Sayonara Tan Lines

Japanese summers are extremely hot with lots of bright and penetrating sunshine. It is common to see women walking around town with parasols to beat the heat and avoid sun damage. I’ve never really been too concerned about sun damage since I have darker skin. I usually just lather on sunblock and go about my day. That is, until I bought a strapless wedding gown.

I’m a preschool teacher, and this means that I spend a considerable amount of time outside. Even with sunblock, I always end up getting a farmer’s tan—a tan that covers only my arms and neck—toward the middle of the summer (it usually fades away by mid-autumn). I never really cared much about it because it’s so slight, but my wedding dress prominently displays my arms and neck and I am stressing about having my tan lines show up in my wedding photos.

Hive, I’ve taken extreme measures. Besides sunblock I have started to wear “sun sleeves.” I’ve never really seen these in the States, but many women use them in Japan, and probably throughout Asia.


Sun Sleeves image via

They are basically pull-on sleeves that cover your arms when you are wearing a short sleeve shirt. I always thought these looked kind of silly, but the tables have turned and I wear them every day when I go outside with my kids.


Rocking some sleeves at work

I even wear them when I go out on the weekends.


I’m hoping that a combination of sunblock and sun sleeves will prevent me from getting tan lines so I can look stunning on my wedding day.

What are you doing to prevent tan lines on your wedding day? Is anyone taking extreme measures?


Mrs. Gondola

Wedding Date:
December 1969
A Highland Fairy Tale: We Promise (Ceremony Part Two)
I've Got 99 Problems and Postage Is Definitely One”¦

Related Posts

Add a comment


  1. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 8:49 am

    This is awesome!! As that crazy girl who carried around a parasol in the spring to prevent tan lines, I totally undertand!

  2. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:16 am

    Seriously, this is absurdly hilarious. And I don’t blame you one bit! It seems crazy and extreme, but after seeing what other brides have gone through with tan lines, I would do the exact same thing! Anything to avoid tan lines!

  3. rucksack Member
    rucksack 518 posts, Busy bee @ 9:50 am

    I feel like every time I read your posts I’m like “I’ve never heard of such things!” Way to open me up to the world, Miss G! I totally would have done something like this, so I get it! I used Jergens Daily Glow to rid me of my tan lines and thank goodness it worked! My seamstress definitely gave me a lecture on tan lines at my first fitting and I didn’t want to upset her again 😉

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Samantha, Guest @ 9:51 am

    I’m getting married in the Midwest in January. That should take care of tan line problems.

  5. Member
    kit_kath 1327 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:53 am

    I’m super pale so wedding or not I have to take some intense measures to avoid sun. I wear sunscreen daily, even in the winter, and avoid the outdoors as much as possible in the summer. No matter what I always end up a little pink sometime in July. Maybe I should look into importing some of these things 😛

  6. penguin Member
    penguin 3490 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:06 am

    I always found it so fascinating that the drugstores in the west are lined with tanning products and in the east, lined with whitening products! I too am blessed with “easy tanning” so if I don’t watch it I get all kinds of funky lines. The sleeves in the package look really goofy but look pretty normal when you’re actually wearing them, Miss G!

  7. Member
    RoadWarrior 28 posts, Newbee @ 10:42 am

    I’ve been really watching what I wear, and trying to find tube tops as I also have a strapless. I’ve also gotten out my teeniest bikini top and lay in my backyard evening out my tan. I’ve started to go so far as putting sunscreen on the parts that are already tanned and none on the lines to try and even everything out. A little crazy but I will have these pictures forever and I don’t want white strap lines

  8. Member
    jilleeann 409 posts, Helper bee @ 1:39 pm

    I’m a pale redhead, and personally, those are genius! I have a few silk scarves that I keep with me if I’m doing something and find myself in a sunny area. I usually use them to cover up my shoulders if I’m wearing a tank top. I’m also okay with parasols being popular, I’d be okay with rocking one. Hm…

  9. camel Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 7:24 pm

    Haha I totally remember that “white skin” obsession while I was living in Japan. I was always told to watch out for which moisturizers I bought as some had whitening agents. My natural untanned skin tone is freakishly white — my foundation color is called “alabaster” for Pete’s sake, so I really didn’t want to apply any additional whitening agents. Not to mention, who knows what goes into those products! But it’s awesome to see the Japanese obsession with avoiding the sun is actually beneficial to you as you avoid tan lines!

  10. Member
    Reeniero 939 posts, Busy bee @ 8:44 pm

    I need these! My arms are a totally different color than the rest of my body.
    Do they ship to the US?

  11. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 8:44 pm

    Ah… the good ol’ days in Japan! I, like Mrs. Camel, am a very pale person and don’t tan easily. People in Japan always admired that. I did go in for the big sunhats, though, because full on sun is just too hot.

  12. Member
    missslipper 55 posts, Worker bee @ 9:57 pm

    Hey! Gotta do what you gotta do!I need these

  13. Member
    DBS5127 220 posts, Helper bee @ 7:09 am

    One of my students bought me those as a present during my first year teaching! I had NO CLUE what they were (as the packaging was not English), but my guess was pretty much correct.

  14. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:21 pm

    I’ve never heard of that, so interesting!

  15. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:40 pm

    @Mrs. Blue Whale: You were not crazy! I totally back you up on the parasol.
    @Blonde17Jess: I always thought it was silly too, but once you get a wedding dress your perspective changes!
    @Miss Rucksack: Oooh, I’ll try the daily glow. I’m still getting a slight farmer’s tan so I think I might need something to balance it out.
    @Samantha: Lucky!
    @Kit_Kath: @jilleeann: @Reeniero: @MissSlipper: If you’re interested they sell them here:
    @Mrs. Penguin: Thank you, I still feel silly wearing them though!
    @RoadWarrior: I know, having the pictures forever puts so much pressure to look perfect. @Mrs. Camel: Yes, I have to buy all my skin care stuff from the states because everything seems to have whitening in it. Mr. G suggested using whitening cream for my tan lines and I was like “No Way!” Who knows what is in those creams and what reaction I would have to it/ @Mrs. Bracelet: We are right in the middle of summer now, you can imagine how hot and sunny it is right now. It is Obon and I’m only leaving the house in sleeves and a hat!
    @DaniLyn: That’s kind of them. Did you wear them in the states? Did you get strange looks?
    @Mrs. Waterfall: Thank you!

add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors