Bolero Me Do?

If you look at any 1950s wedding pictures, you’ll notice immediately a difference between the bridal attire then and bridal attire now. That difference was the inclusion of sleeves. Any sleeves really – capped, short, 3/4 length, wrist length – as long as they provided the bride with that look of modesty.

Although sleeves and interesting neckline treatments are slowly re-entering the scene, for a very long time strapless wedding gowns have exclusively dominated the marital market.

Which is sad really, considering how beautiful a well-placed piece of lace can look. Witness Grace Kelly at her 1952 wedding to Prince Ranier of Monaco:


…simply breathtaking.

When I first started wedding planning, there was a definite dearth of bridal cover-up options. Now that sleeves, cover-ups, and boleros are hitting the cyber streets of etsy, my thoughts have returned to finding something to jazz up my ensemble.

If you recall, this is my dress (but not my veil, I’m sarcastically boogie-ing in the puffy tulle attached to me in this picture).


Which, with the addition of my “MEGA HUGE” petticoat and hoop skirt, will look like this in shape:


(Reem Acra dress, source lost, but I will credit if you know where it’s from! Hey! That’s my hair too!)

Having a bolero to wear to the ceremony and during pictures would be absolutely incredible, and would remove the need to wear a cardigan if I got chilly during the evening reception.

The following pictures and links are examples of wedding boleros and cover-ups available on etsy right now. All of the sellers noted below do custom work as well, so if I decide to wear a bolero, they can create something to suit me and my gown.


Sweet Little bridal Shrug by Rohm: $149


Custom Bridal Jacket from Rohm $159.00


Lace bolero available in any material, colour from Jocemclane: $75


Organza and lace bolero available in any colour, from Jocemclane: $75.00


Going to the Chapel Shrug by Sweet Charlotte: $45


Ethereal baroque wrap by Bonzie (Reserved, but she does custom work); $55


Stand-up collar Satin Bridal Jacket by Rohm :$129

The million-dollar question is, should I custom order a bolero?

It would transform my dress into something more vintage-y, it would keep me warm, and it would (hopefully) look smashing.

What do you think? Should I take the jump, and if I do leap, should I go for something in satin (to match my dress), in lace (for a real vintage look), or an unusual fabric (like the ones Bonzie makes) and what length of sleeve would look best?


Mrs. Shortcake

Wedding Date:
October 2008
This One's For Birdie
Another Kind of Top
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Shawn, Guest @ 2:09 pm

    Love the Bonzie. My mother and grandmother made capelets for the BMs and a bolero for me (crocheted and knitted). It really changed the look of their modern dresses to something I was more comfortable with.

  2. jasmine Member
    jasmine 1170 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:09 pm

    Sigh…Grace Kelly was just the most perfect bride. I love her entire wedding ensemble so much.

    I think you would look gorgeous with a bolero. The Bonzie one is completely exquisite, but not sure if it would be too much with your dress. Your dress has a lot of work so maybe something simpler would be better?

  3. mspomegranate Member
    mspomegranate 961 posts, Busy bee @ 2:12 pm

    I loooooove the Going to the Chapel Shrug and the Sweet Little bridal Shrug.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Cole, Guest @ 2:13 pm

    I really love numbers 1 & 6 …sooo pretty!

  5. Member
    soontobemrsk24 40 posts, Newbee @ 2:18 pm

    Love the idea of the shrug. BUt off the subject…. where did you get your mega full petticoat? I am looking, but not sure where to purchase and also not sure what fullness I need. I want the same as you do in that pic of the runway model!

  6. margarita Member
    margarita 369 posts, Helper bee @ 2:22 pm

    oooh definitely do a bolero! i love the lace ones (esp #1) and the bonzie one. maybe for your dress you can get a bolero like #4 but with a little more bling on it to match your dress?

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Nstar, Guest @ 2:22 pm

    I also love the Bonzie! So unique!

