Do your calves go straight to your ankles? Most likely, your genes are to blame. But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about them.
- Step 1: Lose some weight if you need to; being overweight is one cause of cankles. If your weight isn't an issue, focus on exercises that target the legs -- jumping jacks, squats, lunges, calf raises, and step work.
- Step 2: Consider liposuction. But before you do, have a checkup to make sure there isn't a medical reason for your thick ankles.
- FACT: Shoe designer Christian Louboutin insisted that Barbie's ankles be slimmed down when he collaborated on a limited edition of the famous doll.
- TIP: Go on a salt-free diet if your body tends to retain water.
- Step 3: Put hemorrhoid cream on your cankles and wrap them in a bandage overnight. It may help shrink them temporarily by getting rid of the extra water that can accumulate below the calf.
- TIP: When wearing sneakers, choose footsies -- socks that just reach the rim of your kicks -- over higher socks.
- Step 4: Wear long, flared pants that fall over a tall heel. Avoid any kind of tapered pants, like cropped chinos or skinny jeans.
- Step 5: Wear the right footwear. Skin-tone shades and wedge heels elongate the leg and deflect attention from the calf. Or try d'Orsay pumps; the cutaway sides give the illusion of a slimmer ankle. Avoid ankle straps and kitten heels, which call attention to the problem.