She’s Got Legs: Eight Ways to Glam Up Your Gams
In my wildest dreams, I can rock a pair of itty-bitty denim cutoffs as well as Gisele Bündchen. In my waking life, I’m cursed with shortish, semi-stubby stems that I usually end up hiding under boot-cut black slacks (yawn). So I’m always on the lookout for tried-and-true ways to make my lower half my better half—that is, without having to sell my firstborn to be able to afford Tracy Anderson as a personal trainer. The following eight tactics are cuter, more realistic options—no physical suffering required.
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Nude High Heels
Many style experts agree that the single-most effective means of making legs look longer is to “take it upstairs” with high heels—the higher, the better. But avoid ankle straps or other details that cut off the leg line and could make you look stubby. Instead, opt for a classic pump in a nude or flesh-colored hue that matches your skin tone (such as this sexy platform from Pour la Victoire) to create the illusion of nothing but leg from hip to toe. (_$250, “Piperlime.com”:http://bit.ly/eQjz0H_)
High-waisted pants are an easy, comfy way to look leggy, since they maximize your midsection-to-ankle area. Fortunately, the “it” jean of the season—an easy, breezy ’70s style—fits the bill perfectly. Try this wide-legged version from Seven for All Mankind; choose a floor-grazing hem length and pair it with wedge sandals for a flattering, on-trend look. (_$174, “Zappos.com”:http://bit.ly/eBHPIY_)
You may have put your opaque tights away for the time being to welcome warmer weather, but when fall returns, you’ll want to incorporate monochromatic get-ups into your wardrobe, paired with short hemlines, to ensure a long-legged effect. Since the knee is the thinnest part of the leg, look for skirts that fall just above that point. This jacquard pleated miniskirt, worn with black stockings and black heels, gets the job done. (_$258, “Bloomingdales.com”:http://bit.ly/eX1ICd_)
Because an empire waistline conceals your natural waist and makes it appear higher, it simultaneously causes the lower half of the body to look longer. This delicate lace dress from Zehavale with a floral underlayer guarantees a sleek, summery silhouette. (_$258, “Anthropologie.com”:http://bit.ly/eUe5xW_)
Let’s face it: everyone’s legs look better with a tan. You might not be able to add actual inches, but when you pair a high-quality sunless tanning product with body shimmer, you can at least create the illusion of great gams. Start by exfoliating legs, which will even out the top layer of your skin so that the self-tanner fades naturally. Then apply this caramel-colored, cocoa extract–infused Clarins cream, which nourishes skin as it creates an even-toned, natural-looking glow. (_$42, “Sephora.com”:http://bit.ly/g4TwQR_)
Once your self-tanner has dried, you’ll be ready to place shimmer strategically to lengthen legs instantly. Michael Kors’ Leg Shine, a lightly tinted product in a convenient twist-up canister, is easy to use and scented with dewy freesia, tuberose, and tamarind, among other notes. Glide the stick in a straight line down the center front and center back of each leg; by highlighting these areas, you’ll orient viewers’ eyes vertically. (_$32, “Sephora.com”:http://bit.ly/g3H56g_)
This braided silver belt interwoven with beaded strands is designed to show off the waist. Wear it over a fitted top paired with high-waisted, wide-legged slacks, and you’ll automatically draw attention to this accessory as the point where your legs begin—which will make them look like a mile-long unbroken line. (_$45, “BananaRepublic.com”:http://bit.ly/eioCui_)
Vertical accents, such as corduroy, piping, stripes, and pleats, direct the eye up and down your lower half. These linen sailor shorts reflect two of spring/summer’s most popular fashion trends—nautical styling and crisp white fabric—and have the added leg-lengthening advantage of a well-above-the-knee hemline and two rows of vertical buttons. “Ahoy” to that. (_$68, “Anthropologie.com”:http://bit.ly/fAjddX_)