Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Call To Arms- Solutions for Those Waving Muscles

It used to be that our thighs were the number one concern on our body issues scale but somewhere along the way our upper arms have become the thing that most women least like about our bodies.
Perhaps it ties in with the whole fitness frenzy where tone and body mass index are more important than the number on our bathroom scale.  We hate the look of  fleshy upper arms so much that we have even taken to giving them graphically descriptive names like bingo wings or waving muscles.

I never used to think about my arms at all then one day, while drying my hair with a blow dryer, I noticed a jiggle and a wiggle waving back at me. CRAP! How did that happen? WHEN did that happen?
I started looking at other women and comparing my arms to theirs. Why do women do this? I could get my masters degree in comparison and body envy.

The arms I most admire belong to Lisa Rinna

I wanted to look like that so I started using resistance weights almost immediately and I have been loyal to my workouts for over a year now. This has definitely helped but my arms will probably never look like they did when I was in my baby and child toting thirties. C'est la vie. Add this to other body issues that I'm slowly coming to terms with.

 In an earlier post on my BeColorful blog I shared a link to the Seven Day Challenge for Summer Arms  - a great set of Youtube videos that offer some easy arm toning exercises with weights that could be done almost anywhere.

Still, even with exercise we may not get the results we would like or we don't have time to wait. We need to look good NOW!

Compounding the matter is the fact that for years the fashion world has ignored our pleas for stylish options with sleeves. Instead they have dismissed our cries for chic options by offering us fugly and matronly looking jackets.

No way. Not good. Step away from this hot mess of a dress. We are not ninety.

 Yes, it's summer and it's hot, so what's a girl to do?  
Maybe we start with what NOT to do. The least flattering sleeve is a probably a short fitted sleeve that stops at the widest part of the upper arm. This can actually make your arm look heavier than it is kind of like a skirt with horizontal stripes wouldn't be the best thing for most hips. It draws attention to the thickest part of your arm.

Instead try going for a three quarter sleeve that conceals the less toned or fuller part of the arm and reveals only the more slender forearm. 


This fools the eye into believing that the upper arm matches what we're showing off.

Another favorite upper arm tamer would be an off the shoulder with an elbow length sleeve.

Ralph Lauren for FreeBuy

Worried about needing a strapless bra? Well, those rules just don't apply anymore. Team this top with a  black bra. A black strap will look like it is part of the top. Or, if you're feeling bold, opt for pink or turquoise and flaunt those pretty straps.

A free flowing sleeve is feminine and flirty and also creates the illusion of a smaller arm.

Other times nothing other than totally sleeveless will do and surprisingly this look is almost always more attractive than a cap sleeve.


Another favorite trick of mine is to wear a top that is cut in at the shoulders, either a halter or racer back. This draws the eye away from the upper arm and toward the shoulder and face.


Shoulders can be very alluring.

So, don't dread summer and baring your arms. There are a number of flattering options out there that are sexy, youthful and on trend.

Embrace what you have and learn to highlight those assets.




  1. This is my WORST body part, so I appreciate this post a lot!

  2. Carol-Anne,
    You are fabulous so if this is what you consider the worst part of your body I am telling you you are WAAAAYYY too concerned about this. We all have something we hate. I have thinning hair. I obsess about it and it limits my styling options but I am learning how to make the best of what I have to work with.

    I do miss reading about what you've been up to. I know your life and those multiple jobs (3)? have to be overwhelming but maybe a quarterly post? :D Would love to be able to catch up.
    Thanks so very much for following and stopping in.