Updated: Apr 27
I kick off my new series 'Body Hang-Ups - Style Queries' with a post on legs.
I thought the best way to start this post was, to be honest with you about my hang-ups with my legs and how I feel about them...
My thighs are big and meaty in proportion to the rest of my body. They are unruly; a place where I carry the most amount of weight and they are unapologetically dimply and very white. I wouldn't say I love my thighs. They carry me around and they have helped me carry two babies around. I have completed two marathons and despite all the fat they carry they are strong too. When it comes to my ankles and calves, they are of a medium-scale however the below tips also work for larger ankles and calves.
Dressing for my thighs in particularly has sometimes felt problematic. I have felt many times that I want to hide the largeness, the softness, the dimples. During my style training and over the years of dressing my shapely thighs I've realised it's about finding clothing shapes that flatter them; clothes that make room for them and skim across them. Resulting in me, the wearer, feeling confident and gorgeous in them. I've learnt that it's not about hiding them. Coming from a place of acceptance and if you can muster it; love for the parts of us that make us feel insecure. I don't think I will ever say "I love my legs", but I acknowledge that I have legs and that they do so much for me, and I can do so much because I have them.
Here are my top tips for dressing big legs in summer:
1. Buy clothing that fits.
I know this sounds obvious but how many of us have clothing in our wardrobe that is too big or too small? Sometimes we buy clothes without thinking; we might be in a rush or panic that day or buying online late at night. We can find that the clothes don't fit our body the way we wanted them to; be they too tight or too big. Or my favourite - too tight in the legs and too big at the hips. Or maybe we have gained or lost weight.
My advice is to ensure you are buying clothes that fit, where possible try clothing on and remember to take back clothing items that you don't like (for whatever reason) in the store's refund timeframe.
Also, read the online sizing guide for the garment. If a retailer doesn't have a sizing guide online please let me know I will contact them about it.
2. Experiment With Different Styles.
A-line skirts, culottes, straight leg trousers, tailored joggers, maxi dresses, midi dresses, dresses and skirts cut on the bias, wrap dresses, high waisted skirts and trousers. All of these will work with bigger legs but finding the ones that work best for your shape and your style will involve some experimentation. If you would like to reduce trial and error you can book an in-person or virtual style consultation with me. Click here to arrange a no-obligation telephone call.
When looking at clothing have fun playing dress-up and try on lots of styles to see if they work for you. Some will look amazing, some will look ok, and others won't. That's all great as it's part of the editing process. Keep a notebook and pen handy to write down what looks good on you, and what you feel great in. Also it is good to note down what you doesn't work, and most importantly why that is.
3. Too Much Fabric Is Too Much Fabric.
However, a slightly loose silhouette can be flattering.
I understand that you may have fallen into the trap of hiding your shape, but I promise you that too much fabric means that you are actually increasing your size just from the volume of excess fabric.
4. Know If Your Natural Waist Is High, Low, or Neutral and Work With It For Maximum Comfort and Style Points.
If you have a high natural waist you would probably feel more comfortable in high waisted trousers, or trousers that sit higher on your hips. If you are low waisted then a lower waist or a neutral waist will be more flattering on you. You can also wear high waisted trousers but be careful that they don't end up looking like they come up to your bust. That's not a good look but you know that.
5. Have Clothes Tailored To Your Shape.
Dressing for big legs can be difficult particularly if you have small hips. You may find that making friends with your local seamstress is the best way to go for beautifully fitting clothes. To be honest, having a seamstress on speed dial to tailor your clothes is the best way to make your clothes look phenomenal on you.
6. Different clothing for different body shapes
Regardless of hip size try trousers that come to your natural waist, these might be "ribcage" trousers or jeans. If are a pear shape try a 'paper bag' style waist that comes with a belt and that you can tie into a bow for a current, beautiful silhouette. In my experience, the paper bag style trousers don't work as well on Hourglass and Spoon figures, if you are one of these shapes a normal high waisted trouser is best.
Also, have your trousers tailored to your body. A good tailor will make high street clothes look designer as they tailor them to your body.
7. Too Tight Clothing Is Not A Good Look BUT That Doesn't Mean It Can't Be Figure Hugging.
I know you know this but I see many ladies and gentleman rocking some tight garment lines where the fabric is stretched tightly. I don't think it's good for your organs, skin or your image. That being said I love to rock a form-fitting dress and know many other ladies of all shapes and sizes rocking a similar dress and looking great.
8. Use Jewellery To Draw The Eye Upwards.
Beautiful earrings or necklaces. As well as embellished or patterned tops.
9. Wear A Nude Shoe
The right nude for your skin tone will elongate your legs
10. Try Maxi And Midi Dresses And Skirts.
Not all maxi dresses and skirts are created equal. Again shop around and try some different styles on.
11. Try Straight Leg and Tapered Trousers
They also elongate the leg.
12. Avoid A Tight Ankle Strap
If you have heavy calves this will only make them more prominent. They also cut you off at the ankle making us all appear shorter.
How easy do you find dressing for your legs?
Do you have big legs like me? If so which stores do you think cater for you the best, and which are the worst?
I'd love to chat with you. See you in the comments!