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9 Ways to Hide Fat Ankles and Calves (That Actually Works)

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The calves and ankles are usually the last things someone looks at intentionally. Yet if they’re out of shape, they can ruin a meticulous look.

Unshapely calves make the bottom half look out of shape as well. At the same time, swollen ankles are the nemesis of designer shoes.

When trying to hide fat ankles or calves, you should choose your shoes wisely. High heels, chunky shoes, and nude shoes are your best friends.

Avoid booties, flats, and ankle straps. Also, switch to long pants, flares, and long dresses and skirts. Strive to direct attention to the top.

The dos and don’ts of dealing with fat ankles go beyond choosing the right shoes. You also need to distract and not just hide the swollen ankles and unshapely calves.

Read more to find out how to hide those parts without trying too hard.

9 Ways to Hide Fat Ankles and Calves

When it comes to dealing with ankles and calves that are out of shape, you have two strategies to follow.

The first is to hide the offensive parts. Direct the eyes to somewhere up the top while making the ankles and calves inaccessible. 

The other strategy is to slim the heavy calves and ankles.

Together those strategies will make you stop worrying about your ankles and calves and start to enjoy being around people without worrying about being judged or criticized. 

So let’s start with the best ways to hide fat ankles and calves.

1. Wide Legs and Flares

The most obvious way to handle fat ankles and calves is to hide them under wide legs and flared pants.

Those slacks are always in fashion, so you won’t look like you’re trying to hide something.

Luckily flared pants come in different shapes and styles. So you won’t have to wear the same style every time and become known among your friends for it.

Here are some flares to choose from and diversify your wardrobe according to the season.

  • Full Flare with High Waist: One of the advantages of high waists is that they contain a wayward belly or what’s known as a muffin top. At the same time, the flares take care of the calves and ankles to give you the figure you always dreamed about.
  • Slim Thighs with Small Flares: We all know that fat calves on thin thighs tend to stand out. But jeans with slim thighs and small flares turn this look upside down. It accentuates your thin thighs while hiding the calves and ankles with small flares that start under the knee.
  • Wide Pants: You can think of wide pants as regular pants with flares starting from the waist down. They hide thighs, knees, calves, and ankles, leaving a lot to the imagination. Wear those wide pants as a change from your regular full flares. They give you a new look and open up the possibilities of mixing and matching outfits.

Wide pants are also great in case you’re trying to hide big thighs too. More on that here.

2. No Capri or Calf-Length Pants

It goes without saying that wearing cropped pants is the exact opposite of hiding oversized ankles and calves.

When you wear Capri or calf-length pants, you’re putting those parts on display and focusing the attention on them. That’s the last thing you’d want to do.

No matter how stylish Capris are, they’re not the right choice for swollen ankles and fat calves. The whole style is ruined once you put your shoes on and step outside. Capris seem to advertise oversized ankles more than any other pants, including short jeans and cropped trousers.

Capris end halfway through the calves, which tend to highlight both the calves and ankles. More so if the Capris or cropped pants are of a color that contrasts with your skin color.

In fact, you would definitely look better.

For one thing, short jeans put more focus on the thigh area while keeping what’s below the knees out of sight.

I recommend shorts if you’re confident about your thighs and your legs in general.

3. Pointed Shoes

When it comes to shoes, a lot can be said, not just about the style and color of the shoes but what to match them with. And I’ll talk more about shoes on this list. But I want to start with a common mistake people with fat calves and unshapely ankles make.

That mistake is wearing round-toe shoes. 

Round-toe shoes tend to amplify swollen ankles and oversized calves more than short pants would. They also give the illusion that the feet are just as fat as the ankles.

Pointed shoes, on the other hand, give your feet an extension so that they don’t appear short and thick.

They have a slimming effect not just on the feet but on the whole knee-calf-ankle part. The V lines are always in fashion. 

They make you look stylish, especially when you pair them with flared jeans or a long dress or full skirt. 

4. Tall Boots

These are a little bit shorter than I recommend, but works great together with the knee-length dress.

If you like to wear short skirts and A-line dresses, but your ankles and calves come in the way of your stylish look, then I recommend tall boots.

By tall, I mean over-the-knee tall. They should rest over your kneecap. Another prerequisite in the boots is that they should be black. Any other color wouldn’t work. Here’s why?

Black boots will hide the swollen calves and fat ankles without revealing much about the bulges.

This is not the case if you wear tall light-colored boots that reveal every detail of your calves and ankles. These are the details that you’re trying to hide.

One thing about tall boots is that they look stylish no matter what outfit you pair them with. They look great with jeans, skirts, short dresses, long flowing dresses, and even shorts. 

As a matter of fact, if you’re proud of your thighs and enjoy wearing short jeans, then tall boots are just what you need to finish up the look you’re going for.

I wrote a guide on what to do if your boots keep falling down that may interest you to read as well.

5. No Ankle Straps

What’s wrong with strappy heels, you might ask. The answer is that they put the spotlight on the unusual size of the ankles. 

