You know it’s true. Some shoes actually make you look heavier than other shoes, and bigger than you actually are! It’s all about proportions and there are so many exceptions to the rules about shoes that I hesitated to bring this topic up. But it is important. You really do need to try on the shoes, boots or booties with the dress, skirt or crop pants to see exactly how you will look. From all angles. Always be sure to roll up your pants and look in the mirror when you try on footwear when shoe shopping.
I consider myself an expert about shoes that make you look fat because: 1. I love shoes; 2. I have heavy legs compared to the rest of my body; 3. After many years of trial and error, I know which shoes generally need to be avoided.
I am showing you skinny Barneys models (who can get away with wearing anything) to illustrate what will make you look slimmer. (Now I’m more politically correct!) Here are a few very general rules:
1. The Nude Shoes Rule (pictured above)
This rule always makes me laugh a little because for some of us a nude shoe will never give us “legs for days” or a dancer’s legs … but here you can see how you may be able to get away with a strappy shoe if it blends in with your skin tone.
2. The Cut Below the Ankle Rule
If you have straight ankles or “kankles” you may prefer a bootie that goes over the ankle, but a shoe hitting just below the ankle bone – even a clunky oxford – may make your legs look slimmer than a bootie that hits in a bad place. A note about booties: Loose or tight around the ankle, or higher or lower will really depend on your leg shape and where they curve in and out … or not. The goal is to show off the smallest part of your ankles and not cut them off.
3. The “Pumps Rule” Rule
I used to think a big clunky shoes would offset my heavy legs but it can make it worse by drawing attention to the legs. (Picture big legs hauling big shoes coming at you across a room!) A daintier shoe often draws attention away from your legs. Wearing a pump and avoiding ankle straps, booties and mules altogether is a safe (I know…but not always so fun) way to avoid wearing shoes that will make you look fat.
Photos: Barneys New York
– Carol Calacci