Spanx Arm Tights: Weird or Worth It? We Investigate

About this time last year, Spanx's latest invention, Arm Tights, officially received the Vogue stamp of approval. An editor from the magazine tested them out at fashion week and said they made her arms look "slender and toned." It's funny how in just 12 months, the language surrounding body image can change so much, and for the good of us all. We've come a long way, and I'm grateful for that, but let's just get real for a second: Sometimes, you don't want to show your arms off (for any number of reasons), and choice is the ultimate liberator.

I'm not an advocate for shapewear as an essential part of womanhood or as the only route to looking or feeling good, but sometimes, these pieces can make your clothes look their best. And within this new Spanx creation lies a potentially useful little layering tool that could be a great part of your lingerie capsule wardrobe.

Additionally, if you've embraced the modest fashion movement, Spanx's Arm Tights just might be the things you've been looking for. Whether you're planning on covering up or want their "slimming" capabilities, keep scrolling to see what happened when I put them to the test. Are they are a handy item to layer up with for party season and when its cold out? Are they impossible to get in and out of? Did they make my arms look slimmer, and do I really care?

Question #1: Are they hard to get in and out of?

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(Image credit: Hannah Almassi)

The clue is in the name, folks. These little crop tops that sit just below your bust and have a scooped neckline are basically made out of a fabric akin to your regular tights. A little bit stretchier and noticeably tauter than a regular jersey top, these are essentially a posh version of the fashion hack you might have done as a teen (aka cutting a hole in hosiery and wearing tights as a top).

Because the fabric isn't anywhere near as tight-fitting and sculpting as some of Spanx's other products (such as the bodysuits, shorts, waist-cinchers, and leggings), you'll actually find these are just as easy as any other top to get on and off. No wriggling or sweating required.

Question #2: Do they slim the arms?

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(Image credit: Hannah Almassi)

My arms are 100% not toned IRL, and I always prefer dressing in a more covered-up way. So, while each top does feel like a little hug (and does add a touch of firmness to the overall look of my arms), I wouldn't say it's working incredible miracles on me. However, I'll admit the benefits might be more keenly felt if your arms are bigger or if you're more self-conscious of them in the first place.

It's worth noting that pieces lighter in hue are generally more see-through and that darker colors tend to be more "forgiving." With the white, pastel, and light gray shades, you'll want to consider your bra options carefully if wearing Arm Tights without another layer over the top. Here's a tip: Nude T-shirt bras are the best things to wear under any Spanx top.

Question #3: Are they a good layering tool?

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(Image credit: Hannah Almassi)

Yes, yes, and yes. I'm always struggling to find slimline crop tops that work well under pieces that I want to keep wearing in the colder months, such as this sleeveless jumpsuit. As well as a few basic colors, you'll also find versions in more elaborate knits like lace (and leopard print!), which I could imagine many people finding useful for adding a bit of interest to a basic party dress.

Dear Spanx design team: Please look into developing some slightly more on-trend necklines. A roll-neck version of Arm Tights would be an item I'd really rely upon.

The final verdict…

Although these will go some way to making arms look more toned (I don't think I'll give up on the HIIT classes just yet), the beauty in Spanx's Arm Tights really lies in their ability to be used as a subtle layering item. Just like with a bodysuit or slip skirt, most wardrobes benefit from these simple, versatile underpinnings that work in harmony with so many other pieces you own. I'd recommend sticking to neutral colors to get the most use out of your investment (highlighter pink or cobalt blue might bore you after a while).

Shop Spanx Arm Tights

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK. Next up: the best bras we've ever discovered.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and MatchesFashion.com, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.