16 Tops That Will Make Your Arms Look Thinner

We’ve all experienced our share of arm envy, often assuming that great arms can be attributed to hours logged at the gym. While that certainly plays a significant role, your choice of shirt style is equally important. Surprised? Thanks to a few sartorial tricks, it’s possible to fool the eye into seeing a thinner, more toned arm. Whatever you do, avoid cap sleeves at all costs (unless your arms are extra slender), as they hit the arm at its largest point.

Scroll down to shop the most arm-flattering shirt styles!

V-Neck Tank Top:


Vanessa Jackman

It’s entirely possible to go sleeveless while still flattering your arms. Try a v-neck sleeveless top to highlight your collarbone and neckline while drawing attention away from your arms.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Block Print Silk Top ($268) in Pale Buff Multi

We’re getting on-trend ‘60s mod vibes from this printed blouse.


10 Crosby Derek Lam V Neck Tank With Cross Back ($295) in Midnight

If you wear this tank, all the attention will be on your back, thanks to a dramatic pleated chiffon panel.

Rebecca Taylor V-Neck Chiffon Mix Tank ($195) in Pearl

This lovely versatile tank will see you through many occasions.

Tibi Floral Fields Tank ($225) in Black Floral Fields

The wider straps make this blouse much more flattering than a spaghetti-strap camisole.

Boxy Short-Sleeve Shirt:


Style Du Monde

The proportions of a boxy top with loose sleeves will help to create the appearance of thinner arms by comparison.

Madewell Flannel Courier Shirt in Blueridge Plaid ($74) in Vintage Canvas

Pair this oversized shirt with skinny jeans and ankle boots for a chic early fall look.

Apiece Apart Michel Tee ($230) in Stripe

You can never have too many striped black-and-white tops. This cropped, textured version is our latest obsession.

Love Sam Lace Blouse ($150) in Black

This delicate blouse proves that boxy tops can also be romantic.

Coach Dot Ruffle Neck T-Shirt ($365) in White/Black

Coach’s cool new collection is all about edgy details, like the ruffled neck on this printed t-shirt.

Dark Three-Quarter-Length Sleeve Shirt:


Vanessa Jackman

Three-quarter-length sleeves hit at the forearm, which is usually the thinnest part of the arm. Look for sleeves that are slim without being tight, and keep in mind that dark colors create a leaner effect than lighter hues.

The Kooples Leather Trip Front Zip Crepe Top ($295) in Black

A lightweight moto jacket-inspired top is so cool and clever.

Madewell Stripeset Tee ($48) in True Black

You’ll rely on this comfy shirt for your off-duty weekend wardrobe.

Sandro Efie Flounce Shoulder Fluid Top ($275) in Navy Blue

Navy mixed with black is an unexpectedly sophisticated combo.

Zara Epaulette Top ($80) in Maroon

This textured oxblood top is at the top of our very lengthy Zara wish list for fall.

Sleeveless Button-Down Shirt:


Vanessa Jackman

This one is all about the shoulders. Shirts with collars that lie close to the neck direct attention to the more toned curve of your shoulders than your upper arms.

Current/Elliott The Sleeveless Perfect Shirt ($178) in Miner

A sleeveless chambray top is a great layering piece—just throw on a cozy cardigan in chilly temps.

Creatures of the Wind Taxus Top ($725) in Outer Space

Rest assured that no one will be focusing on your upper arms in this eye-catching top.

J.Crew Silk Sleeveless Blouse ($90) in Deep Sea

We love the bold hue of this oversized blouse. Pair with slimmer pieces for the most flattering effect.

Equipment Sleeveless Slim Signature Shirt ($230) in Black

This top’s contrasting collar draws eyes to the neck, instead of the arms.

What type of shirt flatters your arms the best? Sound off in the comments below! 

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