big calf muscles on women legs (5)
Dressing For Your Body: Muscular Legs (Frequently Overlooked Fashion Issues)
by Amy Horton

Ever feel like those magazine fashion specials on dressing for your body don’ t really apply to your personal issues?  Yeah, me too.   I’ve decided to take on the (oh so heavy) burden of tackling some of these specifics myself – you’re welcome!


When you are athletic and have very muscular legs – especially in the calf area – it can be very difficult to dress as fashionably as you would like.  I am genetically predisposed to have large calves and also work out almost every day.  As a result, I have not only thicker legs but a lot of muscle, which is harder to squeeze into certain legwear.  It makes it nearly impossible to wear such current clothing staples as skinny jeans and knee-high boots.


Here are some tips for you if you have this problem too:


If you just must wear skinny jeans,

  • Pick some with stretch in them.
  • Try to find straight-leg versions.  They are more forgiving to curvy thighs and calves.
  • Usually those that fit in the legs will be too large in the butt and/or waist.  I have a big ole booty too, so my biggest problem is gapping at the waistband.  If they only gap slightly, you can wear a longer shirt or a belt to hide it.  If there is a large difference, you are just going to look weird.
  • Skinnies are always more flattering with boots pulled over them or bunched slightly at the ankle with heels.  The heels will create a slimming look and the boots help camouflage larger calves.


Speaking of boots,

  • I absolutely cannot zip up almost all pairs of normal knee-high boots, which really sucks.  Who doesn’t love a cute boot?  My calves are almost 2 inches wider than the average knee-high boot shaft.
  • You can shop for boots tailored specifically to those with larger calves, but they are usually “plus size”, which means they end up being too large in the ankle and buckling in an unflattering manner.  Just because I have large calves doesn’t mean I have cankles!
  • If you don’t find stretchy boots too tacky, they usually fit better.  I happen to strongly dislike them, but it is one of few options in this department.
  • Some styles are easier to fit to thick calves, such as riding boots , slouchy boots, and shorter boots that stop before the widest part of the calf.  Keep in mind, however, that these short boots can be unflattering to the rest of the leg.
  • Unfortunately, cute heeled boots are often too tight.
  • You might try a half-size up in the hopes that the boot shaft is a little larger – it should still fit in the foot with socks on.


There are flattering ways to dress and hide or minimize muscular legs:

  • Wide leg pants and bootcut or flared jeans
  • Long skirts and maxi-dresses
  • Shorter skirts or dresses that hit either above the knees or below the widest part of the calf
  • Skin-tone heels
  • Dark tights with matching shoes – this creates a long and lean visual line
  • Long yoga pants or wider leg workout pants
  • Shorts with looser leg openings
  • Any pant that skims the leg without clinging
  • Heels always lengthen, under pants or on their own


Bottom line – be proud of your muscle!  I have struggled with the feeling that I had “fat legs” my whole life.  Just because Hollywood makes us all feel like we should be standing on little toothpicks does not make it true, practical, or actually attractive.  Own your shape and love yourself!

Happy Shopping!

Follow me @AmyHorton18
Watch my YouTube Channel: MsSexintheValley

Amy Horton

I am an actress and writer living in and loving Los Angeles! I tend towards brutal honesty, but I have a big heart and an adventurous spirit. Writing for is my favorite activity :-)

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5 Responses to Dressing For Your Body: Muscular Legs (Frequently Overlooked Fashion Issues)

  1. I you there, I know swimmers that have trouble with strapless dresses because their shoulders are so broad from swimming, I totally feel you. I might be alone in this view but I think athletic is sexy.

  2. Irena says:

    Yeah, I share the same feature of yours.. :) I am waiting eagerly that skinny pants trend to be gone.. :D The straight leg pants (or boot cut) are the best for my legs. A heavier fabric leggings look great too no workout look). Large pants make me square looking..

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. All I can say is yeah, whoever came up with idea for skinny jeans needs their head to be examined. There are certain things that need to breath :)

  4. LA_Steve says:

    I hate girls with muscular/fat legs unless I’m drunk and banging her in the dark!

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