, like Alex Evenings Sequin Jacket Dress. If you want to go for something more modern and trendy, look for details like slits, lower necklines, structural sleeves, or illusion material, like Oleg Cassini Beaded Illusion Dress.
Remember to look for a shade that goes well with the rest of the colors for the wedding and the wedding party, and to check with the couple if there are any outfit choices you should stay away from. You can also think about the season the wedding is taking place. Rich, jewel tones are ideal for a fall or winter wedding while pastels are better suited for spring and summer.
Just like different shades match different seasons, so do fabrics. If it's a fall or winter wedding, consider sequined or velvet designs like Jenny Yoo Ellis Flutter-Sleeve Open-Back Velvet Gown. For weddings taking places in warmer climates, you want to stay cool, especially if you are wearing sleeves. Chiffon looks and feels light enough for a spring or summer wedding. We love AW Bridal Adina Dress that comes in 42 different shades of chiffon.
Should the mother of the bride or groom match the bridal party?
The mother of the bride or groom should complement the rest of the wedding party, but her look should stand out a bit and not be the same color. She should opt for a different hue (for example, if the bridesmaids are wearing light blue, the mother of the bride could wear navy), or she can wear a pattern with matching elements to the bridesmaid dresses.
Should the mother of the bride or groom wear a long dress?
Most of the time, you'll find that mother of the bride or groom dress options are floor-length formal gowns. However, there are no steadfast rules, depending on the dress code. If you want to wear something shorter, like Tadashi Shoji Sequin Stud Dress, go ahead. Shorter dresses are especially popular for more casual weddings, but if the event is white-tie, black-tie, or formal, then a long dress should be worn.
How much are mother of the bride or groom dresses with sleeves?
The price of any mother of the bride dress will vary widely. It depends on the designer, the materials used, and the length of the dress. If you choose something formal from a popular designer, the price could be thousands of dollars. Of course, it's not necessary to spend that much and there are plenty of options for looks that cost between $100-$500, with budget-friendly choices under $100 too, like the Baltic Born Velvet Wrap Dress.
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Contributing writer Jessica Booth is a freelance writer and formerly served as an editor for seven years. Her work has been featured in Bustle, Romper, Insider, Forbes, Redbook, and Refinery29.