Maxi Dresses That Cover Arms When You are Over 40

Hi Deborah,

I love maxi dresses! I remember wearing them in the 60s, or was it the 70s?

My daughter always tells me, “if you wore the style the first time around, you shouldn’t wear it when it comes back.” And, the truth is, I don’t want one that shows all the cleavage or my arms. I like dresses with color and print.

Have you seen some fun, maxi pool patio dresses that work for women our age? Thanks, Nancy

long sleeved maxi dresses

Hi Nancy,

Maxi dresses are fun to wear no matter what your age. I’m sure your daughter means well but I’m going to have to disagree with her.

In fashion, there’s not much that truly new and original.  Looks get recycled. If we followed her only once in a lifetime rule, there’d be nothing for us gals 40, 50 and beyond to wear. Maxi dresses are back in style but this time around there are new fabrics, patterns and details that make them fresh modern. They are very wearable and won’t make us 40+ gals look dated.

Still, I can understand you not wanting to reveal cleavage or show your arms. A lot of us feel self-conscious about our arms or find sleeveless too cold.

I’ve picked out a few dresses that will work for you and jotted down a few things to think about when buying the perfect long sleeve maxi dress. Take a look.

 

Style Tips For Wearing Long Sleeved Maxi Dresses:

  • A long-sleeved maxi in a solid, dark  color will look more dressy than a light/bright summery print, so if you want to look festive and fun choose a lively print or a dark solid with splashes of bright color.
  • A little skin looks youthful. If you prefer to cover up your arms but still want to look sexy and youthful try a wrap dress style. This will show off your chest and actually make your neck look longer which equates to you looking slimmer.
  • Choose a long-sleeved maxi dress in a  soft, silhouette skimming fabric that follows your curves. A long-sleeved maxi in a crisp or stiff fabric will make you look bulky and nun-like.
  • 3/4 length sleeves give you the coverage you want on upper arms that jiggle, but give you a sportier, sexier look than a full length sleeve.
  • Make sure you get the right size. With so much coverage you don’t want to be drowning in fabric especially if you’re short or petite.


More From Fabulous After 40

Share Your Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

  1. Heather Edgecombe says:

    I love maxi dresses and skirts–particularly a plain black one (I know–you prefer less black, but it suits my coloring). You can do so much with them! Denim vest, white denim jacket, cardigans, scarves, flats, belts, etc. One thing I’d love to see from your website is an article showing the different ways to wear a wrap dress (not necessarily a maxi wrap, just a regular knee length). Boots, pumps, scarves, cardigans, etc.

  2. Monique Penn says:

    I recently purchased a maxi dress and I cannot tell you enough how flattering this is.
    What’s great about the dress is that it covers up a multitude of flaws. I can wear it to work; I recently wore it to a wedding and you can dress it down with boots.

    Monique Penn

  3. Kirstin says:

    Thanks for the lovely suggestions. My daughter wants a maxi dress and some of these would look great on her. Can I make one request? I would really love to see how these dresses actually look on women over 40 who want to hide their upper arms, like me. It’s hard to imagine it when the dresses are on girls in their teens and twenties without arm cleavage or flabby upper arms.

  4. Patricia says:

    At 50 years young I never thought I would wear a maxi dress…until i tried one on. And now I LOVE them! I purchased two from Kohls, in CA, last year. They have a huge selection of adorable maxi’s! One of mine is a thin cotton and the other is polyester. Both with understated prints. I like to wear mine, weather permitting, with a short, thin colorful or neutral cardigan unbuttoned, and flat sandals. They’re so fun and breezy for evening or daytime. My husband comments on how nice I look every time I wear one! And they’re SO comfortable and and forgiving when I’m feeling a little a, ehem, puffy. Next time you spot one you like when you’re out shopping just try it on…you may surprise yourself and love the way it looks! I did!

  5. Kristen says:

    I haven’t made the leap to the Maxi…I have tried a few on ( all without sleeves)wasn’t happy. I will see if our Nordstroms has the Abigal silk wrap…

    My thought is that the rayon ones I have tried on are going to be way to HOT! And if I get hot…well them mother nature thinks I want to host my own holiday and on come the hot flashes. So maybe the silk will be better.

    Nanci-As for cleavage issues I bought these wonderful bras from Soma(now others have them) they have a lace insert across the front…no more taping a dress down or having to layer. link:http://www.soma.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=23&pageId=1&productId=500000902&viewAll=&prd=Oh+My+Gorgeous+Brianna+Unlined+Lace+Cami+Bra&subCatId=cat5339331&color=&fromSearch=&inSeam=&posId=5&catId=cat40089&cat=Bras+Lace+Collection&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=2&size=

    I really love them. I have seen others at Macys and JCP.

  6. Pippapia says:

    I just can’t get into the maxi dress for summer. They are very cute, but to me, look like they would be just tooo hot for warm days. All that extra fabric flopping around between the legs just makes me want to have a hot flash looking at it! :)

  7. Hi Ya’ll,

    Thank you so much for responding to my question. I immediately ordered two that kind of distracted you from my less than perfect upper arms.They look nice. I find many dresses with cleavage so low cut that you have to tape the dress to your skin just to keep those bad girls from popping out! And when its hot out, do you really want one more piece of clothing like a camisole?

    Thanks again – you do such a service to us!

    • Great Nancy,
      Love these! If anyone else purchases one please let us know. I’m curious as to which ones you ladies like the most.

      • Patti Broome says:

        I am 60 years young, 5’2″ 118 pounds. Bought a beautiful coral maxi from jJill and a print one. Also purchased coordinating cardigans to wear with them. jJill sells alot of linen maxi dresses which are super comfy and look fabulous. The dresses can bd dressed up or down drpendent on your needs.