Moreover, the straps squeeze the ankles and make them look bigger than they really are. This is not what you’re trying to do with your shoes.

Your goal is to cover the swollen ankles, not give them a place center stage. 

Tor Rydder

I understand the allure behind ankle straps.

They’re chic, they make you look good, and they give your ankles and feet excellent support. 

But when you have fat ankles, you will have to sacrifice the style and support for something more modest that doesn’t make your feet look so large.

And I have just the right pair of shoes for you. Try mules or any other strapless shoes.

They give you the exact support of ankle straps. And since you’re hiding your ankles under flared jeans or a full dress, whether you’re wearing straps or not, will not affect your look. 

6. Go Chunky Shoes

I really like this boot style as well for a more casual setting.

A quick question, how to make your fat ankles look slim? The answer is chunky shoes.

The idea is when you wear larger-than-life shoes, your ankles will look small and slim in comparison. 

That’s all good, but how chunky is chunky?

You wouldn’t want to wear clown shoes and stumble your way around table legs, stepping on other people’s feet and attracting attention to your feet and ankles.

Be reasonable with your choices. A 4-inch heel would balance the fat ankles and even chunky calves in the bargain.

Try to focus on high chunky heels that make you feel comfortable and give you the right amount of support.

One of the advantages of chunky heels is that they are easy to balance. They don’t put a strain on your ankles or twist your feet into an unusual angle.

All in all, they’re as stylish as they are practical, convenient, and comfortable.

7. Distract at the Top

One of the easiest ways to distract from fat ankles and chunky calves is to balance your figure by accentuating the top of the body. 

Baggy tops are the first thing that comes to mind when talking about balancing the top of the body to make the calves and ankles look slimmer. 

But baggy and oversize tops don’t have to give you a frumpy look and make it look like you are not even trying to look chic anymore. 

Believe it or not, baggy tops come in different designs, styles, and sizes. You just have to find the right style and size that matches your body and give you the look you’re going for. 

As a quick example, you could try an off-shoulder top. The distraction is right at the top where the missing shoulder should have been.

All eyes will be on the clavicle while your ankles will be conveniently ignored.

8. Thick Fabrics

Taking a break from designs and types of clothes, let’s focus on the fabrics themselves.

A dress made of thick materials will do a great job concealing oversized calves and ankles, even if it doesn’t totally cover them.

Thin fabrics like a summer dress would only exaggerate the size of your ankles and calves in comparison to the seemingly see-through material.

You wouldn’t want that.

Thick fabrics conceal and give a uniform look while hiding the bumps and bulges. And you don’t have to select a dress or skirt two sizes large to get that effect.

Even a fitting skirt or a long dress that hugs your calves or tapers off above the ankles with a convenient slit will make you look stylish while keeping the offensive ankles and calves out of sight.

I recommend choosing darker colors since bright or light colors defeat the purpose. They tend to show outlines of the calves. So avoid them at all costs.

9. Matching Colors

I understand that it’s not easy to limit your footwear to a few choices of knee-high boots, strapless shoes, and pointed shoes.

Sometimes you would just want to wear sneakers. 

Then you look at your big ankles, and you decide you don’t love sneakers anymore.

Not so fast. You can still love your sneakers and look great in them despite your oversized ankles.

Here’s the secret: matching colors.

Match your sneakers, socks, and pants down to the tone of color. Don’t just go with the approximate colors, but try to select the exact shades and hues of that color. 

But what color? 

Any color will do as long as you go monochrome. Monochrome gives you elegance and gracefulness to hide those fat ankles and calves.

Tips to Slim Heavy Calves and Ankles

So far, we’ve been discussing the different ways to hide the calves and ankles. But that strategy alone can get tedious over time. You’ll find yourself following the same style over and over again. 

Pin this article to help others have their ankles look slim too!

What you need is a different strategy to spice up your wardrobe and give you almost unlimited wearing options. That strategy is to make your calves and ankles look slim.

Here are a few tips.

  • Nude Shoes: Love them or hate them; nude shoes are here to stay. They make a bold statement and give the eyes a puzzle to solve: where your shoes end and where your feet begin. In the middle, your ankles will take a back seat out of sight.
  • Hems at the Narrowest Part: The hem of your dress or skirt should end at the narrowest part of your legs. That’s usually the knees. 
  • Avoid Ruffled Hems: Elaborate or embellished hems draw attention down to the calves and ankles. Keep the hems simple and flat.
  • Accessorize: Ankles have accessories too. Ankle bracelets are a thing. They’re flashy and hide as much of the ankles as you like. But don’t go overboard. Simple and elegant have the desired effect.


If fat ankles and calves keep you from looking your best, then find a workaround that hides them or makes them look slim. With the right shoes and select outfits, you’ll look stylish and chic every time.

Next, you can check out this comprehensive guide I wrote on hiding other parts of your body that you may not be comfortable showing either.


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