En español | We spend way too much time worrying about our arms. Do you wear long sleeves on a steamy 90-degree day? Tote a cardigan or shawl — and not for the air-conditioning? By age 50 every woman — even those with slender arms — has some arm dangle or flab. It's normal, thanks to Mother Nature and gravity. The great part is that all our arms, regardless of definition or lack of, can still look very appealing — bare or dressed to thrill. Here are 10 ways to do it from gutsy to glam. You can:
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1. Go sleeveless and forget about being self-conscious. No one is looking at your arms that closely, and if they are it's their problem not yours. Take control and wave buh-bye to arm anxiety. Chill out in any sleeve-free dress, jumpsuit or top you please..
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2. Firm up fast with low-weight dumbbells. You don't need an evening gown or major party for incentive, just the fact that arms respond quickly to targeted exercise. Daily workouts with light two- or three-pound dumbbells improve the jiggle pronto. Here's the catch: you need to strengthen the underarm muscles called the triceps — not just the biceps and deltoids. Otherwise you might end up with buff arms and shoulders and still have a dangle dilemma.
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3. Try sleeveless with cutaway armholes. Give sleeveless another chance with this athletic-inspired style. Scooped-out cutaway armholes are roomier than classic cuts, and display more of your shoulder and collarbones to shift attention away from the upper arms.
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4. Go with an extended shoulder or cap sleeve. Here's another illusion that benefits chunky or slim untoned arms — and it's the exact reverse of tip No. 2. Choose styles where the shoulder line extends to the very edge or even over the edge to form a mini cap sleeve. The increased coverage on the torso side diminishes the prominence of arms, and you still get to bare ‘em.
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5. Opt for a sheer sleeve. You don't necessarily need full coverage. A see-through sleeve in chiffon, mesh or lace can push any dress or top into your comfort zone without adding excess weight or bulk. Or, you can simply slip a sheer blouse or shapewear top with sleeves — like SPANX Arm Tights in black or white ($30 and up, spanx.com) — under any sleeveless top or dress for subtle coverage and peace of mind.
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6. Consider a classic tee-length sleeve. It covers just enough to keep underarm bra bulges a secret and give rounded upper arms definition. The fit can be bodysuit clingy, tailored (like a guy's shirt) or soft and silky like a blouse. The straight bottom line creates a new border between clothing and skin.
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7. Give elbow-length sleeves a chance. Half sleeves cover the most-likely-to-wiggle part of your arms and put relatively firmer forearms on display. As in tip No. 6, your eye draws a horizontal line where the sleeves end. There's a bonus here, too: Elbow sleeves frame the body on either side so your waist appears trimmer.
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8. Count on three-quarter sleeves. It is our favorite go-to length — also known as bracelet sleeves. They stop two or three inches short of your wrists, providing plenty of room for bangles, beads and watches. Of course, you can always roll and push up all long shirts, blouses, and sweater and jacket sleeves for an instant DIY three-quarter look, too.
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9. Bare your shoulders in fancy sleeves. Even if you're arm shy, you probably have amazing shoulders. Get gutsy and cool off in an off-shoulder top or dress with full-statement sleeves that turn camouflage chic for hot weather.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (3): Beatriz Velasco; Rachel Murray/Hulu; Franziska Krug/Longchamp
10. Wear summer sleeves with attitude. Statement sleeves that billow and flare are the ultimate diversion. Whether your sleeve is puffed, flounced, ruffled or winging out in an airy dolman cut, the good news is there's no need to slide them under jackets and coats. Why not have some fun? Nothing to hide here.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50-plus, check out The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your look at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson and Sandy Linter
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