An Open Letter to Wedding Gown Designers

Dear wedding gown designers,

Can we talk about something that’s been bothering me for years now? It’s a little thing called sleeves. Specifically, it’s about how nearly all of you refuse to design any.

Why are almost all wedding gowns strapless these days? Why are the few that aren’t strapless nearly all sleeveless? Unless a lady wants to buy her gown from a so-called ‘modest’ gown manufacturer designing specifically for brides marrying in religious traditions that have strict guidelines for appropriate clothing, it’s nearly impossible to find a sleeve on a wedding gown.

The truth is, though, that religion is not the only reason to cover an arm. Some of us don’t like to show off our upper arms because we dislike the way they look when exposed. With more women waiting longer to marry and more women (and men) carrying more excess weight for longer periods of time, the number of women who don’t want the world looking at their upper arms is only going to keep rising. And no, those tiny sheer cap straps you offer us as extra-cost additions aren’t helping one tiny bit. They don’t cover the area in question, and they cost extra. When we’re already paying several hundred to several thousand dollars for the priveledge of wearing your gowns, we don’t really want to spend yet more money in order to almost sort of cover our shoulders.

Some of us just plain don’t look good in strapless even if we have good, firm upper arms. I know I look rotten in strapless. I have great upper arms, but I have a long neck, sloping shoulders and a very small bust in proportion to the rest of my body. If I try to wear strapless, I look like there’s a country mile of nothing between my chin and my waistline. If, however, I have shoulder detail and a high neckline, I look freaking fantastic. I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t want to look my absolute best on my wedding day, and I certainly don’t see why any woman should settle for not looking her absolute best, either. If you can manage sheaths and ballgowns, long and short, ruffled and sleek, I don’t see why you can’t offer strapless gowns and ones with sleeves as well.

On top of all this, to look good even on the right woman, a proper and aerodynamic strapless bra is necessary to the line of a strapless gown. So you’ve got boning in the bodice of the gown, boning in the bra, or possibly a full-blown corset underneath that gown. It’s difficult to find a bra or corset that is both effective and comfortable – particularly if the lady in question has a generous bosom. It’s not impossible to do, certainly, but it’s another layer of effort in an already emotion-fraught and detail-oriented undertaking that some of us just plain don’t feel like adding to the pile of things we have to do.

Some of us aren’t religious, but still feel that a wedding where a woman is pledging her life, her heart, and her devotion to one person for the rest of her life isn’t necessarily the place to wear almost nothing above the nipple line. Some weddings just aren’t formal enough to justify strapless. Even if I looked great and felt comfortable in strapless, I wouldn’t have worn it to my wedding because I just wouldn’t have felt comfortable exposing that much flesh in that particular situation. Religious? Hardly. I just feel there’s a time and a place and my wedding wasn’t it. Between the vows I was preparing to take and the picnic in the woods atmosphere, strapless wouldn’t have been my choice even if I loved wearing it and looked amazing in it.

Most of all, though, your refusal to make gowns with sleeves is stifling your creativity. You deny yourself any design elements above mid-breast. Why are you doing this to yourselves? I understand that having a single template seems easy, but in the longrun you’re denying yourself opportunities to truly flatter the most women, to indulge in flights of fancy that don’t fit that tiny mold, and to allow women to feel as though they are wearing their fantasies rather than something stamped out with a cookie cutter that is frustratingly not them.

I’m not trying to say that strapless should completely disappear. Far from it. There are women who look glorious and feel superfantastic in strapless. They should absolutely have their needs, fantasies, and desires served. All I’m trying to say is that strapless is neither flattering to every single freaking woman on the planet, nor what we will all feel comfortable wearing. Please, please, please take this into consideration and broaden your horizons just a bit…just to our upper chests and arms.

Thanks,

Twistie

47 Responses to “An Open Letter to Wedding Gown Designers”

  1. Sarah January 19, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    YAY! for sleeves!!

    And might I add, to those designing “temple-ready” gowns with sleeves, can you design more than one bodice/sleeve combo? Every single one is the same, with the same neckline (round or square) the same princess seams (lovely, but change it up a bit) and identical sleeves on every single dress.

