Cocktail and Formal Dresses that Cleverly Cover Your Arms!

Color and fit are important when shopping for a cocktail or formal dress. But top of mind for many women is finding a dress with sleeves! Whether you want to camouflage jiggly midlife arms, require a modest dress for a religious ceremony, or always feel chilly, there are plenty of ways to cover up but look modern and stylish.  Today I’m partnering with @alexevenings to bring you 7 styles of cocktail and formal dresses that cleverly cover your arms.


cocktail dress sheer sleeves

1. Dresses with Sheer Sleeves

Long sleeves are wonderful, but they can also weigh you down and make you look dowdy. So instead, choose a cocktail/formal dress with sheer sleeves, opalescent, or sequin sleeves. These illusion sleeves trick the eye, giving you the coverage you are craving, but they aren’t heavy looking or hot.


2. Lace Sleeves

Pretty lace sleeves are another type of illusion sleeve. Lace is always a beautiful choice for cocktail or formalwear since it is timeless and feminine. Delicate cutouts are an easy way to look stunning without bearing it all.

formal gown capelet

3. Capelet Dress

Cover your arms in a classy, feminine way with a dress that has a sheer fabric overlay. Capelet dresses are a great way to add a touch of drama while keeping your upper arms out of view.


4. Three-quarter length sleeve

Showing some skin is youthful, which is why three-quarter length sleeves are always so popular. Since women fret mainly about their upper arms, three-quarter sleeves are perfect because they cover that area but reveal your forearms.


5. Elbow Length Sleeve

A short sleeve that ends at the elbow can work too if the sleeve is not tight. Shorter flutter sleeves also camouflage the top of the arm since they are loose and flowy.

formal gown jacket

6. Jacket

A jacket is the most obvious way to cover your arms. It can also help give your arms more shape if they have become skinny with age. Look for an embellished jacket to wear with separates or a flowy chiffon jacket that is part of a two-piece dress or pantsuit. A jacket also adds an extra layer of formality.

formal gown with wrap

7. Wrap

There may be an occasion, like a wedding, where you need to cover your arms in the church, but not at the reception. In this case, a dress with a matching wrap is ideal. Use a long, light wrap to completely cover your shoulders, or drape it in the crook of your elbows and fan it out as needed. This is truly a regal look!

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There’s no need to be arm shy anymore! This beautiful cocktail and formal dresses have you covered and looking fabulous!

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