When I wrote about How to Wear Dresses when you have unattractive legs, a reader responded by asking, “What if you don’t like showing your legs at all? How do you cover up in summer?” I turned to my good friend, Image Consultant Sue Donnelly, to answer this in a guest post. Enjoy!
SUE: Yes, this is THE season when women of a certain age bury their heads in their hands and wail – ‘what do I do about my legs?’
Of course, if you have pins to die for, tanned, lean and going up to your armpits, you can move on. No need at all for you to be reading this article. If you are like the rest of us, the onset of summer is a nightmare.
Wondering what to wear in the summer if you can’t go bare legs? I have some tips.
1. The obvious – wear pants. Not very original but totally do-able. Linen pants are a great standby in hot weather, keeping you cool and chic at the same time. Capri or ¾ length pants are really chic and show off a slim ankle without revealing the rest of the leg. Wear with a cute kitten heel to lengthen the leg even more. A shorter length colored jean worn with ankle boots, so there is about an inch of flesh on show, is a fabulous way to be totally on trend if it’s not yet in the 90’s.
2. Try a midi or maxi dress. I’ve only just succumbed, and I’m already hooked. Midi length is fabulous for petites and for those of you who want to show off your amazing ankles. Wear with flat shoes, flip-flops or a small heel. They never look quite right with a towering stiletto.
3. Thanks to Kate Middleton, we can now all wear ten denier flesh colored tights without feeling 103 years old. Some even have the added advantage of control panels, so your tum, bum, thighs are streamlined too. Choose toe-less if you want to wear sandals. You could even go the fishnet route, as they are cooler to wear in hot weather.
4. Sounds crazy I know but I started a new trend the other year by wearing black, patterned or colored tights with summer dresses and I’m talking 40 denier or higher. It sounds bizarre but actually looks amazing with lighter colored shoes or sandals and is especially good if you are stuck in an air-conditioned room for any length of time. Hitch your hemline up a bit to make the most of well-shaped legs. Just remember that you choose either a shorter hemline or a lower neckline. Never both. That’s just tarty.
5. Like it – the tan, I mean. If your legs are just pasty, then this is the way to go. Alternatively, you could show off your beautiful, white skin as long as it’s like alabaster and not blue-veined cheese!
6. Leggings. These cover a multitude of sins. Wear them under tunics and dresses as an alternative to tights. Adjust the bottom hem, so they look good on your legs. Some women look better with them worn nearer to the knee, others nearer the ankles.
7. Divert attention. The oldest trick in the book but it works. Move the focus upwards by wearing a fabulous hat, bright lipstick, dramatic jewelry, a must-have scarf. Your legs won’t even be noticed!
Experiment and play. Laugh if it all goes wrong – it’s not the end of the world. Pretend it‘s a new trend like I did, and then you get to set your own rules.
Like to learn more? Sue Donnelly www.suedonnelly.com Style for your Soul, Spirit and Silhouette
P.S. Don’t like showing your arms either? Here is a great solution- pretty maxi dresses with long sleeves.
*originally published in 2012 and recently updated.