  2. Twistie January 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    Absolutely, Sarah! Cookie cutters are cookie cutters, and they don’t do anyone any favors. Women come in all shapes and sizes, women have widely varying tastes. Trying to dress us all the same precise way, whether strapless with an A-line skirt or princess seams and puffy cap sleeves just plain Doesn’t Work.

  3. Jennifer January 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    Amen. I *like* sleeves. I want sleeves. I don’t particularly like the LDS-approved neckline (square with short sleeves) but I dislike strapless more.

  4. Kai Jones January 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    I always wonder what winter brides are supposed to do–put on a sweater? Manage a shawl in addition to veil and bouquet? Or a velvet cloak over the dress you picked, so nobody sees it? Some places are cool; and even some summer brides have weddings in over-air-conditioned buildings.

  5. Z January 19, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    This is why I wore my mother’s gown from the 60′s. And also because it was free.

  6. Never teh Bride January 19, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    They make these utterly horrid “bridal jackets” that are supposed to keep winter strapless brides warm when they’re out of doors. Indoors I guess they’re screwed unless they want to rock a bolero…

  7. Nan January 19, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    Someone, somewhere told me it was cheaper to omit sleeves when making gowns….less fabric!
    Yes, we need option of sleeves!

  8. Toby Wollin January 20, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Timely…very timely. Yesterday, I went out with The Younger Daughter to have her try on wedding dresses to get some ideas and yes, the sleeve situation is just not there. I asked the “helper” at the shop and told me that yes, indeed, they don’t stock ‘em because the girls won’t buy them because the magazines won’t show that style. So, people have to go get someone else to rig something in the way of a sleeve on the dress so that they feel comfortable. I don’t understand it at all – but the problem really does start with the magazines because that is where the brides-to-be start – get the magazines to start showing non-strapless gowns and especially if a celebrity bride rocks something with sleeves, and maybe we have a shot at seeing bridal fashion with sleeves again.

  9. Johanna January 20, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Hear hear! I’ve always dreamed of a winter wedding, and now that I’m getting it, I have found myself looking at white knitted cardigans on sale. :P

    I’m designing and making my own gown no matter how much that might break the rules, so there will be exactly the amount of bare skin that I think the older relatives can handle, but I really desperately need some ideas and most designers don’t provide well. Long gloves are the only nice option I’ve come across. And that won’t help if it gets -30°C like it sometimes does here in February..

    I agree that there are more suitable occasions for showcasing your breasts than the wedding, and I’m not even the least bit religious. So hear us, wedding gown designers, and get back to the drawing board.

  10. Jen January 20, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    Not to mention the way these brides today, with their strapless A-lines, all look like a bunch of debutantes. Strapless is “cute,” but not everyone wants cute. Perhaps that’s just my Louisiana sick-to-death-of-cotillion self talking but strapless is not always the most sophisticated look.

  11. Style Spy January 20, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    Sing it, sister. I’m currently gown shopping with one of my best friends and we’re tearing our hair out over this. She’s not necessarily looking for sleeves, but she does want at least some straps, and this eliminates about 75% of the dresses of any store we walk into. For us at least the strapless aversion is not so much an issue of figure-flattery, we’re just sick unto death of it. The lack of imagination is the thing that drives me craziest. ::yawn::

  12. Melissa B. January 20, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    Yes! Please! More sleeves!

    The sad thing is, I happen to look really good in strapless, A-line gowns. But they’ve become so prevalent that they’re almost cliche (like those big 80s mutton sleeves), and I’m determined to find something different.

  13. LadySun January 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    Hey, don’t knock the bolero till you’ve tried it — although mine was still a little tight in the sleeves, it actually REALLY worked with the dress :)

    However, the only other dress I tried on that had sleeves had tight, painfully itchy lace sleeves with a horrendous amount of beading. It also had godawful cutouts on the train and beading over the entire torso.

