Covering arms in summer

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 21 Comments

I need to be upfront here.

I have had a love/hate relationship with my arms but in recent years it’s been more love than hate.

I’m not getting any younger, so I figure that they’re the best they’re going to be right now. No use looking back in years to come and wondering why I didn’t get them out there more.

They’re far from Michelle Obama perfection. There’s a goodly element of bingo and tuckshop to their underbelly.

But what they lack in defined, muscle-bound perfection, the make up for in strength.

They take my weight in a yoga class. They enable me to type here on the blog every day. And they are extremely useful for dishing out mum cuddles to unsuspecting members of my family.

I bloody love my arms.

This attitude, coupled with living in a climate where it gets so damn hot, means that I don’t shy away from pieces of clothing that have my fadoobadas out and so proud Kath and Kim would definitely invite them over for wine time.


It’s because I live through such hot summers that I am very conscious of covering up when out and about when the sun is doing its hurty thing.

Sunscreen only goes so far. Keeping the sun off my shoulders is a must.

My wardrobe is filled with kimonos, kaftans, cardis, capes, swimsuit cover-ups and lightweight jackets specifically for this purpose.

These pieces have the added bonus of adding interest to a summer outfit – without me flailing about the place in a perspiring mess.

Covering arms in summer

It’s so easy to layer in winter but come summer, fashion is very much pared back.

Sure a statement minimalist outfit can look AMAZING in its clean leans and simple structure but the simple addition of just one light piece does amazing things to an everyday outfit.

I’ve included three different pieces for covering arms in summer in the Styling You Shop.

There’s a cardi (in two colours); a kimono and a kaftan.

All three work to serve and extend your wardrobe in many ways. Let’s take a look, shall we?


Covering arms for summer

LEFT: Maiocchi cardi | Bohemian Traders top | Maiocchi skirt

RIGHT: Maiocchi cardi | Bohemian Traders top | Maiocchi skirt

A tricky thing happens on the way to the office in summer. You start off ok at home but can easily heat up on the commute. Then when you get to the office, you’re initially grateful for the air-con but by 10am you’re wondering why you don’t have a winter coat stashed under your desk.

Start and end the day with this fabulous Maiocchi cardi (available in black and red) and you’ll keep temperatures a little more regulated. Wear it open or tie up for shape. It’s cool, breathable viscose/spandex fabric will keep you comfortable all day long. Whip off the cardi for after-work drinks and thoughts of the task list and the day’s meetings will be just that.


Covering arms for summer

LEFT: Surafina kimono | Queensland Swimwear swimsuit | The Adorn Collective Nikki necklace

RIGHT: Queensland Swimwear swimsuit | iAllure kaftan | ZK sandals

A couple of years ago I went on a girls’ escape for a friend’s 40th birthday and I got a glimpse of the whole glamorous concept of going from pool to afternoon drinks … without kids around. I did like it very much.

The nearest I get to this is poolside at home when we’ve not got any reason to leave the house and it’s so steaming hot I don’t give a damn that I just washed and blow-dried my hair the day before.

That’s when I’ll throw a kimono or kaftan over my swimsuit. Just add a cocktail for the ultimate summer accessory.

The above two work a treat. Love the glamorous styling of the kaftan. With a black swimsuit underneath you really could hit a beachside bar in confidence.

The kimono is a perfect weight for summer. Great coverage but super cool on. Love that the soft print works back with any neutral.


Covering arms for summer

LEFT: Surafina kimono | Bohemian Traders dress |  The Adorn Collective Nikki necklace | ZK sandals

RIGHT: Maiocchi cardi | Sacha Drake dress | ZK platforms | Surafina clutch

‘Tis the season of the catch-up brunch or lunch and I always like to prepare an outfit that may be in need of a cover up.

You never know whether the table or location might not be in full shade (the kimono does the trick here) or you just might want to dress up a frock with a pop of Christmas colour (the cardi does this so well).

Either way, these versatile wardrobe pieces prove that they combine practicality with interest for an outfit win.

So tell me, do you love your arms as much as you love a summer cover up?

Summer 2015 Styling You Shop

You’ll find more summer style inspiration in the Summer Styling You Shop. Hurry – you’ve only got a week left until it closes. You’ll find 21 pieces and inspiration on how to wear those pieces 28 different ways.

Styling You Summer Shop 2015


Comments 21

  1. I too concur that my arms are probably the best they are going to be right now, so I’m happy to let them free most days. A big ‘Yes’ to shoulder coverage out in the sun as I burn very quickly and red skin is never pretty 🙂

  2. For the first time in a long time I love my arms because they are the most defined they will likely ever be from picking up a heavy toddler. They are far from Michelle Obama defined but for me they are defined! Love a cover up too though!

  3. Heck yes to the cardi at work – I permanently have one on the back of my chair for this very reason! I went through a phase of caring about my less than Madonna-esque arms, before I quickly realised that energy was better spent on doing some bicep curls… with a wine glass! 😉

  4. I definitely like a layer for managing the AC, especially at work. It also means I can remove that layer on the long walk which is part of my commute.
    As for my less than perfect arms, I actually find that some sort of cap or very short sleeve can be less flattering than strappy or other sleeveless tops. It’s definitely worth trying out different cuts and not just assuming that any old sleeve is better than none.

  5. I hear what you are saying Nikki. Time will pass quickly and the body and skin ages so yes I totally agree with you, to be confident with our bodies and bare that skin a little more. I have to cover my shoulders often, they are a super sensitive area for sunburn.

  6. I actually don’t mind my arms,they are pretty ok for 52 it’s my legs I like to cover, but on hot days I just have to get over myself and get them out!
    I love a kaftan dress and a kimono,great post Nikki Xx

  7. Having lost and gained (and lost and gained etc, etc) weight a few times over the years my arms are not the best. A lot of bingo and a bit of crepe. I wear tanks with flowing shirts mostly in summer … but come the Jan/Feb 40′ days and they’re on display. Too blardy hot for layers of any description – unless I’m out in the sun and then I always cover up.

    I love this blog, Nikki. A bit of sun-smarts, a big of self-love, a good chunk of acceptance and humour. A lovely way to start the day.


  8. yes! good one nikki!
    bat and bingo, tuck shop wings here! getting less muscular by the minute!
    but I won’t dwell on the negatives! … use it or loose it possibly!;)
    i’m into camouflage hun! … I nearly always cover in public! … a bit of drapery does wonders!
    I’ve always had a thing about my arms, not being how I want them to be! … perfect!
    give up! get over it! note to self! … but I love the function of my arms wholeheartedly!
    all good! got over it years ago! lol m:)X

  9. After two babies and reflecting on photos gone before me, I realize the body I rejected at the time was one I would be blissfully happy with today. So I’ve changed that. Getting my run on helps as I’m actively respecting my body now. My arms might be flapping in the wind this Spring Summer but I will be proudly doing so with a selection of cute capes on the side.

  10. Great post Nikki. We all like to look our best but it doesn’t do to be paranoid about one’s bod. As a 60 plus I definitely have bingo wings but if I can live with that then others will have to as well. I know who my friends are, they are the ones who build me up rather than knock me down. Bare arms for me when it’s just too hot for anything else.

  11. Arm coverer here…
    I noticed in my travels to India, in the dust and heat that everyone wore long loose sleeves and long flowing cotton to their toes either as a sari or pants…I found this infinitely more cooling and stylish +++ and never stuck to a seat or got burnt.
    All your looks are fabulous, yet again, I am esp click clicking on that gorgeous Maiocchi skirt link …
    I am a kaftan lover from way back and 100% endorse wearing these everywhere.

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