Large Calves and Ankles  I received a question from someone asking for help on how to make their legs look slimmer.  Because the question is pretty common, instead of answering her directly, I decided to answer it here on my blog.

Can you advise me about what kind of pantyhose should I wear?  The problem is that my calves are quite fat and I usually wear trousers, but this time I must wear a skirt and have no idea how to make my large calves and ankles look slimmer.
Thank you in advance! -G.K.

Dear G.K.-

Well lucky for you (not me), in addition to helping other women address this issue, I also have larger legs.  In fact, the chapter on large calves and ankles in my book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want was my most inspired chapter because of my own personal experience with the problem.

Okay, let’s forget about pantyhose for a second because there are other things you can do that are way more effective in the slenderizing of your heavier legs.  First, your shoe choices are crucial in making your large calves and ankles look slimmer.  Do not,  I repeat, DO NOT, ever wear a pair of shoes with ankle straps.  That’s right, raise your right hand and repeat after me: “I, G.K., solemnly swear that, no matter how sexy a pair of ankle strap shoes look, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever buy or wear a pair of shoes with ankle straps.”  Okay, not that that is out of the way, let me explain why they are so bad if you have larger legs, ankles and calves.

Large Calves and Ankles?  Do Not Wear Ankles Straps

Large Calves and Ankles This before and after photo, taken from my book, illustrates perfectly why ankle straps are bad news for anyone who has large calves and ankles.  You can see in the photo on the left that the ankle straps make this woman’s calves look much bigger.  In addition, the fact that the hem of the skirt she is wearing ends at the larger part of her calf doesn’t help either.  Therefore, in addition to avoiding ankle straps, if you wear skirts that fall below the knee make sure that they are hemmed to the narrower part of your calves.

Large Calves and Ankles?  Consider Nude Shoes

Large Calves and Ankles Next, let’s talk about the power of nude shoes.  If you have large legs a nude pair of shoes can be the biggest blessing in your wardrobe.  As you can see in the picture on the left, the dark shoes shorten this woman’s legs making her calves look larger than on the photo on the right which look longer and leaner.  Breaking up the legs with dark shoes shorten the legs and make them look heavier.  A nude pair of shoes elongate the look of legs which slenderizes the look of them at the same time.

Large Calves and Ankles Lastly, let’s discuss your question about pantyhose.  Pantyhose, per se, won’t necessarily make your legs look slimmer.  You could consider a pair of dark opaque tights or sheer black stockings in the cooler months to make your legs look less heavy, but for the summer these types of leg wear are just too heavy.  A standard pair of nude stockings will work in slenderizing your legs by bringing an evenness and tanner shade to them, however, if stockings aren’t necessary to wear and you don’t want to wear them, you can try one of my favorite products; Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs which can be applied to not only slim the appearance of your legs, but make them look tanner and more even in complexion.  I never wear a skirt or dress in the summer without using this product on my legs.

I hope that helps and best of luck!

Shopping for nude shoes?

Check out these styles.