Tips to Help Upper Arms Look Their Best

Larger upper arms, sagging skin, and loose underarm skin is a fact of life for many women after 50. So since summer upon us, let’s look at a few ways to help them look their best.

how to hide upper arms for women over 50

How to help the skin look better

  • Moisturizer – dry skin looks crepey so keeping your arms moisturized goes a long way towards a smooth appearance
  • Self-tanner – together with moisturizer, a light application of self-tanner improves the look of upper arms
  • Excercise- duh, we all knew this one but even if you’re a gym fanatic you may have excess skin as a result of weight loss or gain during your lifetime and the skin on your arms could be saggy.

how to hide upper arms for women over 50

6 smart ways to cover your upper arms

  • Sheer fabrics are our friends. Look for tops made from sheer linen, organza, cotton or silk. These fabrics breathe as well as camouflage so we can feel covered but comfortable in warm weather.
  • Scarves and wraps are obvious choices to cover your arms with sleeveless tops and dresses. I demonstrated how I tie a large scarf to cover my upper arms here.tied scarf to make a wrap
  • Tops with wide or drapey sleeves are a great way to camouflage your arms. A tight upper sleeve accentuates the size of the upper arm, so if yours are large, this is not your most flattering look.
  • Wear a lightweight cardigan or jacket. This is obvious too, but in the warm weather look for elbow length options and sheer fabrics.
  • Wear darker colored tops. Light colors advance and make things look larger so a darker top helps your arms look smaller.
  • Change the focus. Try cold-shoulder or off shoulder tops that hide cover your arms while exposing your shoulders.

How to control upper arm jiggle

Another option is arm shapewear. They’re exactly what they sound like. Sleeves you wear under your garments to control any jiggle or wobble. They can be as simple as the ones shown above or fuller coverage that fit over your torso and shoulders.

Do you have any additional tips to share?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. DH
    June 21, 2020 / 7:37 am

    Resistance bands are a lifesaver! Besides doing cardio by walking/jogging, they have made a major difference in my body.

  2. Jeanne
    June 12, 2020 / 4:11 am

    Hi, Jennifer,
    I’m currently experimenting with several lotions/creams that are advertised as “skin firming”. The one really does a good job on my hands and arms. The other, I’ve just started using on my legs—so it’s too soon to know if it is effective.
    Also, I’m trying to build up my arm muscles. My delts and biceps look good; but those darned “back-of-the-upper-arm muscles (triceps) are very, very difficult to firm up!! I think that this arm firming is a long term process…so no tank tops and short sleeves for me!!

  3. Sheryl L Smith
    June 8, 2020 / 7:47 am

    It seems to me that flabby arms often have a lot to do with aging skin more than underlying muscle. Think about the droopiness that occurs on the face and neck, too. My hubby is very well-toned (if that’s accurate to say about a man), muscular with little fat. However, the backs of his upper arms are “flabby.” He is 75.

    • Jennifer
      June 8, 2020 / 7:44 pm

      My husbands are flabby too 😉

  4. Beth Byrd
    June 8, 2020 / 4:39 am

    Can you tell me where that top is from that you are wearing in the top photo?

    Thanks for all the helpful tips today!

    • Jennifer
      June 8, 2020 / 4:45 pm

      It’s from a boutique in Berkeley.

  5. Kay
    June 7, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    One of the few things that hasn’t gone south on me is the arms. So I wear sleeveless all summer long.

  6. Penelope
    June 7, 2020 / 11:11 am

    I’ve never been of the mind that the world should be exposed to all my imperfections. I appreciate elegance, modesty, and refinement, so I try to dress and behave accordingly. We live in a very tropical climate and cool attire is essential, but I don’t feel a need to be revealing, as many women my age who live here seem to. I’ve never tried anti wrinkle or sagging products and just cover up the scary parts.

  7. Kim Dinardosmith
    June 7, 2020 / 9:24 am

    I always try to wear a lightweight kimono ,lightweight cardigan, shrug , etc. over a sleeveless top.
    I am always looking for the perfect coverup.With my local Nordstrom Is closing & I would appreciate some suggestions in regular & plus sizes. Elaine Fisher has some good choices but certain of their fabrics really stretch out so it is helpful to try on.
    Would love some suggestions.
    Finding it a bit hard to navigate your site with all the pop ups Citi bank, etc. that I am constantly trying to x off the screen.
    I understand got to sponsor the blog but they are definitely winning the battle.

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 3:07 pm

      Chicos and Soft Surroundings always have caftans.

  8. Lenora
    June 7, 2020 / 8:59 am

    What kind of self tanner do you recommend?

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 3:02 pm

      I like the Jergens which just goes on like body lotion. It’s very light

  9. Cathy
    June 7, 2020 / 8:30 am

    Upper arms are a problem for me, too. It’s frustrating, because I have definition & muscle tone on the top of my arms which at 70+ I am happy about. My grandson says “G’ma, you’ve got guns”! But the underside skin is crepey & loose, no amount of exercise helps. I always wear something to cover them, but love a sleeveless dress or top. Oh, well….I had my day. 🏋️‍♀️ 😘

  10. Julie Pounders
    June 7, 2020 / 7:13 am

    Don’t wave to anyone on the beach! Seriously I count on lightweight linen or chambray shirts. I am very hot natured, so I will keep on with tank tops and sleeveless dresses.Self Tanner does help.