  8. mssweettea Member
    mssweettea 461 posts, Helper bee @ 2:29 pm

    I took love the Rohm jacket- I’ve had it bookmarked for weeks! I think you’d be beautiful in anything you choose!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Gery, Guest @ 2:29 pm

    I agree with Miss Margarita # 4 with a some bling should do you. In the other hand how do I get Bonzie’s bolero??? It is to dye for…

  10. mssweettea Member
    mssweettea 461 posts, Helper bee @ 2:29 pm

    doh- it’s supposed to say “I too love”

  11. Member
    bridecat 355 posts, Helper bee @ 2:31 pm

    Yay…Love boleros! I personally think either a matching satin one or a totally different fabric would work best for you…I like cap sleeve!
    My dress has it’s own bolero…so psyched to wear it!
    Good luck!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Stephanie, Guest @ 2:32 pm

    I love the custom bridal jacket. The lace is so beautiful. And it’s very Grace Kelly.

  13. Member
    mlindsey 348 posts, Helper bee @ 2:53 pm

    Definately go with the Bolero/shrug as opposed to the cardigan. I would definately do something sheer and lacy and not the satin because it would add a beautiful, delicate and vintag-ey feel. It was really frustrating for me to find a dress because as you said, most dresses are strapless nowadays, and my two watermelons in a strapless is NOT the look I was going for. I ended up having a vintage type dress made with sleeves and was a lot more comfortable.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    nkc, Guest @ 2:53 pm

    I love the one by Bonzi! I bought a bolero to wear at my reception and did not regret it one bit. I had a really simple white a-line strapless dress and it really finished off the look. Because my dress was so simple, I purchased a bolero in the same fabric and dressed it up with a vintage pin. Let me know if you want me to send you some photos!

  15. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:01 pm

    I agree w/ Miss Margarita and Gery something w/ a litte bling to match your dress… but not too much bling.
    As for sleeves I’d do cap of 3/4 :)

  16. Member
    CarolineG 421 posts, Helper bee @ 3:08 pm

    Beautiful choices! I like the first one best.

    I’m looking for something like this:

    But without the brown thingy and preferably not costing $135.

  17. Member
    NYAmber 81 posts, Worker bee @ 3:16 pm

    I’ve been aching over Bonzi’s items. I had to order an extra yard of the fabric for my dress to make a privacy panel in my lace up backed dress. Obviously I don’t need a yard for that so I’ve been rolling it over whether to send my extra fabric out for a custom made coverup. I’d be interested to see what you decide. I just can’t see myself wearing it again… and I know I’ll take it off after pics and the ceremony because I’ll get too hot while dancing my booty off :)

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Mary, Guest @ 3:32 pm

    i have actually ordered the Sweet Little Bridal Shrug, however have yet to submit my measurements so it can be made as I am in a debate with my mother (the person kind enough to buy my dress for me) – she does not want me to wear anything in fear that it will take away from my dress (Madame by La Sposa) – however our Catholic priest has addressed his disdain for bare shoulders, although he regretfully tolerates it due to the current fashion movement…I’m caught in the middle and can’t decide which way to go…

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    Mary, Guest @ 3:32 pm

    LOVE Bonzie’s wrap by the way! Very chic!

  20. Member
    groomzillaisme 59 posts, Worker bee @ 3:32 pm

    i dunno if you want a guys opinion, but I like the Ethereal baroque wrap by Bonzie. I think it would look realy nice with the dress

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    HCB, Guest @ 3:35 pm

    Going to the Chapel is my favorite option above. I love the simplicity and sophistication of it. I can’t wait to see your whole look come together. I think it’s going to be exquisite!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    H, Guest @ 3:45 pm

    I am looking for boleros too. I’ve searched high and low but can’t find the one that I like. The organze and lace one is really pretty but I want 3/4 length sleeve. boo for me but yay for you!

  23. shortcake Member
    shortcake 467 posts, Helper bee @ 3:54 pm

    @soontobemrsk24: @<a I bought mine on ebay, as the ones in bridal stores easily reach $200 for very large petticoats. Try angel’s bridal on ebay – I got my hoop skirt through them. I can’t remember where I got my petticoat, but it was $80.

