What to Wear When You Don’t Want to Go Sleeveless (Refresh)
The unpredictable weather that we’ve had over the past months has been keeping many of us guessing well into each day about how to dress for the conditions of the moment. Finally, it seems that warm and even hot weather has arrived. With it’s arrival, the sleeveless or no sleeveless dilemma is once again front and center. At least for me.
If you’ve been following Dez & Dot for a few years, this theme might sound familiar. I’ve written about it a couple of times. I guess it’s one of those style/aging/body questions that hasn’t presented a clear answer, because here I am again.
This post is a refresh of one by the same title that appeared just over two years ago.
I’ve always had long, slender arms – I called them Olive Oyl arms – and was happy to wear sleeveless tops for years. However, age has affected my arms in a way that doesn’t thrill me. Though my arms are still slender and fairly toned, thanks to my arm workouts, that loose skin is something that really bothers me. I don’t feel great about going sleeveless.
I know there are a lot of women who, for a variety of reasons, share my reluctance to bare arms in warm weather. But what options work for looking stylish and weather appropriate while keeping cool in the summer? The answer: There are A LOT of styles that look chic and keep you covered up but cool. Here are a few options that you can integrate into your warm weather wardrobe that keep your arms covered and you cool.
I love the look of a sheer, long-sleeved blouse or shirt. I have several and wear them in both cool and warm weather. This style will keep your arms covered while helping you stay cool. If the see-through fabric seems a little too transparent, you can always wear a camisole in a neutral or contrasting color. Rolling the sleeves up gives a long-sleeved blouse another style option as well as giving your skin some breathing room. Some shirt styles come with a button tab to hold up the sleeve when rolled, like the black and white blouse here.
The cold-shoulder trend continues. It works well for almost everyone – most people’s shoulders look good regardless of age and weight. There’s something a little sexy too about that peek of shoulder, almost more so than baring the entire arm.
I suppose this is a bit of a no brainer but still worth mentioning. The short sleeve top is a great option to keep cool when you prefer to keep your upper arms covered. Patterns help keep focus centered rather than on the arms.
This is a look I’ve recently come to really like. The elbow length sleeve hits just above the elbow. The trick for not falling into the trap of looking old when wearing this style (god forbid!) is to make sure the sleeve fits close to the arm rather than being loose.
The Classic White Blouse
The classic white shirt or blouse is a go-to for looking fresh and feeling cool while keeping arms covered. The white color doesn’t absorb heat the way darker colors do, and you always have the option of rolling the sleeves up to give arms a bit of air.
Cap or Cuffed Sleeve
If you don’t want to go sleeveless but still like a bare arm, the cap sleeve style gives just a tad more coverage than a tank top.
Although I don’t have a linen look featured in this post, linen is a great, keep-cool option. You do have to accept that it’s going to be wrinkled, because that’s just linen. And there’s something classy about the rumpled appearance of linen.
And Then There Are Times for Sleeveless
There are going to be times that the right thing is sleeveless. Tropical vacations fall into that category. And times when you’re wearing a topper over a sleeveless top or dress and it gets too warm to leave the topper on. Here are a few tips:
- Embellisments to draw the eye – In these two outfits, embellishments draw the eye so the focus isn’t on the bare arms. The ties on the blue top and the layered necklaces with the green dress give the eye a place to rest and make their own bold statements.
- Pattern and texture – Wearing a top or dress with a print or interesting fabric is another way to draw the eye to someplace other than your bare arms.
And sometimes we might just say, who cares? I’m going to wear what I like.