by admin on June 10, 2011

j jill textured cardigan

we’re all getting older than we ever imagined, aren’t we?  and some of our friends/relations/husbands/book group members are even older than we are.  i mean, did you EVER imagine yourself in your ’50’s, much less approaching 60 or 70?  could you have pictured yourself or your friends as grandparents??  think back to a time when we all thought 30 was old!

one of the body-parts that becomes problematic as we cross the half-century threshold is our arms.  and what makes this worse is that arms are really fashionable these days—think of michelle obama!  most women younger than 50 can deal with arm-issues with a bit of an upper-body workout, and certainly this is a good thing at any age.

however, at a certain point there is not much more one can do about one’s arms except work around them.  if they don’t start to become floppity, they become stringy.  if muscle tone remains, the skin starts to look wrinkled and creased.  if wrinkles are not the problem, moles and freckles and sun-damage oh my pop up on every available surface.  so you see what i mean.  if you have none of these problems, issue a silent prayer.  for the rest of us, there are shrugs and cover-ups and little linen 3/4 sleeve sweaters.

of course, arms are not much of a problem in the winter, when few would choose to go sleeveless.  and they would not be much of a problem here in carmel, where it’s rarely warmer than 65 in the summer and one (at least this one) tends to freeze with bare arms.  however, even in carmel it’s hard to find a top with sleeves in the summer.  go into any store, look at any catalogue, and most of the tops are sleeveless/halter tops/cap sleeve, etc.  especially the ones in fetching fabrics and appealing designs.  one reader claims this makes summer shopping easy, as it so drastically reduces the choices.  (this is someone would tends to look on the bright side).

speaking of the bright side, esme has noticed that this season has produced a good crop of little arm-covering wraps.  she tried on a couple at eileen fisher (a light loose 3/4 sleeve knit number with a silvery sheen in gray and pink);  j jill carries some; nic and zoe have little shrugs that cover the tops of the arms.  unstructured linen or cotton jackets are good too.  this way you can buy your sleeveless tops and just cover up the sleeveless parts!  ironically, a popular look seems to be a sleeveless t layered under a sleeveless vest—cute, but certainly not the solution to our problem!

here where the summers are cool, the cover-up works well.  however, after spending a few days in chicago heat, esme became aware that there are some climates where you will simply roast if you wear much of anything!  although i totally draw the line at shorts, there may be times when you just need to bite the bullet and show your arms if you are to venture outside.  so your arms look old—admit it, you’re old!!!  fine!  you might try some striking jewelry to draw attention to your face (or cleavage if you have one), but these probably look old too!  fine!  learn to accept it!!  no one is going to mistake you for a 30 year old anyway!

on the other hand, most of the women with whom i’ve discussed the arms issue are way overly critical of their own arms.  your arms are fine!  a few laps and some wall push-ups will help, but hey….if you have arms, and they work for you, count your blessings and indulge in a little shrug shopping just for fun!

ah well,




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