It is hard to find styles that are both interesting enough to make you feel stylish, and classic enough to suit every occasion. It is even harder to find styles like this that are comfortable and flattering to just about every body shape. If you’d love a dress that genuinely meets all of these criteria, then consider something with a dolman sleeve.

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Photo by Katie Schumm

What Makes A Sleeve A Dolman?

While the term sounds like it only refers to the cut of a sleeve, a dolman sleeve is actually part of the main cut of the dress, so the sleeve extends from the shoulder and also from just above the waist. This means there is fabric draped under the upper arm, and a sloping shoulder shape. Many dolman sleeve dresses and tops have sleeves that taper in as they go down the arm, creating what is sometimes called a ‘batwing’ sleeve.

Dolman or batwing sleeves have been in style for the past few years and are looking to be even bigger news in 2015. With modern cuts that are way more wearable than batwing sleeves from the 80’s which usually featured the ubiquitous shoulder pads, modern dolmans are easy to wear, flexible to style, and just might become your favourite cut of dress for this year!

Why Dolman Sleeves Are Flattering

One of the very best things about dolman sleeves is that they create a silhouette for the upper body that flatters just about everyone. The sloping shape to the shoulders can either add structure where shoulders are weak, or tone down broad or angular shoulders. The draped area under the upper arm slims the arm and hides any wobbly flab in that area. The cut then hides any lumps and bumps on the torso, masking the muffin top yet still creating a waist (if you choose a style with a waistband) that will emphasize curves or create them where the body is straight.

Dolman Sleeves in Easy to Wear Fabrics

Another thing that makes the modern incarnation of the dolman so easy to wear is that they are generally constructed from soft jersey fabrics. These drape well and mean that the sleeve isn’t impossible to put a jacket over, but are also stretchy so your dress will hug you in just the right places, and you should have no problems getting a good fit. Jerseys are easy to move in and also allow you the option of wearing all kinds of prints, so you can choose your new dolman in classic LBD style, or go for one of the cool floral or chevron patterns that are big at the moment.

Dolman sleeved dresses are a great addition to your wardrobe, and with the comfort and flattering silhouette they offer, you may find yourself stocking up on dolman dresses in different colours and prints and making them your go to cut of dress for casual, work and evening wear for spring and summer of 2015!

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