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Can Women With Big Legs Wear Gladiator Shoes?

Gladiator sandals are a versatile summer staple that date back to the Romans, who wore something similar during battle. You're likely not heading into a war zone, but you'll want to be ready for anything by making sure your gladiators help you look your best. Keep your shape in mind, especially your legs, when looking for a pair, and you'll rock the style for many seasons to come.

Keep Proportions In Mind

Ladies with bigger legs should stick with gladiator styles that are proportionate to their height and leg shape. Look for styles with fewer and thicker straps. Styles with many thin straps will only make legs and calves appear thicker. Also stick with styles that dip below the ankle or just above it to maintain proportion. Avoid knee-high styles with multiple straps, which visually add thickness to legs and calves.

Visually Add Height

Gladiator sandals with a heel or a wedge will visually lengthen legs and make thicker calves and ankles appear slimmer. Metallic or bejeweled gladiators will draw eyes to your feet and away from legs. Paired with dress shorts or an airy summer dress, the look is great for a night out. Styles in a shade similar to your skin tone will also visually lengthen legs for a streamlined effect.

Styling Tips

Pair your gladiator sandals with skinny jeans and elongate legs by wrapping the ankle straps of your gladiators around the cuffs. Another option is to roll up the cuffs on a pair of boyfriend jeans. You'll be able to show off cool details on your gladiators, yet conceal your calves. For ladies who like to show some leg, denim shorts and summer dresses pair well with gladiator sandals. Unless you're wearing a maxi dress or skirt, stick with a hem that rests well above the knee. A hem that falls just below the knee or right above the ankle will visually cut your legs in half, making them appear larger.

Fun Details, Interesting Materials

Your gladiator sandals can draw attention away from large legs and also be an extension of your personality. Think shiny finishes (metallics), interesting hardware (studs, buckles), bright hues (neon, pastel) and rich materials (snakeskin, leather). Interesting materials and fun details will keep attention on your feet and away from legs, so be sure to keep your toes pretty with a pedicure!

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About the Author

Based in New York, Amanda Rumbalski embarked on a professional writing career in 2009. Her work has appeared in "Icon" magazine and on, and she has editorial and styling experience with "Women's Wear Daily," the "New York Daily News" and "Allure" magazine. Rumbalski holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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