Many 40+ women like to cover their upper arms.

So how do you cover your upper arms while still staying cool? We share lots of strategies and products on how to cover your upper arms in this article.

Do you even need to cover your upper arms?

Well, it depends…

As you age, you may find myself wanting to cover up more and more parts of your body.

You may prefer presenting yourself in the most flattering way possible and that implies covering up ‘ugly’ parts, hiding loose skin, wrinkly parts, belly fat and so on.

It’s a personal choice and certainly not something you have to do. If you’re happy to show your arms, go for it!

There is no need to cover up at all and I personally believe that arms are beautiful, no more matter how discolored or wrinkly they may be.



You may also like: how to hide your belly with the right clothes


How to cover your arms

However, if you, like many women, prefer not to show your naked arms anymore but still want to stay cool in spring and summer, you will like my ideas on how to cover your upper arms.

Does that mean that from on you can only wear full length sleeves?

No, not at all.

That would not be comfortable in summer and a shorter sleeve is actually more flattering in most cases.

Fortunately, there are lots of other ways to cover your upper arms apart from just long sleeves.

Strategies for covering up your arms

To cover up your arms you can:

1. Wear something with sleeves, a no brainer

There is a lot of variation in sleeves though. In the length, the shape and the material.

Opt for light or sheer fabrics

If you go for full length sleeves you may want to try to look for certain fabrics like light material, (semi-)transparent and lace. All of these are relatively cool and airy.

You hardly feel transparent material on your ams and it is often good enough to mislead the eye of people.

sheer top to hide arms | 40plusstyle.com

Sheer Silk Blend Blouse

If you go for full length sleeves try to look for certain fabrics like light material, (semi-)transparent and lace. All of these are relatively cool and airy. You hardly feel transparent material on your ams and it is often good enough to mislead the eye of people.


Look for ‘airy’ kind of sleeves

The Bell sleeve top, a long sleeve that is fitted from shoulder to elbow and flared from elbow onwards.

bell sleeve top
Bell sleeve top

The Batwing sleeve top, a long sleeve with a deep armhole, tapering towards the wrist. The top below is available is super airy and available in all kinds of colors and prints.

A top with a batwing sleeve is airy and covers your arms | 40plusstyle.com

Batwing sleeve top

The Bishop sleeve top, fuller at the bottom than the top and gathered at the wrist in a cuff.

Bishop sleeve top | 40plusstyle.com

Bishop sleeve top

The Butterfly sleeve top, a short sleeve that gets a lot wider from the shoulder onwards.

Butterfly sleeve top

The cold shoulder tee, a sleeve that opens down the side or front to allow the arm to pass through.

cold shoulder tee | 40plusstyle.com

cold shoulder tee

Opt for for cut-open sleeves and cold should tops

cold shoulder top to hide arms | 40plusstyle.com

embroidered cold shoulder blouse

These tops are absolutely perfect for women who prefer to cover (part of their) upper arms yet still want to feel cool and sexy. Right now this is a HUGE trend so this is the time to stock up on these kind of tops as they can sometimes be hard to find.

strapless top | 40plusstyle.com

 off-shoulder top

2. Wear 3/4 sleeves

If you want to cover up a 3/4 or half arm sleeve is a great solution. It has the extra benefit that’s it’s super flattering too.

As the sleeves end at your waist, you tend to focus your eye there. The A-line shape tunic below is very flattering and the perfect top to wear over skinnies and leggings.

Cover your arms with 3/4 or 2/4 sleeves | 40plusstyle.com

2. Wear sleeveless, and wear something with sleeves over that

You can also start building your outfit with a sleeveless top like a short or long camisole.

Then you can add many kinds of toppers like cardigans, vests and boleros, but also the sheer blouses we mentioned above.

Her is an example of how I wore my sheer top over a long camisole.

sheer top over camisole | 40plusstyle.com

Another option is a shawl or pashmina, but they take a bit more effort to keep them in place

3. wear sleeveless and wear something with sleeves under that

You can also take your sheer blouses or other tops with cool sleeves and wear something on top of that.

The easiest way to do that is with a vest like this one from Covered Perfectly. (you can see how I wore this vest many different ways in this article).

Another advantage of wearing an outfit like this is that you’re creating a long lean line in your outfit which makes you taller and slimmer and hides your belly too!

Asymmetrical vests are great at hiding the bely | 40plusstyle.com

For many more ideas, check out this article on how to wear a long vest.

4. Cover up with a sheer cardigan or jacket

Another great way to cover up your arms  is to use a sheer cardigan or a cool jacket.

I have severed of these sheer cardigans in a variety of colors in my closet. Not just to cover my arms but also to stay warm. They’re super easy to pop into your bag as they don’t wrinkle.

You can wear these loose or tied with a knot as in the example below.

5. Get separate sleeves to cover arms

If you love many of your sleeveless blouses and dresses but want to cover up your arms, use a separate sleeve or arm cover up.

Sheer sleeves to cover arms

The arm shaper below is sheer and comes in many colors. It will be perfect to wear with your sleeveless tops and dresses.

Arm sleeves and arm shaper for women | fashion over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

Lace sleeves to cover arms

A popular brand to cover arms that’s higher quality is Sleevy Wonders. They offer both sheer but also lace arm covers that are perfect for sleeveless dresses.

lace arm covers | 40plusstyle.com

Jersey arm sleeves

If you like to cover your arms  with a sold color then a jersey sleeve is perfect for you. These are from Sleevy Wonders too and will be perfect to add under your sleeveless tops or dresses.

jersey arm sleeves to cover up arms | fashion over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

As you have seen there are many ways to cover up your arms in a stylish way. Now all you have to choose is whether you want to cover up or not. Both options are equally good!

Do you want to cover up your upper arms in Summer? If yes, how do you do it?

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How to cover your arms | 40plusstyle.com

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