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Call to Arms

You: My arms are so not ready for spring. Everywhere I look, it is one tank top or sleeveless blouse after another. How can I circumvent this trend and still be comfortable as the weather heats up?

Nancy: Your arms suffer from what is called "life." Yes, Madonna’s triceps would be nice, but who has the time? There are many ways to show off biceps that are less than buff. An easy way to exude a sense of style while wearing a tank top and capris is to layer on a lightweight shrug or jacket. Banana Republic and Anthropologie offer some of the best options this season. Banana has started markdowns and, if you hurry, you might be able to snag my favorite cropped, cotton-knit bolero in ivory, black and taupe. Anthropologie also came out with a fabulous black-cotton, cropped jacket that I put back to almost everything sleeveless. Even if you have great arms, it gets chilly inside with the air conditioning blasting. An easy guideline to follow when working with three pieces: Match two colors (at least in the same color family) and make the third piece an accent hue. For example; your crop jacket and tank are black. Your capris are khaki or white. Choose a shoe to marry the look in either black or white, add a gold hoop and you are good to go.

If you prefer to avoid sleeveless altogether, choose a T-shirt or cotton blouse with a 3/4 sleeve for the most modern and directional style. A sexy 3/4-sleeve tee is the henley by Sharon Segal at Rich Hippie. One of the hottest trends this season? A printed cotton, fitted shirt. These are worn out and look most fresh when paired with a long short, cropped pant or capris. My favorites are from Craig Taylor and Liz Logue (available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Tootsies). You can also get this look for less from Harold’s.

Styles to avoid: a cap sleeve tends to make your arms look bigger and any type of sleeve with an elastic band.

Nancy Klompus, owner of Buy Request; www.nkbuyrequest.com, is a 25-year vet of luxury retail and a D-FW wardrobe stylist who specializes in ramping up what you’ve already got. Do you have a burning fashion question? Shoot Nancy an e-mail: editorial@dallaschild.com.