  11. Trixie
    June 7, 2020 / 6:49 am

    At the age of 65, and at an average weight, and a person who works out lightly/moderately, I have decided to enjoy the summers and not worry about my arms, cellulite, legs, and sags. I put together a neat and polished look, with a hat, jewelry, a summer bag, sandals, and let my arms and knees enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I wear 6-7″ shorts, a linen blouse as I love white linen, and forget about my appearance.

    Be kind to yourself, everyone, and forget about spanx, spanx for arms, etc. Go change the world!

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 3:11 pm

      I love your attitude Trixie!

  12. Judith Walker
    June 7, 2020 / 6:32 am

    If anyone has recommendations for moisturizing/firming creams that work well, I’d be interested. At 68 and 114 pounds, size isn’t the issue but the crepe in the arms and above the knees has arisen in the last few years despite exercise. Thanks for the other tips, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 6:52 am

      I really like Amlactin for very dry skin. Glytone is another good one. Both are at Target and Walgreens.

      • Judith Walker
        June 7, 2020 / 7:01 am

        Thank you! I have used Amlactin. Will give Gytone a try! (I think I may be expecting too much from a moisturizer! )

      • Beverly
        June 7, 2020 / 12:50 pm

        I’ve had some measure of success in using an inexpensive (Dove) body scrub to exfoliate, followed by Vanicream Moisturizing Cream. For the first few weeks, I used the scrub daily, now about two or three times a week.

    • Beth Crawford
      June 7, 2020 / 7:19 am

      I really like Avalon Organics wrinkle therapy and Jergens skin firming lotion. I use them right when I get out of the shower every day and my skin looks younger than my 69 years.
      I spend the winter in Florida and the summer in Michigan so my skin is always visible. I don’t want to look like a dried up prun!

      • Judith Walker
        June 7, 2020 / 11:07 am

        Thank you, Beth. I will give these a look!

    • Terry
      June 7, 2020 / 7:22 am

      I’ve seen Crepe Erase on QVC. Pricey but they have special prices on it occasionally.

      • Judith Walker
        June 7, 2020 / 11:08 am

        Thanks! If you have had any experience with it, let me know!

        • Shirley (GA)
          June 8, 2020 / 7:42 am

          Terry and Judith – I have used Crepe Erase – it’s a very lovely, moisturizing product, but it is NOT the “miracle” that you see on t.v. and Facebook ads! I have found that regular use of “drugstore” products will produce the same result and is MUCH less expensive! Of course, as they say – “Results may vary”! But there is NO WAY I would do SPANX on my upper arms! I would have a heat stroke!

    • britta
      June 7, 2020 / 8:11 am

      At 69 and a healthy weight, I too have crepe…. this is going to sound crazy, but in the last six months I have been using facial cleanser for dry skin in the shower on my whole body, rather than moisturizing soap. Then I follow with really good cream or bio oil. My skin has improved by a lot! It’s spendy, but I am frugal with the amounts I use. I got the idea because my face is always out and it’s texture is still good. I figured it might be the way I’m caring for it.

      • Judith Walker
        June 7, 2020 / 11:10 am

        Thank you, Britta! My face is better than the rest of my body too! I know I have done a better job of keeping it out of the sun, so there IS that! I’ll try your technique.

      • Jennifer
        June 7, 2020 / 3:00 pm

        That’s very smart and makes total sense.

  13. Gloria
    June 7, 2020 / 6:03 am

    Work in a Bridal Salon fo 20 yrs! I am not an exercise fanatic in the least, but what has helped me tremendously is working in a high volume salon lifting heavy dresses. Although I only work about 25 hrs a week, it has kept my back and arms fit without even trying. At age 61, it has become a nice benefit. Now if I can only say the same from my waist down!

  14. Deborah
    June 7, 2020 / 5:50 am

    I have lost and maintained 40 lbs starting in Jan of 17. I started working with a personal trainer
    this past Jan. Just twice a week is all the time I can spare. All I can say is what a difference ! I have muscle tone not bulk. I am thinking about wearing some sleeveless tops or dresses this summer.
    Thinking about it!
    Love this blog ! And I did buy a very sheer white cotton blouse with sleeves yesterday.

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 6:54 am

      Congratulations!!! That’s wonderful Deborah

  15. Bea
    June 7, 2020 / 5:48 am

    I very rarely buy a sleeveless garment, but when I do, I look for a light weight knit shrug to go with it. JJill has some of the prettiest light weight sweaters and shrugs. The colors are gorgeous, and the styles are flattering.

