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After years of being traumatized by poufy sleeves which were larger then their faces, brides have made a sharp turn away from wedding gowns with sleeves. Sleeves have gotten a bad rap as being dated, fussy, and just plain over-the-top (remember the leg o'mutton sleeve?). However, after years of bridal banishment, sleeves are finally starting to make a comeback. Don't worry: you will look nothing like Princess Diana in the newest wedding gowns with sleeves. This is how the trend towards bridal gowns with sleeves showing up in some of the prettiest weddings around.
Traditionally, brides always wore wedding dresses with sleeves, at least for the ceremony portion of the event. There was the expectation that the bride at a church wedding would cover her shoulders to show respect in a house of worship. That custom has pretty much been abandoned in most, though not all, houses of worship. Over time, however, the religious reasons for wearing wedding gowns with sleeves have faded, and the strapless gown is by far the most popular option for brides. In fact, if a bride wanted to wear a wedding gown with sleeves, whether it was for religious reasons, to cover tattoos, or just a matter of personal preference, she often had to resort to having a gown custom made or wearing a jacket over a sleeveless gown.
Everything comes around eventually in fashion, however, and the sleeve has finally started to show up again in bridal collections. Although strapless gowns are likely to retain their immensely popular status, they are no longer the only option. One of the prettiest wedding gowns with sleeves which has been seen recently was the one worn by Ivanka Trump in her October 2009 wedding. It was a custom Vera Wang gown inspired by the lace creation worn by none other than Grace Kelly when she became Princess of Monaco.
Ivanka Trump's regal gown was the essence of feminine beauty, and even Vera Wang commented on what a pleasure it was to see a bride wear a classic gown with sleeves after seeing so many strapless gowns. Ivanka accessorized her gown with a classic all white nosegay bouquet and fabulous bridal jewelry. As the neckline of her gown was too high to wear a necklace, she opted for spectacular earrings and an impressive bracelet as her bridal jewelry. Brides without access to the Trump bank account can achieve a similar effect by selecting gorgeous Swarovski crystal jewelry instead of diamonds set in platinum.
Ivanka is not the only one with the 1950s on her mind right now. Many of the top designers showed '50s inspired gowns in their most recent bridal collections. Granted, many of those gowns were strapless, but the portrait neckline is also fabulous with the classic 1950s silhouette. Sitting just on the tip of the shoulder, the portrait neckline is incredibly flattering to almost any bride's figure, including those with larger busts.
Lace sleeves are one of the up-and-coming trends, as they offer the classic beauty and modesty of sleeves, but retain a light and airy feeling thanks to the openwork of the lace. For brides who like the idea of sleeves paired with a more seductive cut gown, try one with sleeves which open into a keyhole back on the bodice. Monique Lhullier specializes in that design, and others offer it as well. This type of wedding gown with sleeves can be the perfect blend of modesty and drama for a modern bride.