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Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730) and two followers wearing dolaman robes

A Dolman (from Turkish dolaman "robe" [1]) Originally, the term referred to a long and loose garment with narrow sleeves and an opening in the front. It was worn generally by the Turks, and is not unlike a cassock in shape.

Military dolman[edit]

19th century Hungarian dolman for court wear
British hussar officer wearing a dolman, 1809

The name "dolman" was also given to the uniform jacket worn by hussars. The close fitting, short-cut coat was heavily braided. It was usually worn under a pelisse, a similar coat but with fur trimming, usually worn slung over the left shoulder with the sleeves hanging loose.

Fashionable dolman[edit]

Woman's dolman mantle, front & back views. Harper's Bazaar, November 1871

A dolman is also an outer garment worn by ladies, with wide cape like arrangements instead of sleeves. It was a favourite style of mantle worn by fashionable women in the 1870s and 80's.

A dolman sleeve is a sleeve set into a very low armscye; in fact, the armscye may extend to the waistline, in which case there will be no underarm seam in the blouse. Dolman sleeves were very popular in ladies clothing during the Civil War. They had the effect of making the shoulders look sloped therefore minimizing the appearance of the waist.

Dolman sleeves are created by making the fabric near the shoulder a wider cut than toward the wrist.