Are modest wedding dresses making a fashion comeback?

Feb 26, 2010 at 10:27 p.m. ET

For the past few years the strapless wedding dress and strapless bridesmaid dress have been ubiquitous! This trend follows not only a fashion trend toward emphasizing toned arms and the upper body (thank you, Michelle Obama), but also a decline in church and synagogue weddings (most churches and synagogues frown on bare shoulders). But let's face it ladies: the strapless dress doesn't look great on everyone!

Wedding dress trends
Bride wearing dress with sleeves recently added thousands of pictures to our wedding dress gallery, and it was great to see that so many of them had sleeves!

Modest Couture wedding dress

Cap-sleeve couture

Modest wedding dresses are making a comeback for a number of reasons. One is clearly the vintage trend that's sweeping the bridal industry. A cap sleeve dress, like the one pictured here from Modest Couture, has a timeless, elegant feel that appeals to the retro-bride.

Jane Wang wedding dress

Sexy and secure

Another reason behind the trend may be that due to the past popularity of the strapless wedding dress, today's brides have witnessed one too many "wardrobe malfunctions" to be comfortable with the idea of going bare on top. Nothing looks less elegant than a bride hiking up her wedding dress, unless of course, it's a bride who failed to do the hike at a critical moment! As this dress from Jane Wang shows, today's styles allow a bride to be secure, without sacrificing her desire to be sexy, dramatic, and daring

Stewart Parvin and Janelle Berté wedding dress

Short and sweet

Many brides are simply choosing to move the skin they show from the neckline to the leg. Short dresses with sleeves, or a high neck provide a unique look for the less formal wedding. A long, strapless wedding dress has a formal fell that just isn't appropriate for all weddings. A shorter dress also allows the bride to show off the assets she likes best! This dress from Stewart Parvin might not be every bride's cup of tea, but it will definitely give you ideas. The shorter dress that shows less skin at the bust line is a great fit for the bride planning a destination wedding. For a less dramatic take on the look consider this sweet dress from Janelle Berté.

Sophia Toll wedding dress

Old-fashioned appeal

Of course, modest dresses also appeal to the bride who wants to be … modest! As this dress from Sophia Toll shows, there's still a lot to be said for going old-fashioned.

Today's number one wedding trend is individuality, so whatever wedding dress you choose, make sure it's the style that's right for you!

More wedding articles

Find a modest (or daring) wedding dress
Find the bridal shoes for your wedding dress
Having a destination wedding?