Not many women, and especially not us petites, are blessed with long, lean legs of supermodel proportions. When you’re rocking robust calves and ankles, its not just finding clothes with shorter leg and hem lengths that’s a struggle, but ones that also come with a wider fit to accommodate muscular thighs, and boots that zip up over wider calves. We speak to many women who struggle to find flattering ways to dress a larger bottom half, but don’t give up, help is at hand! Although you can’t change the natural shape of your legs and ankles, there are some simple styling tricks that will help you feel confident when you’re getting dressed.
Here are 10 tried and tested tips that will work like magic to slim short thick legs.
Focus on the top half
This might seem obvious, but if you don’t want people to look at your legs, then focus on your top half. Choose a plain skirt or trousers and then draw the eye up with a printed top and wear accessories like scarves and statement necklaces. This trick will also make your legs look longer which is key for petite woman with shorter legs.
Choose drapey fabrics
Avoid clingy materials and instead choose soft, flowy fabrics. This works for both trousers and skirts. For petite woman with thicker calves, wide leg, flowing trousers should be your wardrobe go-to. Choose a pair with a high wait to elongate your legs and discreetly cover your calves. A drapey maxi skirt will also work.
Try a full skirt
We know how tempting it is to avoid skirts full stop when you have heavier legs and ankles, but you really don’t have to! The general rule that we stick to, is the wider the hemline, the slimmer your legs look. So steer clear of pencil skirts and instead go for fifties style A-line skirts. They work like magic to make your calves and ankles seem narrower by contrast. Choose one that sits just below or above the knee as this will make your legs appear longer.
Find the perfect pair of trousers
Find a pair of perfectly cut trousers in a dark colour and you’ll never be stuck for something to wear to work again. Bootcut trousers are a godsend for petite woman with thicker calves and ankles because they flare out slightly at the knee, hiding a multitude of sins and also adding height by sitting just above your shoe. As a general rule, avoid anything too tight fitting and also stay away from capri pants that finish right on the calf.
Wear black opaque tights
Black opaque tights really are a wardrobe saviour. When the weather allows, wear yours with some black shoes and they’ll make your legs appear to go on and on while slimming your calves and ankles.
Heels are your best friend
A medium height, chunky block heel will balance out your calves and make your ankles look much slimmer. In contrast, stilettos or kitten heels will exaggerate large calves so try to avoid them. For petite woman that need a boost, a medium height heel will also make you feel more confident and assertive thanks to the extra inches.
Avoid ankle straps
Avoid drawing attention to your trouble spots by tying or buckling anything around your ankles. It will just make your calves and ankles look wider. Ankle straps are also an enemy for petite woman because they cut you off and make your legs look shorter than they really are.
Opt for pointed toes
Pointed toe shoes will elongate and slim the bottom half of your legs. If you really can’t part with flats, a great compromise is a ballet flat with a pointed toe. Choose a pair with a low cut front, perhaps even showing off some toe cleavage, as that will make your ankles look slender and your legs look even longer.
Nude shoes will slim and lengthen
It’s the oldest trick in the book but it really does work. Nude shoes and bare legs will lengthen and slim your calves and ankles. Match the colour of your skin to your shoes and watch your legs instantly gain a couple of inches.
Invest in some knee length boots
It’s best to stay away from ankle boots as these, like ankle straps, will cut you off and make your legs seems shorter and wider. But a knee length boot with some detail at the top like a buckle or stitching will draw the eye up and away from your ankles. There are many wide-fit options now available all year round. Choose a pair with a slight heel to give you a little boost.