Kate Middleton might have had something to do with it. Or perhaps it could be attributed to the huge vintage movement. Or maybe it’s just a turning of the tide after sooooo many years of going without. Whatever the driving force behind it, straps and sleeves are back – and in a big way! And to be quite honest, as much as we do love a beautiful strapless gown, we could not be happier about this growing trend!
Sleeves – whether cap, three-quarter, illusion or some other style – afford brides more coverage and can give them security that they won’t be tugging their gown up all evening. (While this won’t really happen with a properly fitted and professionally altered strapless gown, brides do occasionally voice this as a concern.) There are many options in straps as well: spaghetti or halter; thick or thin; one or two; lace, silk or organza; plain or embellished. Brides have more flexibility than ever when choosing a gown that will be perfectly suited to their style.
|Alvina Valenta 9159|
|Jim Hjelm 8203|
|Jim Hjelm 8211|
Some designers offer gown styles that come with detachable straps.
|David Tutera for Mon Cheri 112201 comes with detachable spaghetti and halter straps|
|All of these gowns from James Clifford Collection (clockwise from top left: styles J11237, J11234, J11245, J21117) include detachable spaghetti and halter straps|
|Angelina Faccenda from Mori Lee 1218 comes with a detachable one shoulder strap|
Several designers are also offering jackets or shrugs or also lace vest or bolero pieces that often will turn a regular strapless gown into a gown with the keyhole in the back.
|Alvina Valenta 9200 with and without shrug|
|Allure 2319 with and without keyhole-creating bolero|
|Birnbaum & Bullock Rebecca with and without feather shrug|
|David Tutera for Mon Cheri 112219 with and without bolero|
|Davide Tutera for Mon Cheri 112208 with and without “armlets”|
|Jim Hjelm 8202 with and without feather shrug|
|Tara Keely 2205 with and without keyhole-creating bolero|
Other designers are offering customization, allowing the addition of straps or sleeves to the body of an ordinarily strapless gown at the time of manufacturing. Your bridal stylist can work with you to find a designer that is customization-friendly. How that works is that the bride would select a strap/sleeve from a different gown in the same designer’s collection that will be added to the erstwhile strapless gown at the time the bride’s gown is made. Designers will often accommodate these types of customizations, but there will always be an additional charge associated with any modifications. Also, do keep in mind that not all designers are willing or able to modify a style.
|A little tip: Connecting the strap close to the arm pit covers a part of the body many girls don’t like|