How to cover your upper arms while staying stylish and cool!

by Sylvia

How to cover your upper arms | 40plusstyle.com

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.

chiffon blouse - perfect for hiding arms | 40plusstyle.com

Chiffon 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

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 top, a sleeve that opens down the side or front to allow the arm to pass through.

Cold shoulder top | 40plusstyle.com

Cold shoulder top

Opt for for cut-open sleeves and cold should tops

Cold shoulder top

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

 strapless 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.

How to cover your upper arms - with a sheer top | 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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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Greetje

I think I am already a pro at this haha. As you saw with my bluw white yellow shirt.

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2 Sylvia

You are! Next time I should just use your images to illustrate the article 🙂

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3 Catherine

I’m not one to cover up my arms. Even though they may be a bit on the thick side, there is just more of my arms to admire!

That being said, when I do want a bit of coverage, I’ll just wear short sleeves. Not a cap sleeve but a true-to-live short sleeved T–shirt. I’ll also throw a lightweight cardigan over a sleeveless t or shirt.

I’m sort of considering adding one of those off-the-shoulder shirts because I like the vibe but I’m not sure yet………………..

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4 Susan Davis

Thank you for the great suggestions, but do you have some ways to fashionably cover the lower arms, too? I’ve thought of wearing a long sleeve shirt under a short or elbow-length sleeved blouse or jacket, but it seems to shout “old person”. Do you have some ideas that would work? This is the first time I’ve commented, but I love reading your blog. I hope to get your e-book soon!

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5 Catherine

I always wear a long sleeved shirt but roll the arms to just inbetween the elbows and the wrists–this give the look a younger vibe.

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6 Linda

Unfortunately, I don’t look good in the peasant style blouse which I love so much!

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7 Melisa

I’ve never liked to wear sleeveless because I have very narrow sloping shoulder and look very frumpy in sleeveless. It’s so hard to find short sleeves, except for T-shirts, which is one reason I mostly wear fitted Tees. Too hot already for layers except maybe the sheer layer. But what do you do about bra straps with camisoles? At my age, I need a real bra (thank you so much, Gravity) and the straps are always wider than a camisole. Camis are so much cuter than tanks. BTW, you look awesome in the fedora and long vest!

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8 Melanie

I like to look in the beach cover up section for great airy layering pieces! Also chiffon kimonos are great for covering up but not too much.

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9 Mother & Daughter

I have more cardie’s than I can count. lol I love your ideas, I get so tired of my sweaters. I really do like the cold shoulder look.

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10 Pam

Some great ideas, a few I had not heard of. Much needed information. Sharing!!!

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11 nancy

Great tips. I sometimes forget , in a store, not to buy sleeveless. And then I get Home and think:oh Yeah, I should t wear that anymore!

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12 Joan B

Many thanks Sylvia for this article; I really feel that now I do not want to expose my arms and so getting tips on how to cover them in summer is really useful. Some lovely ideas to look out for in the shops.

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13 Sherry Edwards

I haven’t really given this much thought. I guess it’s something I need to think about. Usually I prefer to wear sleeveless tops in the summer. It feels soooo summery. However, indoors it’s always freezing, so I need a sweater, jacket or shawl. Outdoors I prefer just a top. I do have a lot of nice, flowy tops with sleeves which I like but these ones cannot be worn with a sweater or jacket, only a shawl.

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14 marilyn

Hi, I am a 61 year old female who mostly wears jeans and t shirts. i have a heck of a time finding t shirts that cover the upper flabby batwing on my arms. not 3 quarter length as that is too hot in the summer, just a true halfway between the elbow and shoulder. I resort to buying mens t shirts to get this length bur sacrifice a cute t shirt. I do believe there is a market for this. I have asked many a sales person why they do not carry t shirts for women older or not who want to cover their upper arms. They all say write the manufacture because we want them too and so do most older or overweight women!

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15 gina

The only place that I have found t-shirts that are a sturdier cotton that doesn’t cling to all my lumps and bumps and have longer sleeves is Lands End. I live in those during the summer because the days of going sleeveless are in the past.

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16 Margo

Appropriately named, “My New Arms®” gives women the confidence to wear sleeveless garments once again. Sheer sleeves are attached to a stretch bra extending gracefully from the shoulder down to the wrist with an elastic finish to hold in place giving the illusion of natural arms. It’s highly versatile and it can be worn over a favorite bra, or under almost any garment. The jiggle is gone and the crepey-ness no longer visible.

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17 Margo

My New Arms is the real solution!
This is an ingenious arm enhancement solution for women constantly in search of ways to conceal, or disguise un-toned arms without anyone realizing it!
Appropriately named, “My New Arms®” gives women the confidence to wear sleeveless garments once again. Sheer sleeves are attached to a stretch bra extending gracefully from the shoulder down to the wrist with an elastic finish to hold in place giving the illusion of natural arms. It’s highly versatile and it can be worn over a favorite bra, or under almost any garment. The jiggle is gone and the crepey-ness no longer visible.

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18 Susan

These are some great suggestions. I’m going to be 41 this year and can still get away with wearing tanktops and going sleeveless, but I do like mixing things up a little bit.

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19 Judie

I want to buy a cotton dress, Midi, but it has cap sleeves, Could I take the sleeves off and wear another sleeve, perhaps edging it with fab. from the cap sleeves? I’m only interested in covering the top part of the arm.

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