    (This, of course, was the dress my mom and aunt wanted me to get. *shudder*)

  14. C* January 21, 2008 at 12:01 am #

    My husband is 6’5 and I am 5’7 so I was afraid that a gown with sleeves would make it really hard for me to dance with him, but me and my DDs just don’t do strapless. I tried on a couple of the corset-backed Maggie Sottero gowns and while they fit well and were surprisingly supportive to the *ahem* ladies up top, the strapless thing just wasn’t my cup of tea. I ended up wearing Casablanca 1831 ( http://tinyurl.com/qyuz8 )which was lovely, except the weird spaghetti strap back which I had altered to match the front.

    It was really frustrating to only be able to find the temple ready look (I live in Utah) or strapless gowns and nothing really in between. There are a few high end designers (Justina McCaffery, Augusta Jones, Romona Keveza) who custom make all of their gowns so it is possible to have the designer put sleeves on the gown ( http://tinyurl.com/34voc9 ) but I know I sure didn’t have 5K laying around to spend on my wedding dress…and those “sleeve options” at places like David’s are total crap.

    Ugh.

  15. Mary January 21, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    I agree. I was over 40 at my wedding, and I didn’t want to look like I was trying to look 27. (Or like an 18 year old debutante.) I didn’t want to look too formal; I wanted something that would flatter my figure; and I wanted something that wouldn’t look dated in 15 years. I ended up with a cowl-neckline, sleeveless dress that suited my figure and late-morning garden wedding much better than a strapless gown.

    Years from now, those strapless dresses will look just as dated as picture hats from the 70s or puffy sleeves from the 80s. If it was the right style for the woman’s figure and the style of the wedding, it won’t matter much, but a lot of women will be wondering what they were thinking.

  16. benvenuta January 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    When/if I get married, I`ll wear but a strapless A line gown. When I remember all the weddings of my friends during last few years, I wonder if the brides all wore the same dress, magically altered into different sizes. (I know they would like something more interesting, but when one wants anacceptable dress for reasonable sum of money, there`s not much choice.)

    I`d sooner wear this: http://www.eternitygowns.com/assets/occasions/EB020.htm or this http://www.eternitygowns.com/assets/occasions/EB021.htm or this http://www.eternitygowns.com/assets/occasions/EB003.htm (this one would look better with sightly different neckline and on a different model), and not because I have problem with baring my shoulders. These gowns aren`t particularly inspired, but they are pretty, dignified and I guess they make the bride feel like she`s wearing clothes. And they are different from the army of strapless A-lines.

    I`ll probably end up with something not wedding-gowny at all.

  17. Livia January 21, 2008 at 11:00 pm #

    There you go! I would like to see some brave designer try to beat (or even dream of) Grace Kelly’s wedding gown. All covered up but never more beautiful. I don’t get why it has to be a choice between 2000 strapless white gowns. It doesn’t make sense! Hasn’t a single bride looked at them all and said that she wants something ELSE?

  18. Kate January 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    My mother told me that when she got married (in the early 60′s), wearing a strapless bridal gown, no matter what the setting, would have been considered totally inappropriate, as it showed too much skin. Perhaps the trend towards strapless is reflective of the general oversexualization of our culture…

    However, religious or modesty issues aside, I also have a long neck/sloping shoulders/small bust issues and generally don’t look good in a strapless gown. It was frustrating to have to go to so many salons and find that most of their stock was strapless.

  19. thraceknits January 22, 2008 at 5:36 pm #

    The cookie cutter look of wedding dresses, and hating the look of strapless has me actually contemplating making my own.

  20. Tizzy January 23, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    Ugh I hate strapless dresses! They flatter very few and I personally, think they are tack for a church wedding. I’m always afraid to say so in real life because inevitabely the peer I’m talking to wore/is wearing/wants to wear a strapless dress!

    I don’t even need sleeves! I just want a V-neck or a potrait neckline. I’m going to have to consider having it made. There justisn’t anything out there.

    I had never thought of the debutante thing but now that’s all I’ll be able to see.

  21. Tacoma January 23, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    I think that strapless is easier to manufacture, when I ordered my dress, the shop owner used the size that fit my shoulder even though the waist had to be let out, she said dealing with a shoulder alteration would be much more difficult.

