Q. The ankle strap seems to be back this year. Could you please show a few examples of how to wear these sandals so they do not visually shorten your legs.
A. You’re right, the ankle strap is everywhere this season in many variations, from thin and ladylike to thick and rocker-inspired to wraparound gladiator-style. You are also right that they have a tendency to visually shorten legs. Here are some tips for wearing ankle straps:
1. Flat gladiator styles that often wrap more than once around your ankle can be a tough style to pull off for women with short legs or muscular calves. Look for lighter colors that closely match your skin tone like the model in look 1 above. Wear them with dresses, skirts or shorts that hit above the knee to make your legs look as long as possible. Or, wear them with maxi dresses that cover most of the leg anyway.
2. Look for ankle straps that hit below the ankle, like the pair in image #2. As you can see, they actually dip down towards the foot, giving you an extra inch or two below where the typical ankle strap hits.
3. Look for skinny straps in light colors like the pair in image #3. This will prevent the straps from visually chopping your leg at the ankle. Again, opt for a hemline above the knee. You can also try wearing them with cropped or rolled pants that hit just above the ankle or just below the wider part of your calf.
4. This season’s newest trend is the chunky cage heel which often comes in dark colors and features thick ankle straps - a tough look for anyone with less-than-slim calves or short legs to wear. This style looks best worn with minis or short shorts which allow as much leg to show as possible. As with other ankle strap heels, you can also wear them with cropped or rolled pants that hit just above the ankle or just below the wider part of your calf.