A dolman sleeve, also known as a batwing sleeve, is a wide, long sleeve that is cut as an extension of the bodice, creating a deep armhole, then tapering towards the wrist. This design creates a loose, flowing shape around the upper arm and a more fitted form around the forearm and wrist. The silhouette resembles the wing of a bat, hence the alternate name “batwing.”
The dolman sleeve offers a comfortable, unrestricted range of motion, making it a popular choice for casual wear and relaxed, elegant styles. The sleeve is often associated with a relaxed, bohemian aesthetic but can also be tailored for a more sophisticated, polished look.
Dolman sleeves can vary in length, from short to full-length, and are found in a variety of garments, including sweaters, blouses, dresses, and jackets. The design’s simplicity and elegance lie in the seamless transition from the bodice to the sleeve, creating a graceful, unbroken line along the arm.
The loose, airy design of the dolman sleeve makes it particularly suitable for lightweight, draping fabrics, though it can also be constructed from more substantial materials for cooler weather. Its versatility and flattering silhouette make the dolman sleeve a timeless and popular choice in fashion design.