How to Flatter Wide Calves


Dear Imogen,
I would be most grateful – on behalf of all the ladies blessed with wide calves – if you could write a post about winter fashion for women who can’t wear boots. Personally, my stocky legs and circulation problems prevent me from wearing boots – even if could find a pair that fits, in a colour I like, my flebologist would throw a fit. I don’t have ANY autumn/winter dresses or skirts because I don’t know what shoes I could wear with them (if any). Is there any solution to this – quite common – problem, or are we all condemned to endless winters in jeans/trousers?


how to flatter curvy calves


There are a few options, for summer and winter.

The maxi skirt or dress are an obvious and very easy choice as they cover the same way as a pair of trousers.

There are boot suppliers* such as Duoboots who make boots to fit your calf size so you’re not squeezing your calves in.  You give them your measurements and they are made to fit you.

Look for a skirt that doesn’t end at the widest point of your calf, this will make them look larger.

Instead skirts need to end just below the knee, or if you have longer legs you can wear the midi-skirt length which hits lower on the calf.  Midi-skirts often need a heel to stop them from looking frumpy.

Make sure there are no hem details that draw your attention down to your calves.  Keep your skirts and dresses plain and simple at the hem, but put detail up near your face to draw the eye upwards.

Use scarves, necklaces, earrings and brooches all to create flattering focal points.  Also wear lighter and brighter tops and plainer or darker bottoms.

The heels of your shoes can’t be too fine, nor should straps be, you need a more sturdy heel such as a cone or stacked heel rather than a stiletto or kitten heel.

In winter, team a knee-length dark coloured skirt with black opaque tights and black shoes to create an unbroken line and not draw attention to your legs.

Flared or bootleg trousers and jeans will be more comfortable than straight or skinny leg.

Avoid gladiator sandals and ankle straps on sandals or shoes.

*some more wide-calf boot options


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

More from Imogen Lamport

Why Do Women Wear Killer Heels?

. . On Wednesday I was in the car listening to ABC...
Read More


  • Can I recommend Bennetts Boots for wide calf boots? They’re an Aussie company from Melbourne who do mail order and have a website They have a great range and cater for calf sizes up to 55″ depending on shoe size. I have two pairs and can highly recommend them. Great customer service and great boots.

  • Arthur Beren has Thierry Rabotin boots just in, the Galaxy, that has stretch leather at the top and sturdy soles. I, too, have big calves. They are expensive, but light and last forever.

  • I love these suggestions. I will have to save this post for later reference. While I am trying to lose weight, I have always had big calves (even when I was at my lowest weight) so I don’t know if I will ever lose the calf problem. I would love to fit into some cute knee-high boots, but like to know there are other cute options too. Thanks for the advice. 🙂

  • What are the best tennis shoes for women with large ankles/calves to work out in? I can hide my large lower legs up until I hit the gym…HELP!

    • The best sports shoes are those that give you the best support! When working out you can wear long yoga pants to the gym and hide them, but playing tennis there is no way to hide them, and really, what you should be worrying about is finding a supportive shoe so you don’t do yourself any injury!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *