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 some 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 our article on how to hide your belly with the right clothes.

How to cover your arms

How to cover your upper arms - Dayle wears a three-quarter length sleeve top | 40plusstyle.com

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.

Dayle @artfulcitystyle above (read her style interview here) opts for three-quarter length sleeves which are perfect for showing off her statement bracelets.

Get her look with this similar top, pants, sneakers, necklace and bracelets.

Strategies for covering up your arms

To cover up your arms you can:

Wear something with sleeves, a no brainer

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

The rumple fabric blouse (below) comes in a variety of colors and is easy to dress up or down.

Vince Camuto Rumple Fabric Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

Vince Camuto Rumple Fabric Blouse

Opt for light or sheer fabrics

How to cover your upper arms - Dorrie wears a sheer sleeve top | 40plusstyle.com

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.

Dorrie @seniorstylebible above (read her style interview here) wears a sheer sleeve blouse that would be perfect for covering up your arms.

Steal her look with this similar blouse, pants, sandals, handbag, earrings and sunglasses.

CeCe Sheer Sleeve Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

CeCe Sheer Sleeve 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

bell sleeve

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

The top below comes in a wide range of colors and reviewers say they are impressed by the quality and it’s an easy top to dress up or down for work or with jeans.

Vetinee 3/4 Bell Sleeve Mesh Panel Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

Vetinee 3/4 Bell Sleeve Mesh Panel Blouse

batwing sleeve

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. Reviewers say the style below is good to wear with high waisted jeans or pants.

luvamia Tie Knot Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

luvamia Tie Knot Blouse

bishop sleeve

How to cover your upper arms - Kimba in a knotted top | 40plusstyle.com

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

Kimba @kimbalikes above wears her print top with khaki pants.

Recreate her outfit with this similar blouse, jeans and loafers.

The blouse below comes in a choice of colors and has sheer sleeves that will cover up your arms while still feeling airy. The neckline will also help to draw the eye upwards away from your arms.

Sheer sleeve blouse to cover your upper arms | 40plusstyle.com

JASAMBAC Scalloped TSheer Sleeve Blouse

butterfly sleeve

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

The wrap blouse (below) should flatter most body shapes, either creating curves or helping to flatter curvy figures. It’s a faux wrap style and reviewers say it is a lightweight fabric.

Romwe Wrap Peplum Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

Romwe Wrap Peplum Blouse

puff sleeve

Puff sleeve tops are particularly on trend at the moment as can be ideal for covering up the top of your arms. Because the sleeves are voluminous, this can help to make your lower arms look slimmer. The puff sleeve top (below) has a square neck which tends to be a flattering look if you have a big bust.

Romwe Puff Sleeve Square Neck Top | 40plusstyle.com

Romwe Puff Sleeve Square Neck Top

flutter sleeve

How to cover your upper arms while staying stylish and cool! | 40plusstyle.com

Deborah @deborahgates_ above (read her style interview here) opts for a beautiful flutter sleeve top that would go with everything from skirts to jeans.

Get her look with this similar top, maxi skirt, sandals and earrings.

The flutter sleeve top (below) would be a good option for summer or vacation. Women who have worn it say they got lots of compliments.

WIHOLL Ruffle Sleeve Top | 40plusstyle.com

WIHOLL Ruffle Sleeve Top

cold shoulder

The cold shoulder tee, a sleeve that opens down the side or front to allow the arm to pass through. This has the advantage of showing off your shoulders, if this is a part of your body you like, while covering up your upper arms.

TFSDOD Cut Out Lace Cold Shoulder Top | 40plusstyle.com

TFSDOD Cut Out Lace Cold Shoulder Top

Bluetime Lace Cold Shoulder Top | 40plusstyle.com

Bluetime Lace Cold Shoulder Top

off the shoulder

How to cover your upper arms - Georgette in a bardot style top | 40plusstyle.com

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.

Georgette @grownandcurvywoman above (read her style interview here) looks stunning in her bardot-style top. Her outfit is a beautiful color combination of orange and white, and by choosing nude shoes, her legs look super long.

Check out this similar off the shoulder top, shorts, sandals, woven tote, belt and earrings.

FARYSAYS Striped Off The Shoulder Front Tie Knot Top | 40plusstyle.com

FARYSAYS Striped Off The Shoulder Front Tie Knot Top

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 Karen Kane asymmetric top (below) is also a great style for covering your belly.

Karen Kane Asymmetrical Crepe Top | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Kane Asymmetrical Crepe Top

Wear sleeveless, and wear something with sleeves over that

sheer top over camisole | 40plusstyle.com

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.

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

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

Below, you can see how you could wear a ruana over a camisole.

Ruana and camisole | 40plusstyle.com

Kate Spade New York Floral RuanaNordstrom Everyday Satin Camisole

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.

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!

The example below shows how you could wear a sleeveless vest over a longer-sleeved top.

How to cover your upper arms with a sleeveless vest | 40plusstyle.com

LL Sleeveless Draped Open Front CardiganDoublju 3/4 Sleeve Surplice Top

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

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.

SHU-SHI Sheer Shrug Knit Cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

SHU-SHI Sheer Shrug Knit Cardigan

A sheer bolero could be another good option, particularly if you want a dressier evening choice.

Alex Evenings Short Bolero Shrug Jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Alex Evenings Short Bolero Shrug Jacket

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

Lace sleeves

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.

Sleevey Wonders Basic 3/4 Length Slip-on Lace Sleeves | 40plusstyle.com

Sleevey Wonders Basic 3/4 Length Slip-on Lace Sleeves

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.

Sleevey Wonders Basic 3/4 Length Slip-on Jersey Sleeves | 40plusstyle.com

Sleevey Wonders Basic 3/4 Length Slip-on Jersey Sleeves

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!

shop more items here:

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 upper arms while staying stylish and cool! | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Deborah @deborahgates_

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