How to dress to hide fat calves

Updated April 17, 2017

Women with thick calves don't have to limit their wardrobes to a few safe, camouflaging styles or suffer through the changing fashion seasons afraid to experiment with up-to-date looks. There are chic, attractive options for all figure types and ways to fully cover or minimise the appearance of heavier calves. A little fashion know-how and a few slimming illusions will have you walking with confidence.

Invest in A-line skirts and dresses that flare towards the knees or just below them. This style's wide-cut line flatters heavier calves by making them appear slimmer. Alternate this style with long, full skirts that flow to the ankles, creating a soft and feminine look that completely hides the calves. Stay away from straight, tapered or clingy skirts that hit at mid calf. They make legs appear chunkier and the draw the eye straight to the area you are trying to downplay.

Select full-length trousers that flare below the knee. This style is one of the most effective ways to hide heavy calves. Avoid Capri pants, tight styles and those that are cropped below the knee. They will only add the appearance of weight to your lower legs. Leggings not only attract unwanted attention to heavy calves and ankles, but form-fit and outline them for extra emphasis.

Remember that boots are made for walking -- and for hiding thick calves! Boots that rise to just below the knee are an ideal choice. They not only cover up the problem area, but look fabulous when partnered with a full skirt. Resist the temptation to wear mid-calf or ankle boots, not matter how stylish and cute they may be. They will only play up your concerns.

Clear your closet of flat shoes, such as ballet flats, which only serve to make calves look plump and short. Also, go the opposite direction and get rid of stilettos, skinny kitten heels and ankle straps that direct attention to the calves. Ankle straps appear to cut the legs off, but people with heavy calves can feel confident in single or cross-strap styles that sit low on the feet. When unsure about what size straps to choose, the fashion rule of thumb is to pick ones that are as thick as your thumb. Also choose open-toed, chunky sandals or thicker, solid heels with open or sling backs for a balanced and flattering look that elongates the leg, especially when the shoes are a light or nude shade. Never wear black or brown shoes when dressing in pale or pastel clothing. The dark colours overwhelm and put the focus on your feet and lower legs. Wear shoes with slightly pointed toes for slimmer looking legs as opposed to rounded toes that only accentuate rounded calves. Have fun choosing shoes that feature bling and embellishments. They pull attention straight to the feet so that it doesn't linger on the legs. Apply this trick when shopping for summer sandals. Don't be afraid to glam up things with colour, metallics, rhinestones, grommets, shine and design.

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About the Author

Donna G. Morton lives in Atlanta and has been writing for more than 27 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from East Tennessee State University and spent 15 years in radio and corporate advertising, winning 10 Excellence in Advertising Awards for creative writing.