If you’ve gone shopping for a dress recently, you’ve probably noticed something – sleeves apparently don’t exist anymore, at least not when it comes to formal dresses. Prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and wedding dresses are almost always designed with bare shoulders. What happened to the day when you could actually find a winter-appropriate wedding dress rather than trying on dress after dress designed for a day at the beach?

David’s Bridal does have some sleeve options, but they are so ugly, cheap, and added looking that I’d almost rather they didn’t offer them at all. Look for yourself at the screen shot I captured.

But look at that cape and muff – they clearly understand that not everyone gets married in the summer. I’m so confused!

But you can’t beat David’s Bridal’s prices. Where else can you find a wedding dress on a budget – besides a resale shop or a fabric store and your own sewing machine?

Finding a modest wedding dress with sleeves (especially a plus size wedding dress) is difficult, but it can be done. Enter Chatfield’s Bridal Boutique in St. Louis, Missouri. This small boutique is the only all-modest wedding dress shop in Missouri – and carries modest bridal lines you rarely see anywhere outside of Utah. (and many of the dresses are in-stock in plus sizes too!)

Today I found my wedding dress. The neckline isn’t plunging and the dress isn’t strapless – and did I mention that it was the same price I would have paid for a dress at David’s Bridal – maybe even less!

Clearly I can’t show you pictures (you’ll have to wait as long as he does for that one!), but I just had to put a plug in for Chatfield’s.  Now that we’re married, I can show you a picture of my simple but gorgeous wedding dress. Chatfield’s had much more ornate dresses that were still affordable, but I wanted something simple so that it wouldn’t clash with the handmade veil that my grandma, mom, and I made together.

you are a princess

Debbie is so fun, and she only carries dresses with sleeves and modest necklines. Oh, and for those of us who are absolutely broke and still getting married… she also doesn’t carry anything that costs more than $1300 – and the $1300 dress is raw silk and looks like something out of a Jane Austen novel. Our budget was under $400, and she had multiple dresses for me to try on – and if you’re in the market for a wedding dress (especially for one with sleeves), you know just what a miracle that is.

So, are you looking for a dress with sleeves? Head over to Chatfield’s and give Debbie a visit.

Next hurdle? Dark green bridesmaid’s dresses with sleeves for under $100 each. Any suggstions?

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