Long Sleeve Styles

A Guide to Long Sleeve Styles for Special Occasions Dresses

Long sleeve evening dresses epitomise elegance and grace for formal events. While sleeveless gowns still have their place, sleeves add extra intrigue. From classic styles to on-trend options, long sleeves make a stunning style statement.

Let's explore some of the best long sleeve special occasion dress styles and our perfect dress recommendations for each:

Regular Long Sleeves

Regular long sleeves extending down to the wrist offer timeless beauty and versatility. The continuous sleeve provides uninterrupted coverage in a range of fabrics like lace, chiffon and satin. This allows for both fitted and loosely flowing sleeves in modern or vintage silhouettes.

Long sleeves easily suit any formal occasion and work well on many body shapes. Balance the sleeves with neckline details like v-necks, strapless sweethearts or jewel collars. Back details like a low cut-out or decorative buttons add further interest.

Our V-neck sequin long sleeve bodycon dress hugs curves beautifully while the high slit and asymmetrical ruffled hem add leg-flashing drama.

V-neck sequin long sleeve bodycon dress

Or make an entrance in our velvet fit and flare gown with long sleeves, a flattering v-neckline and thigh-high split. The luxurious fabric and clinched waist showcases the sleeve slimming effect.velvet fit and flare gown with long sleeves

Sheer Long Sleeves

Sheer long sleeves offer alluring subtlety perfect for evening. Lace, mesh and netting create see-through sleeves that partially reveal skin while still providing coverage. Pair with solid dress fabrics for alluring contrast.

Delicate patterns like florals and scrolling lace designs provide gorgeous transparent sleeves with an ethereal vibe. More graphic looks use grommets, stripes and blocks for bold sheer impact. Illusion sleeves that fade to totally sheer also add hard-to-ignore wow factor.

Our puff sleeve chiffon dress uses breezy sheer sleeves to balance the classic chiffon fabric and retro shoulder shape.

Chiffon Long Sleeve Pleated Floor Length Dress

For sensual glamour, try the long sleeve v-neck evening gown with sheer sleeves and illusion bodice. The shiny texture amps up the after-dark appeal.Sexy V-Neck Shiny Evening Dresses with Long Sleeve

Long Split Sleeves

Long evening dresses with split sleeves make any entrance or twirl on the dancefloor more dramatic. Vertical cuts run up the back or front of the sleeve, exposing hints of skin while the sleeve overall remains long. The tantalising flashes draw the eye.

Great with everything from satin column gowns to billowing tulle ballgowns, split sleeves work wonders to liven up a dress. The splits range from subtle details to nearly full-length cut-outs depending on your style preferences. Pair with strapless or one-shoulder necklines for added allure.

Our v-neck chiffon gown uses an embellished waist and open long sleeves to dial up the formalwear drama.


For something subtler yet still eye-catching, the open lantern sleeve dress reveals just a peek of arm through the split back sleeve.Gentle Split Low Back Thigh Slit Long Sleeve Wedding Guest Dress

Bell Sleeve Dresses

The flared bell shape makes bell sleeves highly flattering eveningwear. Fitted at the shoulder or upper arm before flaring out, the billowing shape shows off the shoulders while covering the arms. Go for pronounced bells or a subtle flare at the wrist.

The volume of bell sleeves means they balance out larger skirts beautifully. But the sleeves still look chic and modern on sleeker mermaid or sheath style dresses. Opt for crisp satin bells or pick lightweight chiffon and tulle to maximise the floaty effect.

Sweetheart necklines and bell sleeves are natural partners, as seen on our mermaid wedding gown.

Romantic V Back Mermaid Lace Wedding Dress

For black tie affairs, make an entrance in a bodycon evening dress with shapely lace and tulle bell sleeves. The contrast is stunning yet elegant.Round Collar Tulle Bell Sleeve Lace Bodycon Evening Dress

Lantern Sleeves

Lantern sleeves loosely drape from the shoulder down the arm, creating an effortless billowing shape. Also called lampshade sleeves, the sheer volume mimics floating lanterns. Lantern sleeves paired with sultry off-shoulder or strapless necklines strike an on-trend yet timeless balance.

Often crafted from lightweight chiffon, crepe, lace or net, the sleeves are perfect for showing off some skin while still maintaining coverage. Keep the look soft and romantic with muted colours and floral accents. Or go for modern contrast with bold printed sleeves.

Our chiffon midi dress uses long lantern sleeves to bring graceful volume to the simple v-neck wedding guest style.

Elegant V Neck Long Sleeves Midi Wedding Guest Dress

For mothers of the bride or groom seeking lightweight elegance, the cowl neck knit dress has easy-fitting lantern sleeves that beautifully drape the arms.Long Sleeve Cowl Neck Fit and Flare Mother of the Bride Dress

Off-the-Shoulder Long Sleeves

Off-the-shoulder evening gowns make bare shoulders the main attraction, while still incorporating long sleeves. The straight-across or sweetheart bustlines highlight necklines and collarbones before fluid sleeves frame the arms.

Design details like mid-length sleeves, sheer lace, cold shoulder cut-outs and illusion mesh straps update off-the-shoulder styling. The contrast between the horizontal shoulder baring and vertical sleeves creates striking balance. Fitted sleeves work best to keep shoulders pronounced.

Our maternity maxi cleverly uses an off-shoulder ruched bodice and long fitted sleeves to accentuate the bump.

Off Shoulder Lantern Sleeves Maternity Dress

For formal events, the sequin gown pairs an off-shoulder neckline with see-through beaded lace sleeves for red carpet glam only long sleeves can offer.Off the Shoulder Sequin Evening Gowns With Tulle Sleeve

Cape Sleeve Evening Gowns

Attached at the shoulder but loose and unstructured, cape sleeves make a lavish style statement. The sleeves hang like a cape when arms are down. But raise arms and they create spectacular wing-like shapes perfect for the dance floor.

Often made of chiffon, organza or tulle, the ultra-voluminous sleeves contrast beautifully on more fitted dress silhouettes. Opt for sleek columns and mermaids to highlight the sleeve volume. Add sheer lace or back cut-outs for even more allure.

A deep-v lace bodice balances the drama of our floor-length chiffon cape sleeves.

Elegant Deep V Neck Chiffon Maxi Evening Dress

Finding Your Dream Long Sleeve Dress

With so many gorgeous and versatile long sleeve special occasion dresses, you can highlight your best assets in style. Consider key factors like:

  • Dress silhouettes and lines - Highlight or downplay parts of your figure
  • Necklines - Complement the sleeves and draw eyes up
  • Fabrics and embellishments - Match the formality and your personal style
  • Back detailing - An opportunity to add intrigue
  • Sheer elements - For alluring skin reveals that maintain coverage
  • Sleeve shapes and volume - Flatter arms while making a statement

The amazing range of long sleeve gowns means you can pick the perfect style for everything from black tie weddings to charity balls. With strategic details, you can look and feel stunning all night long.

So embrace the beauty of long sleeves and discover your dream dress for your next special occasion. Sleeves add elegance, allure and style to any formal look.

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