Wedding dress trends are constantly evolving, but no matter how fresh a design feels, there’s often some sort of influence from way back when. Over the past few seasons, nostalgia á la the ‘80s and early ‘90s has infiltrated fashion in various forms, from voluminous tops to minimal slips and bold-shoulder party dresses. Now, the bigger-is-better mentality is translating to wedding gowns with puffy sleeves as a primary focal point. We know, we know, giant sleeves on a wedding dress sounds super old school—thoughts of your mom, aunt, or grandma’s wedding photos from years ago are likely percolating in your memory—and a little too Disney princess for most modern brides’ taste. But oversized sleeves are no longer an antiquated, cringe-worthy style of decades past. In fact, we’re here to report that big sleeves are officially back and in modern form from sleek, Victorian-inspired sleeves to delicately puffed shoulders.
It may be hard to imagine a full-sized sleeve on a wedding dress appearing fresh, but the latest versions are exactly that. From fluttery fabrics to structured shapes, today’s voluminous sleeves range from daring and dramatic to subtly puffed. Of course, there’s a dose of nostalgia that comes with this style of wedding gown, but with modern design at play, today’s puffy sleeves are fit for fashion-forward and whimsical brides a like.
For something sleek, a minimal gown in satin or crêpe with a bold shoulder or exaggerated sleeve is refined, but with a skosh of drama. For a downplayed take with a more intricate design like embroidery, lace, or beadwork, go for a wedding gown with long sleeves that billow just so at the cuffs or short sleeves that puff up ever so slightly on the shoulder. Then there’s the bride who’s all about drama—this trend is perfect for you! The bigger the sleeve, the better whether you go for sheer three-quarter-length sleeves, ample, off-the-shoulder puffs, or long, slim sleeves with voluminous shoulders.
Whether you’re for a subtle play on volume or love the fantasy of a poufy, princess-style design, ahead, scroll through our edit of 27 puffy-sleeve wedding gowns for every style and budget. Turn up the volume.