About this time last year, Spanx's latest invention, Arm Tights, officially received the Vogue stamp of approval. An editor from the magazine tested them out at fashion week and said they made her arms look "slender and toned." It's funny how in just 12 months, the language surrounding body image can change so much, and for the good of us all.
Right now, it's passé to have a Trinny and Susannah–style discussion of "bingo wings" or to even consider the concept that women might want to cover up their arms for fear of the aforementioned wobble. We've come a long way, and I'm grateful for that, but let's just get real for a second: Sometimes you don't want to show your arms off, and choice is the ultimate liberator.
I'm not an advocate for shapewear as an essential part of womanhood or as the only route to looking or feeling good, but these pieces can make your clothes look their best. And within this new Spanx creation lies a potentially useful little layering tool that could be a great part of your lingerie capsule wardrobe. Additionally, if you’ve embraced the modest fashion movement, Spanx's Arm Tights just might be the things you’ve been looking for.
Whether you're planning on covering up or want their "slimming" capabilities, keep scrolling to see what happened when I put them to the test. Are they are a handy item to layer up with for party season and when its cold out? Are they impossible to get in and out of? Did they make my arms look slimmer, and do I really care?
Question #1: Are they hard to get in and out of?
So the clue is in the name, folks. These little crop tops that sit just below your bust and have a scooped neckline are basically made out of a fabric akin to your regular tights. A little bit stretchier and noticeable more taut than a regular jersey top, these are essentially a posh version of the fashion hack you might have done as a teen (aka cutting a hole in hosiery gussets and wearing tights as a top). Because the fabric isn't anywhere near as tight and sculpting as some of Spanx's other products, you'll actually find these are just as easy as any other top to get on and off. No wriggling or sweating required.
Question #2: Do they slim the arms?
My arms are 100% not toned, and I always prefer dressing in a more covered-up way. So whilst each top does feel like a little hug (and they add a touch of firmness to the overall look of your arms), I wouldn't say they're working incredible miracles. However, I'll admit the benefits might be more keenly felt if your arms are bigger or if you're more self-conscious of them in the first place. It's worth noting that pieces lighter in hue are generally more see-through and that darker colours tend to be more "forgiving." With the white, pastel and light-grey shades, you'll want to consider your bra options carefully if wearing Arm Tights without another layer over the top. Here's a tip: Nude T-shirt bras are the best things to wear under any Spanx top.
Question #3: Are they a good layering tool?
Yes, yes and yes. I'm always struggling to find slimline crop-tops that work well under pieces I want to keep wearing in the colder months, such as this sleeveless jumpsuit. As well as a few basic colours, you'll also find versions in more elaborate knits like lace (and leopard print!), which I could imagine many people finding useful for adding a bit of interest to a basic party dress. Dear Spanx design team: Please look into developing some slightly more on-trend necklines. A roll-neck version of Arm Tights would be an item I'd really rely upon.
The final verdict…
Although these will go some way to making arms look more toned (I don't think I'll give up on the HIIT classes just yet), the beauty in Spanx's Arm Tights really lies in their ability to be used as a subtle layering item. Just like a bodysuit or slip skirt, most wardrobes benefit from these simple, versatile underpinning that works in harmony with so many other pieces you own. I'd recommend sticking to neutral colours to get the most use out of your investment. When buying from the official Spanx website, bear in mind that items may be subject to import taxes, and the prices we have provided below are a translation of dollars into pounds at the current exchange rate.