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Q. I am a woman who has wide calves and big ankles. This is something that I have struggled with my whole life. I do not like to wear skirts or dresses because of this complex - too self conscious. I have a wedding coming up and need to wear a short dress as it will be in a house. Can you please advise what are some great shoes and dresses I can wear in order to help minimize the size of my legs.


A. There are several strategic ways to minimize the size of your calves and ankles:

1. Avoid shoes with ankle straps. A classic pump or d’Orsay pump with a high heel will help to elongate and visually slim your ankles and calves.

2. Opt for a monochromatic leg. If you are going bare legged, then opt for a nude shoe; otherwise, try black hosiery with a black heel.

3. Draw the eye upward. Choose a dress with embellishments or interesting details towards your face, or opt for a statement necklace or dramatic earrings to divert attention from your legs.

4. Wear a long dress. You mention that you need to wear a short dress since the party will be at someone’s home. There are plenty of long or maxi dresses you can wear that aren’t considered too dressy.

5. Choose a dress or skirt that flares out at the bottom. A fuller skirt will make legs look slimmer by comparison.

6. Make sure your dress hits at or above the knee. The shorter you are comfortable going, the slimmer your calves will look. Anything below the knee will draw attention to the widest part of your calves, creating a matronly look.

You can also opt for dress pants with a party top to avoid the leg issue altogether.

Wear black pumps with black hosiery for a lean, monochromatic leg
Nude heels with no ankle straps elongate and slim your legs
Draw the eye upwards with interesting details or a statement necklace
A full skirt makes legs look slimmer
Avoid hems that hit below the knee at the widest part of the calf. Anything at or above the knee is best.
A maxi dress is always an option

Q. Hi! I’m coordinating my cousin’s wedding in St. Louis at the end of March so I want to be chic & stylish but comfortable (no strapless) as I will be working. Any suggestions? I’m curvy (size 8) and petite (5’3”). Thanks!


A. You didn’t mention a color preference, or whether the wedding is black tie or not, so we’ve pulled together a variety of dresses for you to choose from. All of them are flattering for a curvy petite figure, and most importantly, you won’t have to worry about adjusting straps.

Q. I loved Emily Blunt’s shoes that she wore to The Wolfman premiere this week. I’m betting they are way beyond my budget, where can I find a similar pair?


A. Emily’s gorgeous Sergio Rossi Gladiator Sandals are over $800, if you can even find a pair. Since gladiators return as a trend for spring, there are many options out there. While none are quite as stunning as the Sergio Rossis, I think the ZiGiny Women’s Diva Heel (right) comes pretty close. Here are some more options for you:

Q. Is it taboo to wear sheer hose in the winter with a cocktail dress? My legs seem so pasty in the winter, and self tanners are always some sort of social suicide.

A. When you say sheer, I am assuming that you mean sheer nude hosiery. While not taboo, I am not a huge fan of nude hosiery. Unless you manage to find an ultrasheer shade that truly disappears against your skin, I would skip the nudes and opt for one of this season’s chic hosiery trends. The trend this season is not to pretend as if you’re not wearing hosiery, and instead wear prints, patterns and textures proudly.


For an evening look with your cocktail dress, perhaps try sheer black pantyhose (they’re back in style!) or a sophisticated lace pair.

denimleggings.gifQ. I love the look of denim leggings but don’t want to spend a lot on something that might be a short lived trend. Can you recommend some that won’t break the bank?

A. When worn right, I am a huge fan of denim leggings. To make the most of the trend, look for leggings that are made of denim, rather than cotton leggings the look like denim. The best part is, there are many affordable options out there. Here are some of our favorites:

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