  22. Kate January 24, 2008 at 1:15 am #

    I was just on the Jasmine website (www.jasminebridal.com) looking for bridesmaids dresses when I stumbled across a feature called “Temple Ready.” This is a feature that allows brides to customize some of the standard Jasmine designs (nearly all strapless, of course) to make gowns more appropriate for conservative religious ceremonies. You can add sleeves of varying lengths and also get a choice of necklines, all fairly modest. Though made for religious brides, perhaps more secular brides sick of the strapless parade will want to utlilize it!

  23. Kim January 24, 2008 at 2:34 am #

    I, too, would like to voice my support on this subject. AMEN! I recently became engaged and began this very stressfull mission of finding an appropriate dress that I love, feel comfortable in and flatters me. I was shocked to find 99% of dresses are strapless. I happen to know that 99% of women DO NOT look good and/or feel confident in a strapless gown. However, many are forced into this because of no other beautiful options. I have large bustline & being in a strapless dress seems so inappropriate and uncomfortable. Also, why do designers insist on making the sizes at least two times smaller than street sizes? As if everything isn’t stressfull enough already, we have to feel like cows while trying to find our dream dress!! Wake up!

  24. Twistie January 24, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    Tacoma, most bridal salons order gowns to fit the largest measurement of the lady because there’s little extra fabric in the seam allowances. Yes, depending on the style, it can be more difficult to adjust the shoulders than the waist even if you’re letting out said waistline…though I fail to comprehend how that is in a gown that doesn’t have shoulders to begin with. But strapless is actually more difficult to produce because of the engineering involved. Most gowns, no matter how fitted, don’t require carefully placed boning to keep their shape, and that’s tricky to size and fit properly. In most dresses, if there’s lining it just has to fit the outline of the rest of the dress. In strapless, the lining must also fit each bone perfectly and be constructed carefully so the boning won’t pop through the delicate fabric.

    Kate, your mother is absolutely right. I was growing up (and going to a LOT of weddings) in the late sixties onward. When I first started really taking a look at how weddings went together as a teenager, most churches would not allow brides to marry in strapless unless they had some sort of jacket, bolero, or other wrap to cover the shoulders. I don’t know when the rules on this changed, but when a friend of mine was getting married in a Catholic church in the early eighties, I know strapless was not only fairly rare in bridal salons, but at least seriously frowned upon if not actually forbidden by her church.

    Livia, you are so very right. That gown was amazing. While it was very much in the forefront of fashion for its time, it’s also timelessly elegant. There’s a reason Grace Kelly was such a fashion icon.

    Even twenty years ago, there was a lot more choice of style and line in bridal gowns. I could look through the magazines and see everything from strapless mini dresses to ballgowns to long-sleeved sheaths to things that looked scarily like white, lacy Power Suits. There is simply no real excuse for the endless rows of strapless A-line fill-in-the-blanks wedding gowns.

  25. roz January 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    They omit sleeves because it’s easier to fit all bodies without them. Brides are fooled into thinking sleeveless is their choice.

    I had my dress custom made and, in the end, it wasn’t any more expensive than an off the rack dress with alterations.

    3/4 sleeves, draped neckline showing collarbones. That day I was the prettiest I have ever looked.

  26. Carlene January 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    Ah… i totally agree. Im having the hardest time finding my wedding dress :(

  27. Wendy January 27, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    Inspiring! And oh, so true!! Not everyone is meant for strapless and sleeves can be just as elegant and wonderful. I wish sleeves would make a comeback and I hope some designer reads your post and starts a new trend!!!

  28. Evelynne January 31, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    My understanding was that strapless is easier to fit to more people. I have a long torso and wide shoulders, so trying to get a sleeved dress to fit me is a nightmare. For my wedding, I wore my mother’s wedding dress, which is an empire-waisted long-sleeved winter gown, and I had to completely remake the bodice in order to get it to fit; it couldn’t be “altered” to fit me.

