Best Casual Summer Bottoms for Very Heavy Legs?

by Anonymous

I always have problems finding flattering and summer-appropriate casual bottoms. I am slightly-overweight and have a pear-shaped body, a very narrow waist, extremely heavy legs, and cellulite. I never wear shorts or skirts, and I recently learned (thanks to you!) that I don't look my best in cropped pants. I also avoid light colors on my bottom half and find that structured fabrics are more flattering.

Dark, full-length bottoms seem out-of-place at a baseball game or a picnic and, I fear, draw attention to the fact that I am hiding my flaws. On top of these issues, summer-weight fabrics reveal the lumps and bumps in my butt and thighs.

Help! I'd love your advise on the style, length, fabric, color, etc. that would work best for casual summer bottoms for my body. I would especially appreciate any recommendations on specific styles, brands, and/or retailers.

Thank you!

You really don't need to worry about looking off wearing dark, full length bottoms. Just make sure you wear something light and airy on top. I personally wear them a lot during the summer and I'm average built. I think they look more classy and chic compared to the really light ones.

August 2011 Update: I also want to suggest medium to dark blue linen pants. It's light and versatile, and most of all it won't make your legs sweat out in the heat! Consider this as one of your best bottom options this summer - it makes it possible for you to disguise your legs and stay comfortable at the same time.

Black bottoms are a bit harsh-looking (and heats up your skin quite intensely when you're out in the sun), but dark blue to medium wash are perfect because they're appropriate for the summer but still dark enough to slim down your legs.

What's important here is to draw the eye away from your trouble-area by accentuating your best features and feel good doing so - let's take your narrow waist as an example. I really envy women with narrow waist (mine is average) because it is so pretty to look at. I suggest that you start enhancing it (but not slim it down because it will only make your bottom half look bigger) with a light colored belt or a belt with cute details like for example some gold hardware (nothing to flashy).

Examples of flattering bottoms for your pear body shape and heavy legs:

Best shorts and pants for heavy legs
Courtesy of 1, 2, 3
Note: Nordstrom offers a good range in simple and flattering shorts and pants.

Now here are some basic guidelines on what bottom styles look best on you:


Straight, bootcut, flare leg and boyfriend style (but without the horizontal distressed shreds). The subtle flared hem adds a nice balance to your body shape and minimizes your legs.

Mid-thigh and bermuda shorts (hit between right above and right below your knees. Also known as 'walk shorts') are also a good option for your trouble-area - they make your body look more proportionate and provide enough coverage to make you feel comfortable. The fit around your butt and hips needs to be a little fitted to give a flattering effect. Boxy and very loose bottoms only emphasize your bottom.


Anything that hits a few inches above or below the widest part of your legs (calves). Bermuda shorts are ideal because of the reasons given above.

You can also pull off cropped pants as long as the hem hits the above the thinnest part of your ankles and the hem is not flared but rather straight.


Fabrics that slim are gabardines, silks, flat knits, lightweight flannels, silk crepe and jersey. Wool, linen, silk, cottons. Blends of natural and part synthetic - but make sure the higher percentage is in the natural fabric.

Avoid shiny, stiff or bulky fabrics as these add more volume to your legs.


Black, dark blue wash, medium blue, dark gray, dark brown, dark khaki. You can also pull off a lighter colored bottom but your top needs to be of similar color (eg. beige bottom, white top) to avoid high-contrasts (so-called 'split-up' effect) that only highlight the lightest part. Wearing light colors from top to toe (as well as dark color from top to toe) is called "Monochromatic" and creates an elongating and therefore slimming effect.


Vertical stripes and pleats elongate and slim your legs and so does side stitches (which you can find on many jeans styles). Other than that avoid heavy stitched and embellished pockets, large buttons, contrasting cuffs (they only add bulk and widen your figure) horizontal whiskers and distressed jeans effects.

The simpler your bottoms are, thus less attention will be drawn to your leg area.

You can also find more advice on what shorts look best on you here: How to Wear Shorts When You Have Short and Stumpy Legs?

I hope this helps!

Products you may be interested in:

Personalized fashion advice, affordable stylist, how to wear clothes

Your 24/7
Private Stylist
Purchase affordable color analysis, discover your best color palette

Color Analysis
Purchase professional and affordable color swatches with your best colors

Color Swatches
Ebook on how to find your seasonal color group

"Color Revival"

Comments for Best Casual Summer Bottoms for Very Heavy Legs?

Average Rating starstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

May 16, 2014
How insulting your photos are Really????
by: Anonymous

How about some realistic photo's. I find this excruciating to look at. It must be for marketing purposes, not credible

Jun 06, 2013
Enough with the skinny models!
by: Anonymous

Why can't plus sized clothes be modeled on plus sized models instead of skinny toothpick sized models? It is so frustrating to see this time after time. Please.

Apr 22, 2013
I found this article very helpful
by: Anonymous

Thank you! I appreciate your advice! Could you show some examples of the capris you recommend? (straight, above the narrowest part of the ankle?)

Mar 16, 2013
very heavy legs
by: Anonymous

I too have very heavy legs. There is nothing about my legs that I want to show off. I have problems finding any capris, trousers and esp jeans to fit. I'm not a plus size, my regular size is 14 ladies. Where can you find wide leg jeans? Not boot cut or straight leg, true wide leg. So far my only source is the Goodwill!

Aug 27, 2012
pear shape with big legs
by: Anonymous

it's kind of hard to picture what the items will look like when the items you showed were on the SKINNEY LEGGED models.

Aug 12, 2012
Dress for heavy legs
by: Anonymous

I agree provide pictures that illustrate the topic you are writing about. I find this articles pictures insulting

Jun 25, 2012
by: Anonymous

you did a great job providing advice...if your readers what realistic photos ~ then perhaps instead of complaining, they could offer to send you some photos of themselves so you can build up a database of good examples of clothes that look flattering on different body types! only fair...

Jun 14, 2012
Models in pictures
by: Anonymous

I wish websites like this would refrain from using skinny models/mannequins and use models with the body type that is being addressed. I have no idea what these shorts will look like on my body when you use a model with gazelle-type legs. I need to see these shorts on someone with short, thick legs so that I can judge if the look really will work. All you have proven is that these shorts look good on skinny people. Thank you so much for reinforcing our society's obsession with thin body types - something that I will never be able to attain.

Feb 21, 2012
Dresses for women with heavy legs
by: Anonymous

Please show women with heavy legs wearing the correct dress styles. I'm 5'and weigh 108 lbs.
The correct shoes would also be helpful.

From Wis.

Sep 21, 2010
Sorry about the image examples...
by: Anna

... but when I wrote my reply I couldn't find any good examples of women with heavy legs... These are the closest I can find... But I don't find the legs of the models heavy, perhaps muscular...

I'll consider your suggestions the next time I answer someone's question! Thanks!

Aug 20, 2010
by: Anonymous

can you please add some pictures of women with very heavy legs (calves & ankle) wearing the right heels/wedges and shorts/skirt/dress. it would really help.

Jul 29, 2010
show us women with the same problem
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the advice. I wish you had shown pictures of women with heavier legs in shorts,instead of women with super skinny legs.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Trendy Womens Clothing - Buying and Wearing Different Clothing Types.

More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish
Also check out the Style Makeover Shop!

Back to Top

More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

| Return to top | Contact Me | | About Me | What's New? | Privacy Policy | Affiliate Disclosure | FAQ | Ask the Expert |

Copyscape banner

Copyright 2008-2013 The Chic Fashionista