Miu Miu, AW14, Paris.
The term “epaulettes” seems to traditionally refer to the decorations which would be fastened to the shoulder straps on military uniforms. Over time the term has come to refer to the shoulder straps themselves, which are often found as a detail on coats and trenches.
In this example, from Miu Miu Autumn-Winter 2014 the epaulettes are sewn into the armhole seam, but often you will epaulettes cut as separate fabric pieces that are removable. When the epaulettes are removable it is easier for additional bands or insignia to be added. However, in this example the oversized, slight drop-shoulder effect means that by sewing the epaulette into the seam, it is in a more fixed position and less likely to move around. It also makes the epaulette slightly more subtle, as the epaulette blends into the shoulder silhouette at the seam rather than sitting above it.
Images from Vogue.co.uk»