    That said, there’s plenty of women out there who can probably fit standard measurements and wear sleeved gowns, so I have no idea why they are nearly nonexistent.

  29. La BellaDonna January 31, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    I see Roz has entered what I would have. Essentially, it’s cheaper and easier for the gowns to be made sleeveless, so that’s what manufacturers are doing. I made my sister-in-law’s gown; she wanted something with sleeves, because she doesn’t like her arms, but she wanted a gown she could dance in and not die. In the end, I made a sleeveless bodice, which was covered in the church by a jacket overbodice with sleeves, to which the train was attached; the gown looked like one piece when the trained jacket was on, but it also looked like a complete gown when the jacket/train was taken off.

    Johanna, I can’t do the tiny url thing, but here are three websites where you can get patterns for sets of sleeves. Yes, once upon a time, you could get patterns for sleeves ONLY, even as late as the 1950s. There are usually quite a number of choices for the period 1900-1919, for whatever reason. These are only a few, after a little searching; I recommend going to the different sites that carry vintage patterns, in your hunt.

    http://www.bestvintagepatterns.com/catalog.php/andykathy/ct1845/Vintage_Patterns_1910http://trulyvictorian.com/catalog/90cat.html
    http://www.agelesspatterns.com/sleeves.htm

    In fact, don’t be afraid to pick ANY sleeve pattern that you happen to like, for your gown; it may require some adjustment, but that can be done. A white wedding dress is just a dress, after all; a non-white wedding dress, even more so, is … just a dress. Don’t be afraid to look at all sorts of different evening dresses, or even vintage nightgowns, for inspiration; an evening gown, in white may be just what you want. Don’t be afraid to take a street-length dress and just … lengthen it.

    What I suggest is that you write down a list of all the elements that you would like your dress to have (if you have some idea of that already), and then start sketching. It may be easier than you think to have the wedding gown of your dreams.

    A site with beautiful dresses, and a kick-start to finding links to vintage pattern
    sites, is Erin’s Dress A Day: http://www.dressaday.com/dressaday.html. Go there and have an inspirational look around!

  30. bee February 7, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    Yes, but other considerations can make strapless the only way to go. I for one, not wanting to look like a cookie-cutter bride, found that the most classic and unusual bridal piece was not the dress but an accessory- a sleek mantilla veil edged in about 2 inches of Alencon lace that draped around my shoulders. I wore it the whole night. Wearing that with a dress with any kind of sleeves- even spaghetti straps- just absolutely would not work and obscure the flowing lines of the veil, which was really pricey and the showpiece of the whole outfit. (I didn’t even wear a necklace or bracelet of any kind- just my rings and tiny pearl drop earrings.) So “strapless” doesn’t automatically mean an identical dress. I didn;t have a single sequin, bead or rhinestone on my dress either- I think that’s one of the rarer elements among wedding dresses today.

  31. JB March 1, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    Thank you for posting this!! I am in complete agreement. I am in the process of searching for a wedding dress, and it is amazing how few non-strapless gowns there are out there. What happened to OPTIONS?!!

  32. cynthia March 8, 2008 at 7:53 am #

    I totally agree. I am looking for a classic wedding dress……with 3/4 or long sleeves. BECAUSE I THINK IT LOOKS SLEEK AND GLAMOROUS. A little bit off the shoulders and longer sleeves. How beautiful. I CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE…. DO I HAVE TO DESIGN IT MYSELF AND HAVE IT MADE.
    You are right about ALL the dresses are strappless or almost. And YES they don’t look good on everybody. I have been to a few weddings that the bride (even young) do not look good in a stapless dress.
    I have looked through many hundred of pictures and can’t find what I’m looking for. I thought it would be simple….but….all the dresses look the same from the boobs up. NOT MINE….I WILL FIND WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR, EVEN IF I HAVE TO DESIGN IT MYSELF……….

  33. Jennie March 8, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    My niece just got married. She couldn’t find anything she loved (and she is a bit of an original) so she went on line and found a beautiful vintage dress for around $50.00 including shipping. It took a little bit of tailoring to get rid of the Muttons on the sleeves but it looked fabulous. Not only was it beautiful but it was enviromental friendly to repurpose something that was wasting away in a box. With “green” as the newest buzz word, it’s not a bad idea….

