How can I wear a sleeveless top when my arms look like this? 34



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One of our Starts at 60 Style community members has asked:

“I love the look of a lot of the sleeveless styles at the moment, but I am not comfortable bearing my upper arms at all!  I wish I could wear these cool designs, do you have any suggestions?”

Mary Sandler


I love your questions Stylers! Mary you are not alone when it comes to wanting to keep your upper arms under wraps. I am sure most women get to a point in their lives where they feel the same way.


You have a few options.

1  Acceptance

Embrace your body for what it is.  Learn to live with your arms just the way they are by choosing not to be self conscious and loving your arms.

2  Change how they look

You could do something about their appearance.  Simple things like exfoliating and moisturising the skin will keep it looking supple and fresh.

Adopting some gentle toning exercises will help to firm them up also.  You would be surprised by what you can achieve in 10 minutes a day!   Remember that consistency is the key and it will take at least two weeks to start to see a subtle improvement.   In your upper arms you have two muscles – the biceps at the front and the triceps at the back.  Both will need toning.  Two of the very best exercises for your upper arms are the plank and the good ol’ push up.

Start gently (I know I cannot do a proper push up!) with push-ups against the kitchen bench gradually building up to what works for you on the floor.  It is important to keep good form to avoid injury.  Start off with one set of about 10, building up to 2 or 3 sets daily of 10-15 repetitions.  With the plank, go steady as well.  Start off holding the plank for 10 seconds, then build up to holding for 60 seconds or more.  I recommend speaking to your gp, physio or trusted health professional before embarking on any exercise regime – it needs to be suitable for you!

Don’t forget that even a hint of self tanner will make a difference- creating the illusion of slimmer, healthier arms.





3  Dress smart

Wear your favourite clothes & add a light layer over the top.  I know that this can be challenging in an Australian summer.  Look for the coolest fabrics you can find.  Here are some great styles that we recommend.

Little mesh cardis like these come in a variety of colours and styles.  I find they wear well and tend to go with everything.

Vigorella mesh wrap cardi

Available here

Threadz handbag cardigan

Available here

Millers tie front slub cardi

Available here

Why not embrace the current trend of cold shoulder tops?  This way you are not showing all of your upper arms – just giving a little peek-a-boo of the shoulders!

Capture boho top

Available here

A denim jacket goes with everything.  Generally 100% cotton, they are a great layering solution.

Katies cotton denim jacket

Available here





Wear something sheer layered over sleeveless.

TS14 shadow melrose top

Available here

TS14 spot on jacket

Available here

Next broderie short sleeved shirt

Available here

The kimono is one of this seasons must have styles.  I like this design as it shows a glimpse of skin and it will keep you cool.

Katies crochet insert kimono

Available here


Do you have any tips for Mary?  Have you found these tips useful?  Please send us in your questions – we love hearing from you!



Siobhan Beirne

Siobhan Beirne is a creative soul with extensive experience in both the fashion & beauty industries. With a keen passion for helping women to look and feel their best, Siobhan cannot wait to share her tips with you all.

  1. My question is, “Isn’t there ANYTHING around these days that a larger size, elderly lady can wear and look good in?”

    2 REPLY
    • Wish I could help you there. I struggle to find clothes that I am really happy with. I am sick of polyester because it does not breathe, and in the warmer climates you need clothes that do breathe and that look good. Even the big department stores don’t seem to cater for older people.

    • I am a larger size (20-22 depending on cut) 61 and swear by Autograph – almost my whole wardrobe is from there these days – well priced esp at their regular sales too

      1 REPLY
      • I love autograph too Helen. I have though started to wear sleeveless tops and even have a couple of singlet tops that I wear a lot, it was my frame of mind that kept me from wearing these items.

        sales are fantastic at autograph, if at all possible it may be best to try on their styles (if buying over internet)…..then you will know you size in the fashionable autograph range. I also love the service at the stores, all the staff are great at assisting and always cheerful

  2. I’ve just bought some lovely shrugs fron eBay they are fantastic and go to larger sizes go to eBay and key in shrugs and have a look I bought an electric blue one a black one and a white one the are great if like me need to hide your arms and stay cool ☺️

  3. if you feel confident and comfortable, dosen’t matter what age, what style, don’t worry about other people’s opinion, your attitude carries an outfit I have started dressing younger with having a wonderful husband who loves me no matter

  4. Other than that — buy dresses with sleeves 🙂

    3 REPLY
    • If you can find them – I tried this weekend and there were none with proper sleeves – just capped sleeves which doesn’t solve my problem… Gorgeous dresses around this season. I’m short so looking at whether the extra length in fabric might give me enough to reset a decent length sleeve. I just restyled a Tshirt to get sleeves and neckline the length I like…

    • Judi Heard Exactly – all they seem to make for us BBWs is sleeveless summer and winter dresses

  5. I wear a lot of sleeveless tops because I struggle with the heat. Yes, my arms aren’t what they used to be, but I don’t think they are too bad. Anything that helps me feel cooler works for me.

    1 REPLY
    • I totally agree and no sleeves work for me!

  6. I still wear covered up dresses and blouses but lately I’ve been thinking we accept trickiest with their fat bellies and monster opus arms dressed in Jackie How singlet and stubbies as the NORM so men should just accept us for who and what we look like sloppy arms or not and other women for that matter after you have kids some are lucky to regain their figures completely but not me after my seven whom I love dearly I have fallen victim to preggie” tummy and sloppy arms but heck who gives a stuff I am contented with my life at 62 there are more important things to worry about in this world like all the sick kids in the world etc

  7. TS14 and Autograph, are the 2 stores I shop at although now most TS14 are inside some Myer stores because I think they have closed most of their stores.

    1 REPLY

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