    Warning: make sure your dress has enough fabric! My petticoat stands alone at abut 7 feet wide, and before I adjusted the hoop skirt (which was the largest I could find), the dress sample barely fit! 😀 Luckily the hoops can be shrunk!

  24. shortcake Member
    shortcake 467 posts, Helper bee @ 3:55 pm

    @H: All of the etsy sellers listed above do cutom work, send them an email!

  25. shortcake Member
    shortcake 467 posts, Helper bee @ 3:57 pm

    @Mary: @groomzillaisme: @nkc: @Nstar: @Shawn:

    I sent emails to all of the sellers, but only Bonzie has replied so far – and she says she’s excited and more than willing to create a custom piece to match my gown! I can only imagine how fabulous it’ll be – check out her shop, and you’ll see what I mean! :)

  26. Member
    soontobemrsk24 40 posts, Newbee @ 3:57 pm

    thank you miss shortcake

  27. Member
    soontobemrsk24 40 posts, Newbee @ 4:00 pm

    do you know how many hoops yours is?and can i also ask how tall you are? i know wierd question but it gives me a better idea

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Ms Popcorn, Guest @ 4:00 pm

    *sigh* Grace Kelly! the lace jacket I had my seamstress make was inspired by her gown.

  29. shortcake Member
    shortcake 467 posts, Helper bee @ 4:09 pm

    @soontobemrsk24: @soontobemrsk24: I bought a 6-hoop skirt a “mega full” petticoat, and I’m 5’9″ I hope that helps! 😀

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    bellydancingbride, Guest @ 4:11 pm

    My strapless dress came with a matching lace bolero and I loooooved it so much that I didn’t take it off at all (which I had originally intended). I think because your dress doesn’t actually have lace on it (that I can see), you should consider non-lace shrugs.
    Good luck!

  31. seabreeze Member
    seabreeze 972 posts, Busy bee @ 4:25 pm

    If I had known about etsy before I went dress shopping, I’m sure I would have ended up with a dress which would accommodate a bolero. I LOVE THEM but when I was looking, there were only nasty ones to be found.

    These ones are gorg, Shortie. You must go with one for sure. The Bonzie one made me gasp because it’s stunning, but I think the first one is just perfect for your dress.

  32. Member
    missm 808 posts, Busy bee @ 5:32 pm

    Ugh! First an etsy necklace shopping spree to help a friend find something for her bridesmaids and now a bolero spree… I have major etsy love and am digging the bolero look – as someone who gets chilly easily, this sounds like a more polished look than a pashmina. Decisions, decisions…

  33. espresso Member
    espresso 1308 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:43 pm

    These are B- E- A- utiful. I want to wear the Going to the Chapel Shrug everyday

  34. Member
    tea 2414 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:16 pm

    i like the first rohm shrug so much! i would even consider getting one if i should ever end up with a strapless gown.

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    nt, Guest @ 12:22 am

    i think you might like this:

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    nt, Guest @ 12:25 am

    and this one is also adorable too:

  37. Member
    cannotwait 2168 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:11 am

    I think something sheer would look best, unless you really need the warmth of a solid satin piece

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    lisa stone, Guest @ 7:19 pm

    I was so excited to come across this discussion as I was in the process of researching wedding boleros! I am a bridal jewelry designer, but that doesn’t get in the way of my knitting. I have been knitting for 25 years and have been yearning to bring it into my wedding creations. It seems that there is a great need for some wonderful styles and I will definitely be working on coming up with a line.

    If anyone is interested in talking to me, I can give you more info on my background. Good luck to you all!

  39. Guest Icon Guest
    Kenzie, Guest @ 2:44 pm


    That is my bolero! I actually contact Emily (Rohm) some time ago — I was so excited for a bolero.

    Now, that beauty you see (the sweet little shrug) sits in closet, waiting until May.

    Emily is totally willing to work with you on whatever (she didn’t have anything without collars when I contacted her, but was totally willing to go with it)!

    Love it

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    Stacy, Guest @ 12:20 pm

    Checke out this etsy store:
    They have nice alencon lace boleros for very reasonable price:

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    vancouver Dj, Guest @ 9:23 pm

    It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what you’re
    talking about! Thanks

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