How to Dress for Summer If You Don't Love Your Arms

Simple tricks for feeling secure

Summer is just around the corner, and that means high temps and humidity that make you want to wear as little clothing as is appropriate. That gets tricky if you’re not such a fan of your arms. (Hey, we’ve all got our one thing.) Here are a few tips for dressing for the heat without having to go strapless.

Make Sure Your Tops Aren't Too Tight

Not only is a too-tight top uncomfortable, but it often creates the much-bemoaned sausage effect. Wearing a looser sleeveless top balances proportions and keeps the look breezier and more chic. 

arms armholes
Tanesha Awasthi

And Make Sure Your Armholes Are High Enough

Here it’s all about striking the perfect balance between a cut that’s too high (read: unflatteringly squeezing your upper arms) and too low (i.e., too revealing). Look for a style that shows a flattering little sliver of skin right below your underarm but also covers your bra (and any side bits you may be concerned about).

Get In On The Off-the-shoulder Trend

Shoulder-baring tops are everywhere right now and for good reason. No, not just because they look super cute at brunch but because they’re also the perfect silhouette for hiding arm insecurities. The banded top exposes your strong shoulders and slim collarbone while covering the softer areas of your arms in one trendy fell swoop.

arms vneck
Walk In Wonderland

Wear A Sleeveless Shirt With A V-neck

Here’s a little trick: By wearing a shirt with a lower neckline, you’re highlighting your collarbone while drawing attention away from your arms. Plus, it means just a little bit more skin is uncovered (read: marginally cooler). 

Wear Attention-grabbing Bracelets

Kind of like the V-neck trick, a flash of rhinestones will draw the eye to the slimmest part of your arm--your wrist.

Wear Sleeves With Cutouts

Just because it has sleeves doesn’t automatically make a top off-limits for warmer weather. Look for sleeves with strategically placed cutouts or panels of gauze, which (in the fortunate event of a breeze) will feel oh so nice.

Or Wear Sleeves That Are Billowy

Ditto for dolman sleeves and caftans that cover your arms in lightweight, loose material.

Add Lightweight Layers

Introducing your new summer staple: the kimono. Think about it: It’s perfect. A layer of rayon minimizes any insecurities but is lightweight enough not to add a ton of heat.

susan waits

Lousy baker, stellar shopping buddy

You can find Susan either blissfully buried in a pile of clothes or on a plane between L.A. and NYC.