Pit chub. Side boob. Northside muffin tops. Whatever you call them, the bunching and bulging of flesh around the underarms can cause even the most beautiful women to feel self-conscious. Strapless dresses can be especially unflattering. That said, there are a handful of tricks to make arms look lean and lovely in these garments.
Fix the Bra
Bras that don’t adequately fit a woman’s bust will clash with strapless dresses, causing skin to be pushed up and out, toward the arms. Some stylists believe that a woman wearing a bra band and cup size that are one size smaller and one size larger, respectively, than her usual measurements will help to keep things in place. What’s more, specialty bras with side slimmers can also work to keep wandering flesh at bay.
Find the Right Cut
Most often, it isn’t the body but the dress that causes skin around the arm to pour over the edges of a strapless clothing item. By choosing flattering necklines, women can avoid the appearance of chubby underarms. Sweetheart necklines, for example, are preferable to bodices that cut squarely across the upper torso.
When shopping for strapless dresses, make sure to ask for advice from staffers who know what pieces are available and have seen them on a variety of bodies. Furthermore, seamstresses can do wonders with dresses that are imperfect but salvageable. With a little help from an expert, a dress can be made to flatter a figure instead of causing it to look worse.
The Power of Illusion
Professional spray-tanners offer what are called “contoured” tans that can produce the illusion of muscles where there are no muscles and shadows where less-than-lovely flesh can be hidden. The end results are limbs that look more fit and less flabby. Again, it’s important to seek an expert for this service, as attempting this process at home may do more harm than good.
References and ResourcesOprah.com: Your Biggest Dressing Dilemmas—Solved!
Times Union: On the Edge: Sleeveless/strapless wedding gowns are bad?!
Self: Flash – What's New Now: 3 Ways To Fake Toned Arms (For That Sexy Summer Dress!)
ResourcesOverstock.com: Guides: How to Wear a Strapless Dress
Oprah: Your Fashion Rx: Dresses That Flatter Your Figure