Do you have thick, short legs? You’re not alone! I’m a fellow petite with thick legs so I feel your frustration. As much as we want to fully embrace the bodies we were given, understanding how to dress it in a flattering way can be a process – regardless of your height and shape.
As a petite girl, if your legs happen to be also thick, it adds another dynamic to the style mix. With spring and summer in full effect, I wanted to share a few of the style tricks to dressing short and thick legs I’ve learned over the years to help you step into the new season with confidence (and style). These tips are easy to follow, and let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
Straight leg pants
When your legs are thick and short, the pants silhouette plays a key silhouette.
One of the most flattering silhouettes for your legs is a straight leg.
This applies to both pants and jeans.
By wearing straight-leg pants, you will be de-emphasizing your legs, especially when your pants are black or other darker colors.
Brighter color top
If you wish your legs to look longer and more slender, dressing to shift the focus away from your thick leg is the best way to create more balance in your entire shape.
When we DON’T do so, it often enhances what we are born with and can make our legs appear even thicker and shorter than they are – I know, I know a petite woman’s worst nightmare!
Since we know we need to create some balance in your shape, you want to bring more of the focus in the way you’re dressing to the top half of your body.
There are countless ways of bringing attention to the top half.
A great way to bring more focus to the top half of your body is to play with colors.
What generally works is to wear a neutral color on the bottom with a pop of color on the top half. For your bottom, you can opt for dark wash denim or straight-leg pants, and for the top, a well-fitted shirt or jacket that is not too tight.
Avoid skinny jeans
Now you know you want to create more focus on the top half of your body, this also means that you will want to avoid clingy materials on the bottom half.
Wearing clingy, very tight-fitting garments on your bottom half (skirts, pants, etc) is going to do the opposite of creating balance and will bring ALL of the attention to your bottom half.
Dark color wide leg pants
One common question people always ask is “if my legs are already thick, can I wear wide-leg pants?”
The answer is you can, but you should be selective about the color, pattern, and length of the wide-leg pants.
The benefit of wide legs is that they make your thick legs less noticeable.
Of course, because you ARE petite you don’t want to take this to the extreme and wear garments on the bottom that are TOO flowy, as they can shorten you drastically.
It’s all about finding a balance, not too form-fitting but not too big. This will give the illusion of a longer, leaner-looking leg.
When you have short, thick legs, block heels are one of the best options for you.
Most petite women are loyal to high heels. We love a little additional height!
Block heels are particularly flattering for your legs because they are thicker than stilettos and therefore provide more support for you and make you feel more comfortable when walking and standing.
Caution with flats
Unfortunately, many flat shoes tend to bring you down (literally and figuratively) and can cause your thick legs to look thicker.
While there are exceptions to every rule, if you want to create leaner-looking legs pop a heel on!
Don’t worry though, if you can’t rock a 6” high heel all day long that’s not necessary. Even a medium-height heel will be enough to give you an added length boost to flatter your thick legs.
Avoid black ankle straps
There is a high-heel (and flat) shoe type that thick-leg ladies need to avoid at all costs.
Shoes with black ankle straps.
As much as I love giving you creative leeway to rock what you love to wear, ankle straps aren’t a good choice for a woman with short and thick legs.
Wearing an ankle strap cuts off the leg line right at the ankle, which isn’t great when you have short and thick legs.
In fact, when you have thick legs the ankle strap emphasizes this fact by drawing attention to your thick legs and making them appear larger.
To be quite honest, ankle straps aren’t great for ANY petite woman because they cause us to look shorter. Do yourself a favor and just skip the ankle strap heels and shoes altogether. There are so many other better options for my fellow thick-leg petites!
Skin color shoes
That said, I do understand some of us do need to wear ankle straps at times.
I know that because I have small feet and a lot of times I just cannot wear pumps without them sliding off my feet when I walk.
If you are like me, you may not have much choice other than wearing ankle-strapped heels.
The solution for that is to opt for nude colors which look close to your skin tone and thus the straps will be much less obvious. Here is an example of the opposite.
The girl in the photo is beautiful with short and athletic legs. If I were her, I would switch the shoes to nude color heels with skinny ankle stripes. Black shoes make the ankle strips most noticeable, which means your legs will look obviously cut off.
A-line silhouette dresses are going to be your BFF (not to be dramatic or anything).
The reason a-line is so great for short and thick legs is that it’s the perfect balance between slim fit and too loose.
Plus, a-line makes your legs appear slimmer because of the silhouette shape.
Do keep in mind that because you are petite, you won’t want an A-line silhouette that’s TOO exaggerated in its shape. The reason is too much volume can have a reverse flattering effect.
Just like the A-line dress, any skirts that flare out instead of clinging to your bottom are going to be very flattering to your shape.
Additionally, anytime you find an A-line skirt, make sure the length is just above your knee.
This length is best for a petite woman so it doesn’t overwhelm your body, besides, it ensures that you’re getting all the benefit of the silhouette to flatter your thick legs.
Caution with pencil skirts
Thick-leg petites are going to want to avoid skirts that are TOO clingy in their fit. For that reason, pencil skirts are not your best bet.
Because of their narrow fitted silhouette, pencil skirts typically will be drawing more attention to your bottom half, and therefore your legs, which is the opposite of what you want when your legs are shorter and thicker.
This is especially more noticeable when your pencil skirt is lighter colors, such as white or any bright colors.
So, in order to direct focus away from your bottom half, you should be very careful with pencil skirts, or perhaps just skip it altogether.
Pointed toe shoes
There’s one more shoe factor to consider when you have thick legs.
That is to choose pointed-toe shoes more often than not.
It may sound like a very small shoe detail, but, when you have thick legs, it can make a huge difference in figure flattery.
The reason pointed-toe shoes are a great option for thick legs is that they elongate your legs and create a slimming effect.
While I said high heels are a must-have for thick legs, I understand you may not want or be able to wear high heels every single day.
In the case that you need/want to wear flats the best option is going to be a flat shoe with a pointed toe. It’s going to be much more flattering for you than a rounded-toe flat.
So moving forward, start seeking out pointed-to-flat shoes.
The good news is that there are more pointed-toe flat shoe options now than ever before, so you will have plenty of choices to keep you stylish and to have fun wearing.
Of course, pointed-toe high heels are the ultimate style win for thick legs so don’t forget about the heels either!