Of course, the style is not new if you wore the silhouette in the ’80s like I did. That said, this type of dropped shoulder seam styling is “new” in the sense that it’s a slight update on the dolman sleeved tops and knitwear that have flooded shop floors for several seasons now. 

The dropped shoulder seams on dolman sleeves are accompanied by a wide unstructured armhole. The sleeves have excess fabric from waist to underarm sleeve seam, thereby creating a “capelet effect”. The new dropped shoulder seams tops have narrow, fitted armholes. Often, the sleeves are more fitted although the torsos can be oversized.

Personally, I prefer wearing the new style of dropped shoulder seam detailing because it’s better suited to my body type. As long as the item has a high neckline, the fitted armholes provide the right amount of structure for my square yet dainty shoulder line, long neck, short hair, small frame and regular bust size. I don’t mind the volume in the torso one bit. That’s why my new purple pullover with dropped shoulder seams was love at first sight. 

Over the years I’ve fitted all sorts of dropped shoulder seam tops and dresses on clients. I’ve found that the look is harder to pull off on sloping shoulders because the effect weakens the squareness of a shoulder line even further. I’ve also found that dolman sleeves with lower necklines require broad shoulders and/or a fuller bust to fill them out to perfection. That’s precisely why dolman sleeve dropped shoulder seams are not my best look. I can’t adequately fill out the silhouette, but I do love the look on those who can. 

What’s your take on dropped shoulder seams? Would you wear the “new” version, or are you sticking to dolman sleeves. Or are neither option your cup of tea.