Dressing Tips To Slim Heavy Calves and Ankles

heavy calvesCan you barely fit into a pair of boots because your calves are so wide? Have you given up wearing dresses because you don’t want anyone to see your huge ankles?

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

1. Choose Footwear Wisely

You may love flats, but they don’t love you. Flat shoes emphasize big calves and ankles and make you look squat. Instead, choose a mid-height heel to fool the eye and make your legs look long and lean.

Heel type is also important. A thicker stacked heel, wedge or platform shoe balances out heavy legs. Avoid skinny stilettos which create too much contrast and exaggerate huge calves.

Also remember that the lower the vamp and the pointier the toe on the shoe, the longer and slimmer your leg will appear.

Most important of all avoid ankle straps. They’ll put too much attention on your thick ankles and blow them out of proportion.

Hillary Clinton

The reason Hillary prefers pants? To cover her heavy legs.

2. Pick the Perfect 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). If you have this problem you know how much easier it is to find pants than it is to try to find dresses for big calves.

Take a page from Hilary’s style notebook and invest in a pair of solid-colored pants with a boot-cut or flare leg. Anything narrower will magnify your problem area. Dark pants work best to shrink the area.

Also, avoid cropped pants and capris. They draw the eye to the widest part of your calves and ankles and make your legs look stubby.

3. Skirt the Issue

It may feel like you can’t wear a skirt, but this is not the case. It’s easy to find skirts or dresses for big calves- simply steer clear of pencil skirts or any cuts that cling because they will emphasize the size of your lower legs. Instead, opt for swingy, A-line cut skirts, the perfect dresses for big legs because they make your calves and ankles seem narrower by contrast.

The best skirt length? It’s just at the knee, the narrowest part of your lower legs. Avoid hems with details because they will negate the positive effects of the skirt.
Other skirts or dresses for thick legs are maxi styles that fall to the floor, because they cover the problem area all together.

4. Draw the Eye Upward

If you don’t want anyone looking at your calves, put the emphasis up top. Highlight your top half by wearing lighter colours by your face and darker colors below your waist.
Restrict prints to you upper body, and use fun accessories like scarves and jewelry to draw the eye up and away.

5. Use Stockings to Fool the Eye

Solid colored tights in a dark shade will make you legs appear slimmer. Pair them with matching heels and a skirt in the same colour to make your legs look like they go on for miles.

When tights aren’t really an option (like in the warmer months), wear nude heels that match your skin tone to achieve the same effect. Avoid contrasting or patterned tights as they will become an unflattering focal point.

6. Boot It

Selecting boots is a challenge when you have wider ankles or calves. The best options for you are slouchy or stretchy styles that hit mid-calf, as they will allow the most room and still allow a flattering leg line.

Also, riding boots tend to have a wider, more forgiving shaft.
Even if you aren’t plus-size, don’t be afraid to try the offerings at plus-size retailers as they may give you the extra room you need.

Don’t let your heavy calves or ankles drag you down! Many of the world’s top athletes, ballerinas an celebrities have the same problem but that doesn’t stop them from looking fabulous, and now it won’t stop you too.


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Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

  1. Thank you my lovely – I’m so glad there are many, many lovely people like yourself who share this

  2. I’ve discovered the joy of traditional Indian leggings – churidars – which bunch up at the ankle, hiding everything! The cotton knit variety are like track pants, worn under a long shirt. Pure comfort!

  3. Don’t be ashamed of them! Some people love big legs! We shouldn’t have to cover the bits of our bodies that we’re told aren’t nice. I.e. Pear shaped women are always told to wear a push up bra and show cleavage to make them look more hourglass. The hourglass figure is gorgeous but 8% of women have one and celebs and non celebs always think they’re hourglasses but they’re not. In reality you can not fake it or achieve it etc… Why don’t we other women just feel good about ourselves instead of trying to be something else!?!

  4. I have heavy calves and big ankle bones despite a rather small frame elsewhere – always hate my legs and I do have to wear dresses a lot. However, with foot problems and the square shape of my foot pointed toes cause pain and bigger problems and to me they make my legs look worse anyway. I do agree about lower cut shoes – heels are probably better but if I have to walk much there is no way. I really agree about the capris but it’s annoying that when you need lighter weight casual pants it’s very hard to FIND anything that isn’t a capri!

  5. When wearing heels I like to use compression stockings. Preferably black to get a more slimming look.

  6. I recently started wearing ankle boots with a fitted sort of top to the boot and an almond-shaped toe with dresses and skirts. I’ve found that they look great with skirts and dresses and as long as they’re paired with black hose (not opaque) and a darker or black skirt, they look really cute. The trick is to make sure that they don’t gap at the top too much, or it interrupts the line of the leg. Love them, though.

  7. Susan mitchell says:

    I have small feet but chunky calves and could never get boots to fit over them. However, I found a fantastic bootmaker/shoe repairer who stretches out the calf area on some machine, and voila they now fit perfectly.