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13 Tips for How to Wear a Sleeveless Dress with Big Arms

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Sleeveless dresses and sleeveless tops flatter just about every body type. It is also one style most of us tend to steer clear of because it highlights our problem area — plump arms.

But come summer, no one wants to hide under layers of clothes. And you don’t have to!

If you’re wondering how to wear a sleeveless dress with fat arms, we’ve compiled some expert-backed tips and tricks that’ll give your arms a slimming effect and make you look and feel your absolute best!

Woman in pink sleeveless dressPin

13 Tips to Make Your Arms Look Slimmer in Sleeveless Dresses

Whether you’re struggling with bat wings or just a bit of chubbiness, making minor changes to your dressing style can bring a huge difference to your overall look and aesthetic. Bare arms can be a part of your look and style.

1. Don’t Knock it Until You Try it: In-Cut Style Edition

Off shoulder dress option for fat armsPin

Sleeveless dresses are not a specific clothing item but a category with many styles and cut-out designs.

So, instead of sticking with the classic style that fully bares your flabby arms, step out of the box and opt for a deeper cut to add some dimension to your look. A cold shoulder top or off-the-shoulder design with an open neckline will help balance your overall appearance by drawing attention to your shoulder area.

2. Wear A Cover-Up

Green cardigan cover up for fat arms in sleeveless dressPin

If you’re uncomfortable with showing your big arms, you could use a cover-up over your sleeveless dress.

A cardigan, jacket, or even a loose long-sleeved shirt could work in an outdoor setting or during winter months, but flowy scarves or shrugs with a flutter sleeve are great for the hot weather. They’ll give you a classy and elegant look without overheating you.

A light layer can create the same effect as a dress with short sleeves or even long sleeves while making you feel more comfortable.

3. Strapless Dresses Are a No-No

No strapless dresses for big armsPin

Strapless dresses look stunning. Unfortunately, they also tend to expose just about everything — arms, shoulders, and the skin around your armpits. These dresses will not only make your arms look bulkier but they’ll also push out armpit fat and ruin your entire outfit.

If you want to show off your shoulders or collarbone, go for off-shoulder dresses instead!

4. Highlight Your Waistline

Want to take the attention away from your problem area? Instead of finding ways to hide or conceal them, focus on different body parts.

Choose dresses with a cinched waist or use a belt to define your waistline. It’ll bring attention to your silhouette and make your outfit look more structured.

5. Avoid Tight Armholes

If the arm holes of your sleeveless outfit are tight, they will accentuate your arm fat and bring more attention to your problem areas and completely ruin your look.

Such dresses also restrict your movement and won’t give you room to breathe, making matters worse. The same goes for a dress or top with sleeves. Tight sleeves just don’t help matters.

6. Thicker Straps = Thinner-Looking Arms

Blue wider straps dress for how to wear sleeveless dress with fat armsPin

Sleeveless dresses with thin straps may look like a dream, but they leave a large area of exposed skin, which is a no-go territory for those with chubby arms. While you can pair them with cover-ups with shorter sleeves, they won’t be suitable for every occasion.

So, instead of noodle or spaghetti straps, opt for dresses with broad, thicker straps. They will make your proportions look more balanced and won’t accentuate your problem area as much. Wider straps are a great option for how to wear a sleeveless dress with fat arms.

7. Try Boxy Shapes

The boxy shape, true to its name, will make your upper body look square. It’s a stylish and comfortable style that will give our dress a broad silhouette, creating an illusion of smaller arms.

However, you need to be careful with this style and boxy dresses can look shabby. Choose dresses made with flowy fabrics, which will not hug your body but still create some definition.

8. Use Makeup to Create an Illusion of Toned Arms

Spray tanning armsPin

If all fails, makeup will have your back.

Flex your creative muscles and use a waterproof bronzer or self-tanner to highlight the lines between your biceps and triceps — it will bring the illusion of slimmer arms to the fore.

9. V-Neck Dress FTW

Yellow V-Neck DressPin

A deep neckline such as a v-neck creates an illusion of a longer neck, brings attention to your face and neck, and accentuates your collarbones. It won’t create a horizontal line across your arms and instead deflect from your flabby arms.

Just make sure the straps of the dress fit you perfectly, or they’ll dig into your shoulders and spoil the whole effect.

10. Wear Accessories

Large bracelet Pin

The right accessories can transform any outfit.

Wearing attention-grabbing accessories like layered bracelets is the best way to get your arms looking thinner. They will not only create more space between them and your skin, giving the illusion of thinner arms but also add to your outfit.

You could also use big, bold earrings or necklaces to draw the eye toward your face, which will take the attention away from your problem spots. Use accessories to create a focal point away from your arms.

11. Choose The Right Bra

Wearing the wrong size or an ill-fitted bra does more damage to your overall look than you’d think. It digs into the skin and causes bulges and spills, which could draw attention toward your large upper arms and wreck your entire look.

To ensure your bra is not holding you back, know how to find the right bra. It will make you look and feel better put-together and even help fix your posture.

12. Work on Your Posture

Good posture can make you look attractive and feel confident.

If you’re looking to take attention away from how big or flabby your arms are:

●      Tilt your shoulders down and back; it’ll take accentuate your neck and collarbone.

●      Keep your elbows bent and away from your body just a teeny tiny bit; it will stretch out the flab and make your heavy arms look slimmer.

13. Get Your Head in the Game with A Last Minute Workout

Toned arms for a defined lookPin

Believe it or not, a few last-minute push-ups can do wonders to give your arm a defined look.

So, before you step out of the house, do a few wall push-ups if you can; it will increase blood flow to your arms and make them appear more toned.

 Now that you know how to wear a sleeveless dress with fat arms, it’s time to dust off your sleeveless dresses from their resting place in your closet. Pair them with accessories and cover-ups like a sheer top, and flaunt your best sleeveless looks!

And give yourself some grace. Saying you have “fat arms” is a bit on the negative side. Many women, even skinny women, are self-conscious of their upper arms. Arms may be large, small but flabby, or just less defined than you would like them to be. But they are just one part of you.

Wear the dresses you feel confident in- sleeveless or otherwise.

Shop sleeveless dresses (plus sizes included):

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