Ask Allie: the Best Ankle Boots for Curvy Women

I love your blog thank you for all the great advice! I was wondering if you had any tips for wearing ankle booties for curvy ladies? I love the look of them but can't seem to make them work on my size 14 body.

I have big calves like you, how can I make ankle booties work?

Can plus size women wear ankle boots? I want a pair but don’t want to look stupid.

This is a tough question to answer because each woman is built differently. However, I will assume that you’re asking me because you do have thicker legs, which is making such booties not look the same on you as they do on a model or another blogger. As a curvy woman with large legs, I steered clear of ankle booties for a long time because they cut me off at the slimmest part of my leg and emphasized my large calves. And then I tried a black pair with black tights and loved the look.

After owning that one pair of black ankle booties, I got more bold with them. I wore them without tights, with jeggings, with maxi skirts… and I even bought a pair in a different color. Now I own a couple different styles of shooties and ankle booties and will share what I have found to make such footwear look good on my curvy frame:

THE BEST ANKLE BOOTS FOR THE CURVY WOMAN


Accept You Will Never Look Like the Model. I don’t care if you find a pair of booties with the baggiest opening, they will never look the same on you as they do on a woman with calves half your size. This isn’t a bad thing. Again, we women come in all shapes and sizes and I believe we all deserve to have fun with fashion. Embracing your shape makes it far easier to successfully rock trends like ankle booties. Don’t try to look like the model… try to look like you.

the Best Ankle Boots for Curvy Women featured by popular Washington DC fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen
 Wearing ankle booties with the same color opaque tights to create a continuous line

Create a Continuous Line. If you feel that an ankle bootie cuts you off too much, consider wearing it with opaque tights in the same color. I have brown ankle booties I wear with brown tights, and two different pairs of black booties I wear with black tights. It’s less extreme of a look and lets you wear the trend without it wearing you.

the Best Ankle Boots for Curvy Women featured by popular Washington DC fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen
Wearing ankle booties under jeans, jeggings, and skinny pants

Over, not Under. A hot look is skinny jeans or leggings tucked into a bootie. This bootie is usually loose on the ankle, making the model’s legs look even longer and slimmer. However, when you have thicker legs and more curvy of calves, this has an opposite effect. Wearing the bootie under straight, slim, or bootcut jeans or pants (loose enough to not show the bump of the boot top, tight enough for a long leg line) will keep the leg line going, and better show your curves. I have even been able to successfully do this with my Miss Sixty booties and a stretchy legging or jegging.  This styling trick also hides thick ankles and calves, and those of you like me who often find booties don’t stay zipped up because of ankle girth.

the Best Ankle Boots for Curvy Women featured by popular Washington DC fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen
Wearing my “Gateway Ankle Booties” – the Miss Sixty Jaiden, which has a high slim heel

Go Slim and High. A high and slim heel will lengthen the leg and give your calf a great shape. I have two pairs of black ankle booties – one with a wedge heel, one with a stiletto heel. Both are the same height, but the stiletto booties make me look taller and my legs more shapely. Also, having a great detail like a slim heel will garner compliments and individuals will notice the shoe more than how your leg works with said shoe.

the Best Ankle Boots for Curvy Women featured by popular Washington DC fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen
Wearing my Nine West wedge and Cole Haan slim heeled shooties 

Consider a Shootie. A shootie is similar to an ankle bootie, but with a lower vamp. Such styles allow the ankle to be seen, which better shows the flattering curves of your leg. While this style doesn’t work as well with the skinny jean look, it works really well with tights and under different styles of trousers and jeans.

Don’t Let the Shoe Suffocate You. If your leg is pouring out of the top, don’t buy the shoe. If the top of the bootie cuts into the back of your leg when walking, don’t buy the shoe. If you think you can stretch out the top of the shoe with wearing to make it look better, don’t buy the shoe.

Wear it with Gusto.  If you love them, and wear the best ankle boots with confidence, they will look great.  If you wear them with trepidation, it will show and look awkward.  It's not necessary to adapt popular trends to look fashionable, a stylish woman knows which trends to embrace and which to ignore.  Wear if you love it, and let the world know it!

Wardrobe Oxygen: Ankle Boots for Curvy Women - the Best Ankle Boots for Curvy Women featured by popular Washington DC fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen

 

28 Comments

  1. Brittany
    October 24, 2018 / 12:04 am

    I just LOVE the skirt you have in those outfits with the blue jacket and yellow cardigan! Where did you find it? It is so flattering on you!

    • October 25, 2018 / 2:28 pm

      It’s from Halogen, a line at Nordstrom but it’s several years old.

  2. Jules
    August 19, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    I like how you actually have calves and ankles like mine! Every site I have seen is someone talking about how to dress with heavy calves and ankles and the model is skinny with normal shapely legs and ankles. This really gives me some hope that I too can wear other cute things besides my normal jeans that I wear all year round because I would rather die from heat exhaustion than show off my calves and ankles. Thank you, thank you so much for your insight!

  3. Amanda Moran- Sansone
    October 18, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    Thanks for the article. What about “boyfriend jeans” rolled up with ankle boots? I dont like the look on me.

    • October 19, 2015 / 6:03 am

      I think this look is really about proportion. I only have one pair of boyfriend jeans and one pair of ankle boots that looks good on me – the jeans aren’t too slouchy and not too tight at the cuff, and the boots are higher with a heel. Even then, I feel it needs the right top and whole look. But then my friend looks fantastic with shorter flat boots with the curved/Western opening with everything from tee shirts to dressier tops.

