How to Make Your Skinny Arms Look Their Best

You have small arms, but the world doesn’t need to know

Jill Fanslau  |

Make your arms look bigger in shirts by following these 6 rules from Men’s Health fashion and grooming director Brian Boye.

Related: 3 Style Tricks To Make You Look More Muscular 


Eliminate extra fabric

“You don’t want the sleeve fabric to overwhelm your biceps,” says Boye. “Proportion is key. The tighter the sleeve, the bigger your arm looks.” Use the two-finger rule as guidance, he says: If you can fit more than two fingers between your arm and the sleeve, the shirt’s too big.

Read the tag

Boye recommends choosing T-shirts that contain a small percentage of stretch mixed with cotton. “This will help the shirt cling to your biceps,” he says.

Go down a size

Some men can’t bring themselves to buy anything besides a “Large.” The loose sleeves may overpower your arms, though, Boye explains. Put aside your pride and put on a medium or small to instantly make your arms look bigger. (Or at least not as small!)

Related: Overhaul Your Wardrobe On A Budget

Dress shirts

Pick the right fit

If you want your arms to look as big as possible in the boardroom, opt for slim fit, modern fit, or fitted cuts. “These are slimmer in the body and sleeves, and proportionally look better on skinny arms and frames,” Boye says. “Avoid classic fit, which is roomier in both the body and the sleeve.”

Show some skin

Roll up your shirt just past your elbow. “The cuff will add heft to your biceps, giving the illusion of larger arms,” says Boye.

Less is more

If you can grab a handful of fabric or more on your sleeve while wearing it, you’re doing your arms a disservice. It’s a sign you need a smaller size or a slimmer fit, explains Boye.


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