The Range: Sleeved Tops for Summer

Jun 10, 2024

What is the one, slightly ridiculous hangup that you have about your body? I’ll go first.

My arms. My Mom-belly rarely bothers me.  My hips have never caused me a negative thought.  I made peace with my thighs in college and let that self hatred just slip away.  But my arms. . .their transformation from slender and toned to shapeless and jiggly has just been too much.  

In an era of body-neutrality, this isn’t an evolved position, but it’s how I genuinely feel.  As a result, I stopped wearing sleeveless tops and dresses in my early 30s.  And I mean, stopped.  

In the warm weather months, this blight of vanity has made it difficult to find clothes.  So many cute dresses are sleeveless, strappy, or racerback.  The best summer tops always cut off above the deltoids.  But no matter how cute the piece is, it will remain on the rack.

While I have tried to make peace with my arms, I cannot.  This amount of self-acceptance is years of therapy into the future.  And while I recently returned to the gym, working out is a process, and if I over focus on external results, I will quit when they are slow to arrive.  So all I can do for now is cover my arms and pray either for enlightenment or a sudden love of weight lifting.

Here are some sleeved tops to help get you through summer if you also prefer a sleeve.

Mango Fluid Short Sleeve Shirt 

Tuckernuck Verdant Iris Blouse

Eloquii Draped Tie Top (Sizes 14-32)

Hobbs London Eyelet Top

Anthropologie Darcey Popover

Mac Duggal Wrap Top

J.Crew Clip Dot Top (40% Off Today Only)

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

 

Features, Posts, The Range

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  1. Stella says:

    My body hang up is my knees. Anyone have a recommendation for making elephant-skin knees look less elephant-skin?

    • Alli says:

      Sorry no. But solidarity for the knees – I’m so glad that midi skirts and dresses are in fashion now

      • Jennifer Thorimbert says:

        Knees for me, too. I’m also glad midi and maxi skirts are back.

        The only thing I’ve found to make any difference is weightlifting. As the muscles in my quads grow, at least there’s some shape to my leg near where the saggy knees and cellulite are. I try to focus on “hey the muscles at least look good” when I wear shorts.

  2. Clara says:

    Same, girl. It’s all sleeves all the time over here.

  3. Anna says:

    I’ve always been self-conscious about my arms, even when I was thinner and had muscle definition. Now, they’re jigglier and even my previously beloved shoulders look more rounded, so I really appreciate this post!

  4. Suze says:

    Thighs and knees…I dread social situations which call for shorts.

  5. Laura says:

    I do not worry about my very jiggly arms because I am too busy worrying about my ever-expanding thighs. RE arms, I don’t buy J. Crew generally, but make an exception for Slim perfect-fit T-shirt, which has perfect one-third arm sleeves

  6. Jill says:

    Also not crazy about my arms, though as a friend pointed out, flabbiness will only continue with age, so might as well wear sleeveless now, ha.

  7. Mallory says:

    Amen!! this has been my problem my whole life. While always slender my arms are disproportionately big. I would love to be able to wear a tank top but haven’t in years. I am having a really hard time finding a dress for a summer semi formal wedding. Any ideas? I am 57 so short dresses aren’t great anymore 🙁

  8. E says:

    I have the opposite problem – I’m always on the hunt for non-sheer, non-revealing, work appropriate TANKS to layer under cardigans/blazers then shed when I walk to & from work and around the Hill in the 100+ degree humid swamp of DC. Ideally breathable cotton or linen, none of this stifling poly/silk/wool business. Would love a future post on this!

  9. Anon says:

    I’ve never been comfortable with my arms either due to suffering from Keratosis Pilaris – but luckily I don’t live in a hot climate, so no need to show off my arms

  10. Tiffany says:

    I’m with you on the arms. Although I’m not loving the mom belly either. Back to the gym I go!

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