  4. CrazyLee
    May 9, 2015 / 10:20 am

    Allie I love your look! I have always had big calves and ankles and I’ve always been super self-conscious about it. I would give to wear skirts and dresses but I feel like I look stupid. Im short and big have a big bust. Great tips and great article! Any tips for summer?

    • May 11, 2015 / 12:52 pm

      I wrote this piece about shorts: http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/2013/05/can-every-body-wear-shorts.html my biggest advice is no one notices as much as you. They will be more likely to notice you getting overheated than the size of your calves and legs. My personal tips are to tan the legs (I use artificial methods), and to wear shoes that are low-contrast to elongate the leg (I wear light tan sandals almost all summer long, and if I wear sneakers they are the low-profile Converse Shorelines and in white). Hope that helps and have a great summer!

      • CrazyLee
        May 11, 2015 / 12:55 pm

        Thanks for the great advice! Ill keep that in mind while im summer shopping 😉

  5. bella
    February 4, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    I have question regarding lace up booties. I just bought a pair that are not too high up the calf – they have regular laces and then the loop type for 3 rows…so not the longer calf ones you see a lot of. I see on other sites they don’t recommend them for curvy ladies. What do you think?

    • February 5, 2015 / 6:06 am

      Are they comfortable? Do they lace up well – no gaping or anything over the curves of your legs? Do they make you feel like a badass? If you answered yes to all three I say ROCK THE BOOTS! If you want to de-emphasize the size of your legs, wear these boots with leggings, pants, or hosiery of the same color. But really the best accessory to wear with such boots is CONFIDENCE! If you love them, wear them with pride.

  6. MommieGoose
    January 15, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    I can’t believe I found this post. I never realized others were self conscious of the boogie look with larger calves and such. I will try and embrace the look, since I love it. Going to go out and finally get a pair and put them to use with some of the above suggestions. Thank you!!

  7. Alexandra
    October 10, 2014 / 1:24 pm

    Great advice. I have been in love with this look and totally bummed because of my thick legs. I will not look like the model! SO simple! And I am free, and off to a party in a pair of new booties. 🙂 Thanks

  8. NV2AZ
    September 12, 2014 / 8:17 pm

    Uhh do you not realize literally none of these outfits/boots look good on you….? Don’t try to give tips when you can’t even pull them off yourself.

    • Alexandra
      October 10, 2014 / 1:26 pm

      This is just a nasty comment. I think you look lovely and confident in all of the pictures.

  9. December 11, 2013 / 4:53 pm

    I had the Miss Sixty Jaidens and got rid of them because I didn’t like how they flapped around my ankles. I actually think they look way better on you as your ankle fills out the top of them and they look like they fit you.

  10. MaggieSnarkface
    December 9, 2013 / 11:24 pm

    I didn’t realize this was a plus-size issue – but I do hear a lot from a lot of women of all sizes that they don’t think they can wear a bootie (or shoetie). I love both, and have been rocking them for quite some time now. The other thing I would add is to find a bootie with a larger opening so there is space between your ankle/leg and the boot. This will always give the illusion of a smaller leg, whether with a bootie or a boot.

  11. Ginger
    December 9, 2013 / 8:17 pm

    I think wearing them with same color stockings is the way to go if you’re new to the shoe. I’ve gotten used to your pics with stockingless legs, but it’s a bold move.

  12. Danielle Peters
    December 9, 2013 / 7:44 pm

    What brand of opaque tights were you wearing?

  13. foodfashionandflow
    December 9, 2013 / 4:31 pm

    so many cute looks!I really like the way ankle boots look with skirts and dresses.

  14. fashionforgiants
    December 9, 2013 / 4:08 pm

    Great post and fabulous pictures. I can definitely get on board with the shooties, especially. I recommend them quite a bit.

  15. MarlaD
    December 9, 2013 / 3:22 pm

    I LOVE the look of ankle boots on more sturdy legs…in fact, I often don’t think they look right on slimmer ankles when there is so much room left over at the top. Actually, this is my favorite look on you! I am one of the sturdy legged, and last year I found a pair of moto boots that hit me about a third of the way up from my ankle to my knee with enough room at the top to slide a finger in, no more. I wear them with shorter skirts, longer skirts, tights, no tights, and with a little peek of a colored sock peeking at the top…hands down my favorite shoes at the moment. I don’t walk when I wear them, I STRIDE.

  16. Amy
    December 9, 2013 / 2:44 pm

    Yay! Thank you for making a full post out of this. Great advice.

  17. The Unmartha
    December 9, 2013 / 2:37 pm

    I love how you change up not just your clothes, but hair, make-up, and style with each look. I love how versatile you make a wardrobe. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  18. Emily Kate - Capital Style
    December 9, 2013 / 1:59 pm

    You always make it look so easy!! Love all these looks! I usually hide mine under pants. You’ve inspired me to try them with a skirt!

  19. Patti_NotDeadYetStyle
    December 9, 2013 / 1:38 pm

    Great looks – and I just love shooties for Fall and Winter.

  20. December 9, 2013 / 1:20 pm

    You make it look so effortless, ankle booties.

    I have yet to do this with a pair I recently bought but alas, snow has fallen I am too pregnant to try wobbling on heels!!

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