I’ve been hearing it for years from clients.
“I will never wear sleeveless.”
“The only thing I know for sure is that cap sleeves are out.”
“I hate my arms.”
“That dress is cute, but it needs sleeves.”
Arms are a concern and become more so as we get older. Weight gain and loss, sun damage, and natural aging all play a role in how our arms look, but there’s more to flattery than simply concealing your arms under long, baggy sleeves every day. (Sometimes, that can have the exact opposite effect).
So here, my top strategies to slim your arms with clothes, no exercise required. 🙂
This topic stems from a question sent by a reader, who wrote:
“Upper arms are too big around for torso size. This kinda happened this summer. Like I gained weight only there.”Gina H.
In today’s video, I’ll share how you can make your arms appear slimmer by choosing the right clothes. 🙂
Find Your Sleeve Length
As I mentioned above, cap sleeves are almost universally reviled for their ability to make the most delicate arms appear bulky, but fortunately, there are options. First, pay attention to where the hem of the sleeve intersects with your body, because the eye will be drawn there. If it ends at your bust, and your bust is full, your bust will look fuller, for example.
Otherwise, pick your level of concealment. Elbow-length and three-quarter sleeves are good options, and some women even find a sleeveless style to be more flattering than the dreaded cap sleeve.
Angle the Sleeve
An angled sleeve creates a slimming illusion, making the arms and the waistline appear narrower. For maximum flattery, look for a sleeve that hits at your ideal Fashion Fit Formula point on the outside, and 3/4-1″ longer on the inside.
The sleeve in the “after” picture is hemmed to be shorter (less bulk overall) as well as angled. (Photo Credit: Fashion Fit Formula).
Show Some Shoulder
Showing the shoulders is not only feminine but also flattering, and an off-the-shoulder top intersects your arms in a way that is slimming. Another trick is to try a racerback or halter-style top instead of a conventional sleeveless style. Showing more of that shoulder will make the arm look slimmer without covering it.
No Tight Armholes or Sleeves
Tight armholes that squeeze your arms and cause skin to bulge out are never a good choice. Look for armholes that allow for comfort and flattery. Tight sleeves can also create an unflattering effect.
Skip Strappy & Strapless Styles
Spaghetti straps, which are thin and delicate, can make the arms look wider by comparison. And strapless styles create a strong horizontal line that tends to broaden the arms, and can also result in spillage over the back and around the underarm area.
Try a Boxy Top
If you don’t have broad shoulders, a boxy top with strong shoulders can make your arms appear relatively slim.
Find a V-Neck
A v-neck top creates a vertical line and keeps the eye moving, both of which can lead to slimmer looking arms.
Try a Firming Body Cream
A firming body cream with anti-aging ingredients is an important part of keeping your arms looking their best. My favorite is the Active Hydration Body Replenish from Rodan & Fields, but Nivea, Jergens, Sally Hansen, and many other brands have their own versions.
I hope that you found these strategies to slim your arms with style helpful! What is your biggest struggle when it comes to dressing your body? Let me know in the comments!
Nada Manley says
Thank you Darlene! I think a puffed shoulder, a shoulder pad or a strong tailored shoulder would be great with slanted shoulders. 🙂 And they are everywhere right now!
Darlene Bounds says
I loved this video – so helpful!! I have slanted shoulders. What can I do to make my clothes look better?