Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Dressing Tips To Slim Heavy Calves and Ankles


Personal Note:  My calves and legs are not my best feminine asset.  I wear pants whenever I am not wearing heels and the only boots that I can wear are ankle boots. I was ahead of a woman on stairs a few years ago and she stated "You must be a dancer".  I knew immediately what she was referencing.  Genetics rule in the development of my calves/legs and not long hours on the dance floor or gym.   

This is an expanded post from 2016.  It is such as issued for me thought a revisit would be helpful as I have expanded the suggestions.   

I appreciate that this is not just my unique issue and welcome the suggestions that Debora has collected for those of us that welcome help.  

As Deborah states: "You may not be able to change the muscular legs or heavy ankles mother nature gave you, but you can make them a lot less noticeable. Here are 10 Dressing Tips to magically slim, heavy calves and thick ankles."

1. Avoid Flat Shoes

You may love flats, but they don’t love you. Flat shoes emphasize big calves and ankles and make you look squat. You’re better off with a medium-height heel, which tricks the eye into making your legs look longer and leaner.

Also, the wider your legs, the sturdier your heel should be. A  thick, chunky heel balances out heavy legs. A sturdy wedge or platform shoe works well. Avoid skinny stilettos, spike, or tiny kitten heels, which create too much contrast and exaggerate large calves.

If there’s no way you can wear heels ( even low ones), then a d’Orsay flat or peep-toe flat is a good option. The open part of the shoe exposes more foot elongating your legs and emphasizes heavy ankles and legs.

2.  Stay Away from  Ankle Straps

Any strap around your ankles or ties lacing up your calves (i.e., tie-up espadrilles) draws attention to these trouble spots making legs and ankles look extra large. The best shoes are open at the ankles.  A slingback shoe that wraps at the back of the ankle instead of in front is fine too.

3.  Pointy Toe is Perfect

Round toe shoes make legs look shorter and heavier, while pointy toe ones visually slim and elongate.

Ricky Lake

4.  Low Vamp Helps

The lower the vamp, the longer and slimmer your leg will appear.

5.  Nude Shoes Slim

When you match the color of your skin to your shoes, your legs gain a few inches.

6. Wear Dark Tights

Dark opaque tights worn with matching dark shoes make your legs look slender. Add a black skirt or dress into the mix, and your legs will appear to go on for miles.  Please stay away from contrasting or patterned tights as they will become an unflattering focal point.

7.  Full Skirts Slim

Heavy legs and ankles may make you feel like you can’t wear a skirt, but it’s simply not the case.  The general rule is the wide the hemline, the slimmer your legs look. Narrow pencil skirts that taper inward or any skirt that clings will emphasize the size of your lower legs. Instead, opt for swingy full or A-line cut skirts. These are the perfect dresses for big legs because they make your calves and ankles seem narrower by contrast.

Helen Mirren

As for the best skirt length? It’s just around the knees, either just above or slightly below, wherever you’d say is the narrowest part of your leg. It’s best if the hem is plain with no fancy stitching or embellishment.

Some women prefer a tea-length skirt to cover muscular calves, and this can sometimes work so long as 1) the skirt doesn’t stop right before or right at midcalf (emphasizing the problem spot) 2. you wear your tea-length skirt with a modern shoe, as this length can sometimes look frumpy.

Other skirts or dresses for thick legs are maxis that cover the problem area altogether. A maxi dress that ends at the ankle and has a high side slit adds some allure.

8. Direct Attention Up Top

Another good old dressing trick is: If you don’t want people looking at your legs, distract them. Wear dark colors below your waist and highlight your top half by wearing lighter colors near your face. Restrict prints to your upper body, and use fun accessories like scarves and jewelry to draw the eye up and away from thick calves and ankles.

9. Step into Long Pants

Hillary Clinton has made pantsuits her trademark, and it’s no wonder. Pants are perfect for hiding her famous “cankles” ( thick calves fused at thick ankles).  Your best bet is solid-colored pants in a dark color, but make sure they’re not too skinny. Tight pants will emphasize your calves. Bootcut or wide legs pants help hide the problem. And no cropped pants and capris. They draw the eye to the fullest part of your calves and ankles and make your legs look stumpy.

10. Get a Pair of Tall Boots

For large calves –  a tall dress boot or a riding boot is excellent. Knee-high boots with some detail at the top like stitching, a stud, or a tassel will draw the eye up and away from thick ankles.

Yes, you can wear booties, a little higher than the ankle is better and with matching, stockings or pants in the same color as your booties is best.

Don’t let your heavy calves or ankles drag you down! Many of the world’s top athletes, ballerinas, and celebrities have thick legs, but that doesn’t stop them from looking fabulous, so don’t let it stop you either.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not crazy about my calves but my problem is the opposite. Mine don't have the feminine definition that I wish they would. I'm working on them in the gym to get to where I want to be. Still, you offer some excellent ideas here and they are certainly something that I will keep in mind.