What Is a Dolman Sleeve

The word dolman is in fact a word of the Turkish language which means robe. The name involves making a dress which looks like the cassocks which Catholic priests used to wear. It was very common form of attire in the Middle-East countries in the middle Ages. The Europeans took to the dolman sleeve for making it a part of their military jackets.  A sleeve, narrow at the wrists and quite wide at the top, where it takes off from the body of the garment is termed as a Dolman sleeve.

It is mostly used in sweaters, women’s garments and dresses.  A sleeve is not made separately and is of one piece with the garment’s body. This saves a lot of time for the tailor because, considerable time is saved in making a separate sleeve and stitching it on to the upper portion of shirt’s body. They are usually oversized. They became popular because of the simplicity and ease with which it could be made.

Because of the comfort it provides to the wearer many garments of modern times have dolman sleeves. Because of the one piece construction, there was considerable saving in making the garment if it had dolman sleeve. It was particularly appreciated before automatic sewing machines became available easily. The dolman sleeve wearer gives the appearance of having sloping shoulders. This way of wearing the garment has the advantage that the waistline gets minimum prominence.

Because of the comfort provided to the wearer movements and attending to chores became very easy without any restrictions or hindrances due to the dress, you can move about freely. Instead of acting as a break to your movements the dolman sleeve moves in unison with all your other movements. The popularity of the dolman sleeve has seen several stages of growth during the last few centuries.

The last half of the 20th century and present period has seen best growth. The dolman sleeve has been appreciated as a fashion import from the orient. During the World War II just after the Great Depression, people searched for elegance in their garments used to lead them to garments with dolman sleeve especially for fashionable women. During the late 20th century the dolman sleeve was called Batwing’s sleeve perhaps of the resemblance with the Bat with its outstretched wings.

Present day dolman sleeves are mostly in shirts, tunics and sweaters. From wrist length, the dolman sleeve has been shortened to short T-shirt length or a little longer just below the elbows. In present day designs the tapering towards the wrist is also avoided. 

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