  34. Lucy November 10, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    Ladies, Casablanca Bridal also customizes their wedding gowns! When I ordered mine, the bridal salon took the measurements for the sleeve length I wanted, discussed the fabric options with me, ordered the gown from Casablanca, and ta da! I had a modest and gorgeous ballgown (and they raised the neckline for me as well!)

  35. Tracy December 30, 2008 at 12:12 am #

    I feel everyone’s pain and frustration! As a 44 year old first-time bride, street size 14 who used to wear a street size 24, I have no desire to wear a strapless or sleeveless dress (nor do by friends and family want to see that!). On top of that, I have vitiligo (unpigmented skin that does not tan) under my arms almost to my elbows.

    I would like a sleeve that goes to just above the elbow. What I’m not crazy about the LDS or Temple Ready dresses is that the necklines are more conservative than I want. I have no problem showing a bit of cleavage (but just a bit)!

    Talk about discouraging to walk into a bridal store and be limited to the 3 or 4 dresses with sleeves in size 20 (that hurts and brings back bad memories)!

    I did find a dress that I think I really like on onlinebridalstore.com (Maxcinda style) which is also about the best priced dress I’ve seen but I just wish I could try it on before committing to it. After attempting to shop today and becoming so discouraged I think I’m going to have to take the plunge and just order it. Wish me luck, ladies!

  36. Tia January 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    I totally agree! With 3 months before my wedding, I am at my wits end trying to find somthing with sleeves. Being a bit flat-chested, a strapless will not do for me. Designers would do much better if they offered more variety. Thanks for all the suggestions–I’m definitely going to look them up as well as write to some of the bridal magazines.

  37. Michelle January 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I feel like someone is with me on this. I have been searching for a dress with sleeves. The only dresses I have found with sleeves are very reminiscent of the days of Dynasty and Knots Landing. While I loved both of those shows back in the day. I am not on a quest to look like Krystle Carrington. I also feel that strapless dresses are beautiful. But they are not beautiful on EVERYONE…

  38. Terri January 29, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    I am so glad to see all of you saying this! I am also over 40 and going to marry for the first time this June. I have been looking everywhere for sleeves and they are nowhere to be found. I looked at the Maxcinda gown that was mentioned earlier myself, but I am also concerned about buying online. Another problem is that my over 40 sister will be my matron of honor and we can’t find a dress for her either!!!
    THIS IS INSANE!!! How on earth do we get the word out to the designers that we hate their designs??? Will they actually read this?

  39. Marie July 6, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    It’s so wonderful to read comments about wedding gowns from women who are really sick of seeing all the strappless “trashy” so called bridal gowns that are being sold in stores these days. Many of todays brides (in my opinion) look like hookers! It seems that they are trying to find a style that shows the most amount of skin that they can get away with. Are they trying to seduce the groom in church??? In front of their families and everyone else that is watching them?? Sure seems that way to me.

    It’s so sad how much our society has changed. I plan on writing to bridal designers and asking them directly to start designing bridal gowns that are much more modest and with sleeves.

    The designers NEED to be challenged! They need to be TOLD what we want or else they will just keep on designing “JUNK”. Designers should be overwhelmed with letters from women like us that want and demand wedding gowns that are modest, that’s the only way they will get the message and change their designs. Don’t be silent anymore! Spread the word!!

    Write or e-mail all of those expensive and famous designers and demand that they STOP designing strapless wedding gowns. TELL them we want to SEE the new and improved dresses in bridal magazines AND on the shows they are in. Let us see how creative they can really be…..I think they can come up with some fantastic designs, BUT they MUST be challenged!

