Now that warm weather is here, are you suffering from SAD – Sleeveless Aversion Disorder? Or are your arms okay but you have MAD – Muffin-top Attitude Distortion? Is it BFD…Back Fat Despair? Are you ready to go into a KAVE to hide your Knees, Ankles, Veins and, well, Everything?
You are not alone. Bad body fever has infected just about everyone. In winter it is easy enough to cover your body with fabric, but in summer you need to feel confident about showing some skin or you will be miserable.
Trying to hide every objectionable part of your body here in Hawaii would be like living inside a hefty bag. It is not an option. Everyone wears what they wear and tries to stay cool. In this multicultural melting pot, waif-like thinness is not the norm or even necessarily desired.
Given that I have always lived with my own culturally driven version of MAD and BFD, this is liberating. When I was in California last month I looked at everyone squeezing into their skinny jeans and wondered why we were doing this to ourselves. What a dilemma it is to live in a land that celebrates gloriously fresh food, creatively prepared -but really only allows you to enjoy a few bites guilt-free. Paired with the perfect sips of wine, of course. The saddest part is that all the fault finding everyone does about their eating habits and body size is so isolating. Women blame themselves and struggle alone.
Meanwhile, the temperature is rising and the stores are filled with sleeveless tops and dresses. If you have SAD and are self conscious about your arms, here a few suggestions:
- Make a point of looking for short sleeves in pretty fabrics: lacy, fluttery, sheer.
- The shape of a sleeve, and where it hits on your upper arm, is crucial. Beware of short sleeve t-shirts! And square, elbow length camp shirt sleeves make me shudder.
- A higher armhole helps to avoid the dreaded dowdiness, but be sure there is enough ventilation.
- Snap up delicate, lightweight sweaters and blouses in great colors whenever you see them. Whatever your sleeve choice, you also need protection from air conditioning and ocean breezes.
I understand not wanting to go sleeveless for work or an important social occasion. When I was giving interviews on TV I didn’t want my upper arms showing up in HD either. But there is a big difference between wanting a bit of a sleeve as a fashion choice and choosing to be miserable on a sweltering day. During the hottest days of summer everyone else is so uncomfortable that they are totally unconcerned about your arm flab. Attention travelers, this is especially true outside the US. Don’t worry about offending anyone in Europe – they aren’t looking.
Very few women have arms like our First Lady. She makes the most of her assets, and so should you. Draw the attention away from what you don’t want others to look at, especially if you are self conscious in shorts or short skirts. If you don’t know how to do this, get a savvy, supportive stylist to help you.
For some cool coverage try:
- A little mini dress or longer tunic can look easy and stylish over loose, airy pants.
- The higher waistline that banishes the muffin is often easier to find in skirts than pants.
- Ruched, or gathered fabric, is waist friendly in everything from dresses to bathing suits.
- It is lovely to let your clothes float and billow, just make sure a portion of the garment is fitted. And not too big!
Whatever you choose, own it with confidence. If you need inspiration for slimming summer wear, you will have no trouble finding dozens of examples on-line. Oprah.com is a good one. We love make-overs of fat women looking thinner. Yawn, it’s hot here and I feel a nap coming on. Followed by an ice cream cone.
Enjoy your summer – in comfort!
Cute ensembles courtesy of Lexi at Sorella Hair and Fashion Boutique.