Now that we are in Spring with Summer quickly approaching, I have had several questions and requests about how to wear sleeveless tops and outfits with mature looking arms. I have them also! My mother used to call that part that keeps waving after you stop waving her “pelican necks”, ha! Regular exercise with light weights does help, but areas like this are going to be softer and more difficult to keep firm as we age, especially after menopause. Many of us have also experienced weight fluctuations which also compounds the issue. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never have “Madonna” arms, but there are ways to dress that can help.
Sleeveless Details to Remember
First off, make sure that the sleeveless armholes in the top are not cut too deep or too tight. It should be a shallow cut and just enough to expose the area without showing too much skin and bulge. If it is too binding, then it accentuates the area making the shoulder area look bigger. A looser flowing sleeveless top helps with this also. Wearing a well-fitting bra with plenty of side support also helps control the underarm area. This sleeveless navy lace asymmetrical top that I bought from Versona has an armhole that is just right.
Sleeveless Shoulder Area
Another way to flatter the arm area is to make sure the sleeveless outfit has plenty of coverage across the shoulder. Avoid skinny straps, and please do not wear ANYTHING strapless. We are way beyond showing all of the skin from our armpits to our earlobes, ha! Leave that to the 20-somethings, it is their turn now. A V-neck style sleeveless outfit is also more flattering since it emphasizes the neck and decolletage area bringing the eye up to your face and away from the arms.
Other Sleeveless Options
A modified sleeveless look is to opt for a soft cap sleeve or smaller short ruffle at the top of the shoulder. Just be sure that the fabric is soft and flowy, like crepe or silk, to avoid emphasizing the shoulder area. Sheer lace and voile fabric sleeves are also good options, either elbow-length or full-length.
I chose to wear my faux pearl multi-strand necklace with faux pearl drop earrings for a fresh clean look. I bought my necklace from Avon a couple of years ago, and I think the earrings came from Belk. I found this complete set as an option for you on Amazon. This asymmetrical hemline sleeveless top is about as far as I can go with any type of ruffle or peplum. All the way around would be too young for me and would emphasize my hips, which I try to minimize since that is where ALL of my weight wants to go. I like the red shoes with navy and white to add a surprise pop of color, plus it is patriotic – a fun option for a 4th of July picnic! I have had the sandals for a couple of years, they are “Rayana” by Life Stride with light support. I found similar styles here and here on Amazon.
Mixing dressy with casual works as long as it flows with the smooth sleek look. My favorite white jeans are the Mid-Rise Super Skinny style from Old Navy. They have plenty of stretch and are comfortable. I did go up one size to have a smooth look, but probably could have stayed with my actual size. These jeans do relax after wearing them for a few hours. I rolled up the cuffs one roll for a dressier look with sandals. More skin showing above the ankle makes your legs look longer and leaner for a nicely balanced appearance.
Ankle Strap Shoe Option
For a more neutral look, this ankle strap wedge style is a good option. Did you know that this style shoe has been around since the 1940s, if not before? My wedges are by Merona which is a Target brand that I have had for around three years now. I have found more options for you — I LOVE this style by Nine West on Amazon, cute criss-cross detail with a GREAT price point. Here is another option by Crocs on Amazon, the upper is all leather, Crocs are so comfortable. Here is one more pair by Kenneth Cole on Amazon that has lots of color options.
I do not have to unzip the zipper to put on and take off, I just use the buckle strap. If you go for a style like this, be sure there is elastic in the ankle like mine so that it gives with your foot when you walk and won’t be binding.
Did you enjoy this post about sleeveless outfit options?
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