  40. Jennifer December 1, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    I’m so glad I found this article!I was googling because I am thinking of making silk wedding dresses next year,(I have school to do right now)and wanted to know what woman are looking for.Almost all the wedding dresses I have looked at ARE strapless,or have plunging necklines,ect.Vintage dresses are great,but most of them are smaller sizes,so that can be a problem for a lot of women.If anyone would like to email me with ideas or anything theyd like to say about wedding dresses,they can at:jennystreasuresforu@gmail.com.I also make handmade jewelry,spin crochet,and knit,so you can check out my website:www.JennysTreasuresForU.etsy.com,if you’d like.If I were to sell wedding dresses on etsy(where you could return most dress if needed),would a seperate shop be better just for the dresses?Thank you!

  41. DC January 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I am uncomfortable showing bare shoulders and arms in general, much more especially in a church setting. I think sleeves done the right way can be absolutely beautiful, elegant, and classic. I want to wear something that I or my children/grandchildren can look back on 50 years from now and say how lovely and classic my dress was…not, “what were you thinking?!” I’m thinking something to the effect of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress…that dress is gorgeous even now! Most recently, Ivanka Trump tied the knot, and she looked stunning in sleeves. I found a clip of Vera Wang (who made her dress) and said that their inspiration was Grace Kelly. I love Ivanka’s dress and it’s nice to see a younger woman who isn’t willing to go with the (strapless) styles that are out now. Demure doesn’t mean boring or ugly!

  42. dani March 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Finally! I tried writing letters and had no luck. I am going to vietnam to have my dress made. I am so sick of seeing strapless, boring all the same gowns. Designers are by no means DESIGNERS! They are the most unoriginal, boring and ridiculously same as each other. I am also forty and marrying for first time and finding a dress has been by far, the most difficult thing I have done.

    What is wrong with you people??? I want to see what a sleeved dress will look like on a size 14 – with boobs and flabby arms….!!! Not a stick thin professional model with NO boobs!

    Also, I am sick of the rhetoric sprouted by the designers and the crap they dish out. Why can’t we have a design your own dress online with a depiction of the correct size and how it looks? I have found 2 sites – one design your own dress, but it’s on a one size animated model and the other depicts size, but not with a full dress design ability.
    Can someone please put a program online – I would even pay a subscription! To put an animated model with the ability to vary sizes and to put together a dress anyway you wish and see how it looks.

  43. kelly April 28, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Amen Sister!
    I am a 45 year old professional gal…who is marrying for the 1st time! i am a size 8 but at my age just not thrilled with strapless anything, much less at my wedding.
    I have been looking for websites that have gowns with sleeves but i am not having much luck.
    thanks for your article.

  44. ElfPuddle April 30, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    kelly,
    I’m about to be 38 and am planning my first wedding, too! :)
    I found the perfect (for me) wedding gown here:
    http://www.davincibridal.com/catalog.php?cat=22
    Look at page 31 under bridal gown.
    It’s a strapless A-line dress with a lace jacket—long sleeved!—as it’s main embellishment.
    I hope it helps inspire, even if the dress itself doesn’t work for you.

  45. Chris June 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    I’m 19 and I don’t like the strapless trend, It’s too exotic dancer-ish, and hooker-ish…looks like it should come with hoop earings.

    It should be only done if you’re young and on holiday, this style doesn’t belong in a church of all places, the bride should look virginal regardless if they are, not as if they had a past life as a perto rican street dancer.

    It seems women do it because it’s a trend, and they’ve seen it so many times on wedding photos they can’t imagine it any other way….. Or worried they would come across as old fashioned.

  46. CAS November 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Designers need to give the strapless wedding gown a rest already. It has WAY overstayed its welcome. I’m so sick of watching brides who continually have to hoist up their gowns throughout the event by grabbing the fabric under their arms. It makes them look like apes. And then there are the girls whose fat spills out of the top of the dress — the muffin- bulge brides. So, designers, ENOUGH of the strapless gowns. Try doing something else. WE ARE TIRED OF SEEING THIS STYLE.

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  1. The Manolo Week in Review » Manolo's Shoe Blog - January 20, 2008

    [...] Twistie… Some of us aren’t religious, but still feel that a wedding where a woman is pledging her life, her heart, and her devotion to one person for the rest of her life isn’t necessarily the place to wear almost nothing above the nipple line. [...]