How To Look Modern in a Long Sleeve Maxi Dresses –

Long sleeve maxi dresses are popular with women 40, 50+  because besides covering your legs, they camouflage flabby midlife arms too.

But how is it that some women can look stylish and modern rockin’ a long sleeve maxi dress, while others look like burned out boho boomer, or Ma from Little House on the Prairie? Here how to Look Modern In Long Sleeve Maxi Dresses.

1. Shop for Long Sleeve Maxi Dresses that Cinch at the Waist

Loose, baggy maxi dresses with no waist definition (think mu-mus) are frumpy and aging. The trick is to find one that nips in at the waist, even if it is just a little. For example, a long sleeve maxi wrap dress crisscrosses at the bust and carves out a waist, giving you a very feminine, youthful shape.  Maxi dresses with elastic waists also give you more of a beautiful hourglass shape.

striped long sleeve casual maxi dress

2.  Choose a Maxi Shirtdress

There are hundreds of styles of long sleeve casual maxi dresses, but one of the most popular right now is the maxi shirtdress. It looks like a man’s dress shirt and has a casual, sporty feel. Maxi shirtdress are cut straight up and down so they tend to look a little boxy, so be sure to wear yours with a belt, or look for one with a drawstring waist.

3.  Roll/Push up Your Sleeves

If you like long sleeves because they cover flabby arms, but you want to look more current, try rolling or pushing up your sleeves to show your forearms. Three-quarter length sleeves also do the trick.  Showing just a touch of skin makes your outfit look more lightweight, more casual and gives you a more youthful appearance.

long sleeve maxi dress - blue and white stripes


4. Look for Light Airy Fabrics 

Maxi dresses with full-length sleeves are very aging when they are made from thick, heavy fabric. Stick to thinner, lighter materials, and when you can go for sheer or semi-sheer sleeves.  For example, a long sleeve chiffon maxi dress is light, feminine and modern.  Long sleeve cotton maxi dresses also have an airy feel.

Another nice option – maxi dresses made from soft, thin, silhouette-skimming fabric that follows your curves, such as a long sleeve jersey maxi dress.  black floral long sleeve maxi dress

5.  Avoid High Necklines

Another way to keep from looking too bundled is to choose a long sleeve V-neck maxi or one with a  scoop neckline. This way, even though your arms and legs are covered, your decolletage is revealed, giving you a more alluring, youthful look.

The open neckline of a wrap dress makes your neck look longer, which in turn, makes you look slimmer. Shirtdress maxi dresses can be unbuttoned at the neckline a couple of buttons, or you can leave them done up but roll up the sleeves and open of the last few buttons to create a slit.

6. Wear Currently Trending Colors and Prints

Drab, dark or muted colors can make you look dowdy. So can old fashioned prints like paisley, which look Victorian.  In summer go for light/bright modern prints to look festive and fun or a dark solid with splashes of lighter or bright color. Striped and color block maxi dresses with long sleeves are also on-trend.

A long sleeve floral maxi dress is always lovely, but tiny florals can make you look dated. Stick to small to medium florals, real or abstract in currently trending colors

off the shoulder long sleeve maxi dress

7. Try a Long Sleeve Off the Shoulder Maxi Dress

Showing some skin is youthful and sexy so how do you look sexy in a maxi dress with sleeves? One way is to wear an off the shoulder maxi dress.  A cold shoulder style is has a similar effect. It’s flirty and fun and adds a lot of personality to a long-sleeved maxi.

7. Search For Long Sleeve Maxi Dresses with Slits

Another way to look more alluring and hip in a long sleeve maxi is to wear one with a slit at the front or side. You get the coverage you want with some peek-a-boo leg showing through when you walk.

Long sleeve maxi dresses are definitely on-trend and can look Fabulous after 40, 50. Follow these tips to choose the right one, and you won’t have to worry about looking dated.

Here are some long sleeve maxi dresses that cover arm flab you will find in stores now.

shop the look


Want to read and see more? Here are some more modest long sleeve maxi dresses you may like.


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