Best Casual Long Sleeve Maxi Dresses for Aging Arms

Maxi dresses look fabulous when you’re on vacation, or attending an informal wedding. But finding a casual maxi dress with sleeves is a real challenge.

So today, I’ve rounded up a beautiful selection of the latest styles of long-sleeved casual maxi dresses, along with some tips on how to style them.


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How to Style a Casual Long Sleeve Maxi Dress

Dr. D and I are planning an early summer trip to Spain, and my mind is already thinking about what to bring. This long sleeve boho maxi dress with the wrap tie waist would be perfect for a land vacation or a cruise!

It’s soft, light, and flowy – dressy enough for a romantic dinner out and casual enough to wear with comfy, flat sandals.

I like the idea of playing up the feminine floral print with pretty pink accessories like these beautiful crystal drop earrings. You could even add a pink-trimmed straw hat if you plan a beach getaway.

Easter, or a spring or summer wedding, would also be another great time to wear a dress like this.


Long Sleeve Summer Maxi Dress

This pretty orange dot dress is one of the many long sleeve maxi dresses you’ll find at Amazon.  It’s slighlty shorter than most maxis, and it’s is made of cotton/rayon, so it’s not quite as light and airy as the first dress I showed you.

This tiered style is very popular right now, so if  you like this dress,  pick one up. It’s a nice change from your classic short sundress and it comes in a wide range of colors.



Long Sleeve Maxi Shirtdress

Long Sleeve Maxi Shirtdress

Long Sleeve Maxi Shirt Dress

Maxi shirt dresses are one of my favorite Maxis styles.  The relaxed, menswear-inspired silhouette gives them a more sophisticated, chic look than something frilly or tiered.  I like the bold chevron print because it makes this maxi feel artsy!

This long-sleeved maxi dress looks best styled with the collar popped a touch to frame the face and a few buttons undone at the bottom to reveal a flash of leg.

You can tie the self-belt at the front or side, but I’d roll up the sleeves a touch so they are more 3/4 if you want more of a modern, youthful look.



Metallic Knit Surplice V-Neck Long Sleeve Asymmetrical Hem Wrap Gown

Metallic Knit Asymmetrical Hem Wrap Maxi Dress

Long Sleeve Maxi Wrap Dress

A wrap dress does wonders to create a flattering hourglass shape, which is why I love this glamorous,  long-sleeved maxi dress.

This one has pretty peasant sleeves that are loose and feminine, but give you great coverage. The open-wrap front adds a little sex appeal! When you are too covered up showing not skin at all, it can make you look frumpy.


Long-Sleeve Halter Maxi Dress

Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress

Semi-Formal Long Sleeve Maxi Dress

If you have a summer wedding and want a semi-formal long sleeve maxi dress, this is a beauty. An off-the-shoulder maxi is romantic and alluring, but the long feminine peasant sleeves keep your arms cleverly covered.

This would also make a great vacation dress if you went somewhere tropical. Imagine wearing this flowy, floral dress with bright, bold brushstrokes to dinner under the stars. It’s magical.


pink Chico's boho dress

Funny enough, I dug into my archives and found this pretty pink dress with a similar look and vibe.

Carefree prints like this make long-sleeved midi and maxi dresses more casuasl and playful. Chico’s has lots of midi/maxi dresses like this, all with a modern Boho vibe.


Lily Tropical Print Long sleeve Maxi with slits and SPF 50+

Long Sleeve Tunic Maxi Dress

Tunic Maxi dresses, which are long sleeve maxi dresses with slits, are usually considered to be resort wear and are popular for lounging or travel.

Most have reasonable necklines, but if you do find one you love that dips too low, you can always wear a stretchy camisole underneath to hide any cleavage. Feel free to push up the sleeves and add bangles for a more relaxed look.

Tunic-style summer maxi dresses are known for their bright, wild prints. Lily Pulitzer designs a lot of them to be worn for vacation time, a cruise, or by the pool at home.

This one has a bonus. The fabric has 50+ sun protection built-in!


These are just a few styles casual long sleeve maxi dresses in stores right now. I have included a few more below for you.

Shop Long Sleeve Maxi Dresses Here


If it’s just your upper arms you want to cover (instead of your whole arm), try:

  • Three-quarter-length sleeves: more youthful and sporty than a full-length sleeve
  • Flutter sleeves: will camouflage your upper arms and lighten the look of a maxi dress.
  • Kimono Style sleeves are trending.


Happy with your arms but wish to cover your legs in summer? You can get some style ideas here.

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24 thoughts on “Best Casual Long Sleeve Maxi Dresses for Aging Arms

  1. How about cold shoulder dresses/tops? That conceals the flabbiest section of flying squirrel arms. If you have nice shoulders, it emphasizes your assets and doesn’t look matronly.

  2. Maxi dresses are again getting popular like the 60s, but this time in a modest way. On the other hand, women’s skin after 40 starts wrinkling. That’s why it can be a great idea to wear modest maxi dresses to hide that wrinkling skin.

