Shape advice

How to make your upper arms appear slimmer

In our shape advice clinic you’ll find practical tricks and tips on how to make the most of your curves. A little expert knowledge along with some clever styling can work wonders when it comes to flaunting your figure.

Editor: Gabi van Rey

Regardless of size, upper arms are notoriously hard to tone up, much to our annoyance. Which means we can either hire a personal trainer and work out for hours every day or (our preferred option) go shopping, paying special attention to these top tips:

Secret weapons

Bandeau necklines, halter-neck, wide straps and spaghetti straps are best avoided if you have fuller upper arms. Instead go for layered looks which are more complementary and mean you don’t have to avoid certain tops, you can just wear something over them instead.

Whether lightweight cardigans, blazers, denim jackets or leather jackets in the summer or capes & ponchos as well as wide scarves & wraps for the cold season.

When it comes to evening dresses, which often don’t have sleeves, opt for a stole, shawl or bolero for extra coverage. Or you can go for styles that have sheer sleeves which look feminine and elegant, yet flattering.

Extra tip: Instead of worrying about your upper arms,  shine the light on your favourite assets, like wearing a statement belt if you like to show off your waist or a pair of sleek high heels if you love your legs.

Choosing the sleeve length

The choice is yours: three-quarter, cropped, or long, also look to cuffs that end below the elbow or roll-up sleeves with a tab and button.

The important thing to take into consideration is that the sleeves should not end at the widest point of the upper arm.

Look to loose fits

If you want to flatter the upper arms, choose clothing that is a little wider at this point. Perfect styles include kimono, batwing, butterfly or bell sleeves.

But be careful with puff sleeves: although they are cut loosely, they fit tightly around the arm.

 Prints & colours

Dark tones fade into the background which help your upper arms appear slimmer. So that you’re not only relying on dark tones, opt for shirts and jackets that have dark sleeves, these will also give you the same effect.

You should also choose prints wisely. Patterns that are too big can add bulk or distort because the fabric stretches. Shimmering or glittering fabrics are also best avoided.