How to Hide Flabby Arms


Flabby arms are the bane of most women’s existence in our 50’s. All of a sudden those lovely short sleeve tops and dresses just don’t look as good as they used to.

Not long after I turned 50 I discovered, quite by surprise, that I too had flabby arms. When did that happen?  Perhaps I was in denial, but it wasn’t until I saw photos of myself from a special occasion where I proudly wore a beautiful midnight blue cap-sleeve designer dress that I found for a steal at Nordstrom (it was a Tadashi Shogi) that I came to this realization, though.  I was so excited to wear that dress.  In the store mirror and in the full-length mirror at home, I felt great in it!  I loved the cute cap sleeve and thought that it was very flattering.  I was horrified when the pictures came back though when I realized how unflattering those cap sleeves were on my now flabby arms. What a rude awakening, at least to me!  Others said I was being way too hard on myself and maybe I was, but I was so surprised by the what I saw.  From that point on, figuring out how to hide my upper arms was my number one priority.

Recently, as I was searching for other options for hiding flabby arms and I was delighted to find some great tips from Style Expert Deborah Boland from Fabulous After 40.   Deborah recommends 3/4 length sleeves because they end at the very narrow part of your arm, highlighting your forearm and a “delicate wrist.”  She also recommends wide long sleeves such as Kimono, long flutter sleeves or bell sleeves.

Here are some examples of the different types of 3/4 length sleeve types that Deborah recommends.

I really like the mandarin collar on this 3/4 sleeve blouse.  The rounded hem is very flattering, as well.


NYDJ - 3/4 Sleeve Pleat Back (Sunworn Tile) Women's Blouse


Tunics are fun, in the Summer.   In addition to the flattering sleeves on this one I also find the neckline flattering.  And, who doesn’t like a touch of whimsy in the Summer!  Aren’t those sailboats cute?  So beachy!

Lilly Pulitzer - Amelia Island Tee (Resort White) Women's T Shirt


This Boatneck Dress with it’s bell sleeves is flattering not only to the arms but the neckline is great for balancing out the larger sleeve, especially on a pear-shaped figure.  I also love the lace pattern hemline.


Tahari by ASL - Stanley - Q Dress (Navy) Women's Dress

Kimonos are so on trend right now and they too, as Deborah pointed out, are very flattering to an otherwise flabby arm. I love this look!  Boho and very chic!

Chaser - Oversized Kimono Top (Tapestry) Women's Clothing

Whether you’re looking to hide your flabby arms or just like a 3/4 length sleeve, each of these pieces gives you some great options to work with for a variety of different looks.

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