  3. Look up the word “Abaya” on eBay, and you will find modest maxi dresses. I love them. I chose a lovely lightweight knit fabric with a little slinky hand feel; these dresses keep me modestly covered and are excellent in many solid colors. I wouldn’t say I like prints because they get dated too fast. If you want patterns, add a scarf, and you can keep up with the pattern fads and keep wearing your favorite dress year after year.

  4. TY- The dresses you posted are gorgeous. I’m 5’2″ & 60 yrs. old. I have been looking for casual summer maxi dresses in Petite….not an easy task. 90% of them are sleeveless, halters, plunging neckline, & light fabric. I decided to go sleeveless & cover up w/a a cute denim jacket or lightweight cardigan… Patti. Constantly freezing in air conditioning, right?!

  5. I’ve had good luck finding tasteful and inexpensive wrap dresses at TJMaxx, Marshall’s, and Ross. I think the most I’ve spent is $29.99. So don’t give up hope on finding these…

    1. Amen to this, savvy shopper! There are good finds at consignment stores, too; look for BoHo.

  6. I have a few maxi dresses and skirts, and although I like them, I wonder if they are still in fashion for spring/summer? I was thinking of shorting a couple of favorites to update them. I’d love your opinion.

  7. Deborah,
    I love your column, reading every post and learning something new. I do have a request…when sharing some of your favorite “picks,” would you share samples in more of a price range for most of us gals. I don’t have the budget to shop Diane Von Furstenberg’s $350 to $700 dresses.
    Thank you!

  8. I have looked at Maxi dresses again and again, my son’s girlfriend looks adorable in them, but I feel like I would look out of place or like I was “putting on airs” wearing them every day. I hope I get the “guts” to try one this summer!

    1. Hi Jan, You need to try one. They’re very mainstream now. I think it’s like anything. Sometimes new things take some getting used to. Go for it! I bet you will look great! Cheers Deborah

    2. Just tell everyone you’re an artist. Artists are allowed to wear anything they want. LOL, It’s like having a “poetic license” for fashion. Our jobs are to express ourselves. If questioned about our fashion choices, we simply respond, “This is what I was ‘feeling’ like wearing today.” The end, amen. Me? I practically live in maxi dresses and receive nothing but comments like, “My Gawd, I LOVE your style! It’s just gorgeous!” I wear pure cotton, linen, and silk. I am petite, and the dresses are a bit large and flowing, but I wow them with fun accessories like fabulous jewelry and scarves to keep them fun and current. So comfortable and unfussy. You can wear them anywhere at any time for any occasion, to the library or the party. You MUST try one, darling!

      1. Here’s an affirmation from another artist: maxi skirts and dresses are the best – relaxed, comfy, and dressed up and down. Yes, I go to the grocery store in a maxi – nothing’s a quicker cover than a casual cotton maxi skirt with a tank-style or tankini top bathing suit at the beach. Add a light jacket and take it to lunch or shopping, add a dressier shirt and some statement jewelry, and wear it to dinner. ENDLESS possibilities.

  9. Sleeve lengths to my elbow or 3/4 are my favorite ones! I like to wear shorter sleeves when I am a bit suntanned… or finally, I will go to the gym regularly…
    Also, our climate most times of the year requires long sleeves anyway.
    I look forward to the warmer season when I can wear these lovely maxi dresses again!


    1. Hi Annette, I also like the 3/4 length. They show some youthful skin, but the coverage so many women want. I see more and more, so I think designers may be finally getting the message that women are sick of sleeveless, especially us 40+ gals! Cheers, Deborah

  10. I love maxi dresses and skirts–particularly plain black ones (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.

  11. 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 many flaws. I can wear it to work; I recently wore it to a wedding, and you can dress it down with boots.

    Monique Penn

  12. Thanks for the lovely suggestions. My daughter wants a maxi dress; some would look great on her. Can I make one request? I would love to see how these dresses 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.

  13. 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 vast selection of adorable maxis! On his thin cotton, the other is polyester, with under ted prints. I like to wear mi e, weather permitting, with a short, light colorful or neutral cardigan unbuttoned and flat sandals. They’re so fun and breezy for the evening or daytime. My husband comments on how nice I look every time I wear one! And they’re SO uncomfortable and forgiving when I’m feeling a little puffy. Next time you spot one you l like when you’re out shopping, try it on…you may surprise yourself and love how it looks! I did!

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

    I thought the rayon ones I have tried on would be way too HOT! And if I get hot…well, mother nature thinks I want to host my holiday and on come the hot flashes. So maybe the silk will be better.

  15. 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! :)

  16. 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!

      1. I am 60 years young, 5’2″, and 118 pounds. Bought a beautiful coral maxi from the jill and a print one. I also purchased coordinating cardigans to wear with them. Jill sells many linen maxi dresses that are super comfy and look fabulous. The dresses can be dressed up or down,n dependent on your needs.

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