The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Fall Trend: Dolman Sleeves

A dolman sleeve is a type of sleeve with a very large armhole and tight cuff, and they are incredibly popular for sweaters, shawls, wraps and jackets this fall. They lend themselves to comfy knits and add Eastern-style drama to what would otherwise just be a snug way to bundle-up. Nothing wrong with bundling yourself in a cocoon of warmth during frigid temperatures, but it's nice not to look like a snowman, if possible, and that's where the dolman sleeve steps in, for us at least. We became converts to this trend last winter and love the modern-hippie-folkloric vibe they sort of give an outfit, and we highly recommend you give it a try.

Finding the right silhouette for your body shape is key. While the dolman is an especially forgiving shape for large upper arms, they can swallow-up ladies with shorter torsos. Avoid turtleneck styles if you're petite, and pick thinner, drapey fabrics over chunky knits for a slimmer look. I usually layer mine over a long-sleeve, tight-fitting tissue tee that's the same hue but a different value than my dolman, ie. charcoal gray with light gray. And pick a narrow, fitted pant for your bottom half. The most current trend I'm loving is pairing your dolman sleeve top with skinny jeans or leggings and fab boots.

Get your dose of dolman sleeves with one of these affordable, fashionable finds...

Above: Dolman Cowl-Neck Sweater, also available in white, grey, black, red or raspberry,, $69.50

INC International Concepts® Belted Dolman-Sleeve Cardigan Sweater

Free People Textured Dolman Cardigan,, $108

Dolman Tunic,, $19.80

Dolman Cardigan by Penélope & Mónica Cruz for MANGO, ref. 73212725 at, $119

Dolman Sleeve Tunic, also available in brown,, $44

theyre ALLRIGHT, they look great but can be quite uncomfortable at times, and i have NO idea why lol
#1 Neira on 2008-10-14 05:31 (Reply)
I really like this look. I have a few cropped cardigans with dolman sleeves but I'd like to get some more styles. From your selection, I like the INC International Concepts® Belted Dolman-Sleeve Cardigan Sweater and the Dolman Sleeve Tunic.
#2 danz (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 06:55 (Reply)
I love the look! I wish I could wear dolman sleeve tops but since I'm short-waisted they just don't have the same effect on me as they do with someone who has a long torso area. I think I miss out on alot of great looks because of my difficult body type! frown
#3 Budget Chic (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 08:10 (Reply)
Those sweaters are hot. I only have one in my closet but i hope to purchase more. great post
#4 fashion_guru (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 09:08 (Reply)
I ADORE dolman sleeves, there's almost nothing better on a cold rainy Sunday than a dolman sleeve sweater and jeans, it's like wearing a blanket but in a cute way.
#5 Amber Eilert (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 10:54 (Reply)
I'm a big fan of dolman sleeves. I own a couple of this style sweater and they just add a bit more interest and I find then comfy!
#6 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 11:11 (Reply)
I'm a huge fan of this look, too. Cocoon-y, warm, and forgiving - fantastic for a long MN winter.
#7 Sal (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 12:12 (Reply)
I do like the second one! Plus the color of that one is amazing. But overall I'm not a big fan of those kinds of sweaters. They just don't look good on me :-(
#8 Celeste (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 12:29 (Reply)
all very savvy picks. i esp. like cowl neck which is flattering on almost every gal.
#9 savvymode sg (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 14:08 (Reply)
repulsive. make it stop!

cowl neck is flattering on almost every girl who doesn't do anything eccentric, like have breasts.
#10 m on 2008-10-14 16:23 (Reply)
Having breasts is being eccentric? huh?
#10.1 Peaches on 2008-10-14 16:56 (Reply)
I really like the look of the sleeves, especially since it takes attention away from love handles when they do appear :-)

Not to mention they are OOBER comfy!

#11 Chicaholic (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 17:18 (Reply)
Ahh so that's what you call those! They do add an interesting look. I quite like the last pick.
#12 MizzJ (Homepage) on 2008-10-14 20:49 (Reply)
I bought the black dolman sweater from Express that was pictured at Marshall's for only $14.99. :-) It's really cute. The only drawback is that since the sleeves end toward your waist (versus under your armpit), when you lift your arms slightly it shows your belly a little bit.
#13 backik on 2009-10-20 16:44 (Reply)
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