Jewelry Choices to Welcome with Open Arms, Whatever Their Shape

The April 2010 issue of More magazine addresses an issue that concerns many women: less than perfectly shaped and toned arms. The focus of the article is on making arms appear thinner by means of “the best, most flattering concealments.” The article does not specifically address strategies for those instances when arms appear too thin or too sinewy to be considered ideal, but concealment generally can be considered a universal fix for any perceived flaws.


Illustration: More suggests that, if you really don’t like your arms, choose a kimono that will “more or less make your arms disappear.”

Along with tips on achieving light, medium or full coverage of one’s arms via choice of apparel, More includes some “quick fixes” – i.e., “Easy tricks to make arms look thinner, whether they’re inside a sleeve or out.” Among these quick fixes are two that employ jewelry:

1. Layer long necklaces to create a deceptive vertical line.

Long necklaces inherently have a vertical emphasis. The vertical line of long necklaces causes the eye to sweep up and down, focusing on length, not width. With all due respect, there’s nothing at all “deceptive” about that!

Utilizing layered necklaces also works by drawing the eye away from the arms and by creating a visual comparison that favors the arms. Optimally, the idea is to assemble a cluster of attention-getting necklaces that, together, are wider than the neck and therefore are visually also wider than the upper arms. The arms then appear relatively narrower. Note that delicate necklaces cannot as effectively achieve this result as pieces that have more size and bigger scale.

Keep the necklaces above the bustline if the wearer has a full bust along with full arms or if the wearer has a prominent tummy. Otherwise, attention may transfer to a different area that the wearer would also like to downplay or camouflage.

2. Pile on an armload of oversize bangles-the upper arm will look more delicate in comparison.

Piling on oversize bangles is problematic. Yes, the upper arm will look more delicate in comparison, but that’s not much consolation if the lower arm looks wide and stubby because the graceful curves of the arm are hidden under a stack of thick bracelets. That only succeeds in making the entire arm from shoulder to wrist look wide.

A better choice might be to select a wristwatch or one, two or maybe three eye-catching bracelets that draw the eye away from the upper arm and down to the narrow part of the arm at the wrist. Let people see the curve of the arm. Link bracelets and open designs that incorporate white space can be graceful choices that avoid a blocky look, especially if one has large wrists.

Whatever style of bracelets one prefers, it is critical to avoid bracelets that are too tight, which make the arm look heavy, or too big, which slip over the top portion of the hand and just look sloppy and distracting.

Jewelry can provide all manner of other strategic options to distract from one’s arms. Draw the attention up with eye-catching earrings that end well above the shoulders. Wear a brooch on a lapel or hat or jewels in the hair. Bring attention to the hands with sparkling rings. With your choice of jewelry, draw the eye where you want it to go, and welcome the resulting attention with open arms.