How to Make Your Arms Look Thinner in a Dress

Slimmer Arms Are Just a Few Style Tricks Away

Celebs and stylists know the secrets to making arms appear thinner: it’s all about wearing the right clothes, accessories, and even contouring with tanner and makeup. If you don’t have time to tone up before your big formal, these style tricks are a life-saver. Slimmer arms, here you come:

of 10

Try a V-Neck Dress With Wider Straps

Brian Ach/Getty Image Entertainment

A v-neck dress will accentuate your collarbone and décolletage and draw attention away from any upper arm flab that you want to hide. This is a very flattering cut on most teens and women. Be sure that the straps fit and are not so loose that they’re digging into you — that will only create unwanted bulge.

of 10

A Dress With Loose-Fitting Cap Sleeves

Brian Ach/Getty Images Entertainment

Hide your shoulders and upper arms with a sleeve. It can be a small cap sleeve or a longer three-quarter sleeve, anything that will hide the tops of your arms will do. Just make sure it’s not too tight. Getting slimmer-looking arms is all about the right fit, and anything that cuts into your skin will only make you appear heavier.

of 10

A High-Necked Dress That Exposes Your Shoulders

Beyonce in Lanvin Maxi Dress. Getty Images

This may seem counter-intuitive. After all, you want to hide your arms instead of exposing them. However, this is a bit of an illusion trick. If you pick a dress with a gorgeous, ornate high-neck, all the attention will be drawn up towards your face instead of your arms. Plus, you’ll be exposing your shoulder line in a flattering way. Suddenly, your arms aren’t the focus. If you still need an extra confidence booster, you can always…

of 10

Get Contour-Tanned

Spray tan. Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images

You’ll want to go to a reputable spray-tanning place for this trick, so either ask your friends for recommendations or get a test-tan before your big day to make sure they can deliver. But yes, it’s possible to get a spray tan that will make your arms look thinner! It’s all about the contouring. You can also…

of 10

Contour Your Arms With Makeup

Tetra Images/Getty Images

Flex your arm, then use a bronzer or self-tanner to lightly outline your biceps and triceps. Less is more, so start with a small amount of product and add onto it as needed. There are all sorts of body makeup products to help with this.

of 10

Wear a Long-Sleeved Dress

Brian Ach/Getty Images Entertainment

Not all formal dresses have to be sleeveless. Long-sleeved formal dresses are gorgeous, on-trend and will totally make your arms look thinner just by hiding them. They come in all sorts of styles. Sequined or sheer are my favorites.

of 10

Wear Loose-Fitting Bracelets and Avoid Cuffs


Getting slimmer-looking arms is about more than just sleeves. Loose-fitting bracelets like bangles will help your arms look thin by creating a gap between them and your skin. Avoid tight-fitting bracelets and arm cuffs. Anything that clamps down on your arms and makes the skin bulge out will not help your cause.

of 10

Avoid Strapless Dresses That Push Everything Up

David's Bridal

Strapless dresses will not help your arms look thinner. They have a tendency to push everything up, and that includes the skin underneath and around your armpits. Your arms will bulge out and can even look bulkier than they actually are.

of 10

Avoid Thin Straps and Spaghetti Straps

Natalia Campbell/NC Photography/Getty Images

A thin strap will only make the rest of you look wider… especially a thin strap that cuts into your shoulder.

of 10

Make Sure Your Dress Fits Correctly

Hans Neleman/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The real secret to slimming down any body part: fit. You always want to dress for your body shape. Pay no attention to what the size is labeled as; all that matters is how your body looks when you put it on. A well-fitting dress should properly accentuate any figure.