  16. Jan
    June 7, 2020 / 5:39 am

    Upper arm shapewear? Uh, no way!! I am committed to being as active and healthy as possible at this time of my life but I am also well aware of my physical issues that require special attention. Once again, for me it’s all about confidence when I step out of the house. Yes, to all your cover up ideas Jennifer! I need to accept what I can’t change at this point in my life! It’s like letting a certain number on the scale ruin your entire day!
    Thankyou for your on point blogs Jennifer!

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 6:56 am

      I love your attitude Jan! Confidence is everything.

  17. Susan
    June 7, 2020 / 5:09 am

    Come summer, men bring out the shorts, short sleeve tees, treating the world to beer guts, hairy legs, flabby, hairy arms – with few bothered by their imperfections. Perhaps, women should adopt a similar mentality. What does it really matter if our bodies are showing their age? Unless one spends several hours a day doing weights, or liposuctioning every ounce of saggy flesh, very few women will have finely toned arms sans bingo wings in their 60s. Living in a country with very hot summers, I place comfort over what is considered aesthetically acceptable.

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 7:01 am

      That’s quite a visual on the men.
      Allow me to also add their gnarly feet in flip flops. 🤣

      • Linnie Z
        June 8, 2020 / 5:46 am

        EWWW! Agree-that’s gross. Thankfully my husband has NEVER shown his feet, and his aren’t bad!

    • nanci
      June 7, 2020 / 8:14 am

      I totally agree with you Susan. Embrace who you are, do what you can and if others worry about the way your skin sags then let em have at it!

  18. Paulette Levy
    June 7, 2020 / 4:43 am

    My upper arms aren’t large, but starting to be crepey. I do exercise weild a mean hue and rake in my little garden, move things in the house, and move around quite a bit. Nothing really helps and I wonder if some if this isn’t genetic?

  19. Linda Henderson
    June 7, 2020 / 4:26 am

    Upper arm sag and crepey skin are problems for me. I appreciate your tips.

  20. Rita
    June 7, 2020 / 4:26 am

    I do Classical Stretch exercises and do at least one toning video a day. It has really helped tone my arms. I subscribe to the Essentrics streaming station. They don’t look like a young gal’s arms, but for almost 70 I am pleased!

    • Jennifer
      June 7, 2020 / 6:59 am

      Thanks for the tip Rita. I haven’t heard of that station.

    • Paulette Levy
      June 7, 2020 / 7:17 am

      I’m going to try these Essentric exercise videos. Thanks for mentioning it!

  21. Jennifer
    April 11, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    Me too, Cindy! I wish more designers would make them!

  22. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    It does, Lianne. I look terrible wearing cap sleeves because they make my shoulders look even broader than they are. 3/4 or elbow length work best for me because I am small busted.

  23. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    If it is beastly hot, I will go sleeveless and not give it a thought. I figure most women are busy worrying about other things than my arms:)

  24. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    I like you attitude! Somethings are fact of life and there’s no point fighting it.

  25. Joanna
    April 9, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Andrea, where did you find your kimonos? I saw some cute ones on Pinterest but when I looked online they were all frumpy. I think they would be great around the house or as a bathing suit cover up.
    Would this be something you would be interested in doing a post on, Jennifer?

    • Jennifer
      April 9, 2017 / 10:53 am

      I would. I’m finding many fun Kimonos around these days and loving how they add a nice finish to a simple outfit. Share your secrets Andrea!

    • Jennifer
      April 9, 2017 / 10:54 am

      I would. I’m finding many fun Kimonos around these days and loving how they add a nice finish to a simple outfit. Share your secrets, Andrea!

  26. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 10:26 am

    LOL, you are funny, Ainsivalavie! You are one strong lady, bravo, I love it. I think you may have misinterpreted my intent. I don’t dislike my toes. On the contrary, I enjoy polishing them and seeing their pretty color poking out of sandals. I was making an observation about contrast and how I’m choosing to downplay my broken toes these days with lower contrast colors. Contrast is a tool that women can use to their advantage. That doesn’t mean I dislike my toes, it means my visual aesthetic is more pleased by lower contrast polish this season. I will go back to strong contrast on a whim when the mood strikes me! Today’s post on upper arms is in response to a readers question for how she could cover her arms. Because I am an Image Consultant, I share tactical tips and ideas which I believe will help my readers. I’m sorry you feel offended, I certainly never intend to do that!

  27. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 8:50 am

    3/4 sleeves are my very favorite too, Joanna. The skin on my arms is very, very loose and no amount of weight lifting is going to improve it.

  28. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Not easy at all, Janet. That’s why I wore a full-length sleeve sweater last week and folded cuffs into it to expose the bell sleeve. Why wear a cute top, only to have the outer layer destroy its features?

    • March 23, 2018 / 7:51 am

      I hope cold shoulder tops/dresses never go out for f style. They are an older woman’s friend.
      I have many stylish outfits in that style.

  29. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 8:37 am

    I totally agree about the third layer, Andrea. It makes any outfit look for polished:)

  30. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 8:31 am

    I really like the everyday one from Jergens called Natural Glow.I use the lightest version and use it every other day:)

  31. Jennifer
    April 9, 2017 / 8:29 am

    And I am loving paler colors this spring, so I have to be careful!

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