[By Anne Lee]
Women all around the world have always had a love affair with high heels. Slip on a pair of stilettos and your legs suddenly look a mile long, your ankles smaller and your calves lithe. So when models stepped onto the spring runways at Marc Jacobs, Chloé, and Marni in the season’s low sandals and comfy flats, it presented an interesting dilemma: On one hand, those newly scaled-down heights seemed thrillingly wearable—the kind of sensible shoe made for sprinting through the city with ease.
On the other, the grounded proportions of a flat sharp-toed sandal raises the following question: If you weren’t born with the legs of a supermodel, can you actually sculpt a longer, leaner pair in time for spring?
We posed this question to 3 experts
“If you weren’t born with the legs of a supermodel, can you actually sculpt a longer, leaner pair in time for spring?”
and got some inspiring answers…
Alan Lee, Fitness Expert
Answer: “Yes, depends.”
Lowdown: According to Alan, fitness expert (and former dancer) certain stretches and classical dance-inspired movement can sculpt any ankle and leg into a lean line that extends elegantly from Dries Van Noten’s marble-heeled mules or Prada flats. For the calves: Regular and consistent stretching in combination with ballet-based cardio exercises like pliés (bends) and relevés (rising onto the ball of the foot while pulling up through the knees) “makes the muscles long. Try his Platypus Walk: With legs turned out and wide, knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and hands behind the head (to engage the upper body) take ten, heel-heavy steps forward and then ten steps back. As a rule, “keep the repetitions high and the weights low,” Alan stresses. If you’re pressed for time, he adds, “You don’t need a gym. You can effectively work your calves while sitting at your desk. Just lift your heels up and down slowly to the count of three. Do that all day long.” He warns however that it takes some dedication and consistency but in four to six weeks you’ll start seeing results.
Maria Lee, fashion stylist
Lowdown: You can camouflage your flaws and highlight your assets with clever detailing of your outfits.
An inch shorter or longer can make a world of difference when it comes to giving the illusion of longer legs. “Never wear high pant hemlines with low heels” warns Maria.
Instead, choose a soft tapered style that hit well above the ankle bone to show with flats. Either completely expose or cover the ankle— a skinny pants that comes all the way to the foot, or a cigarette with a bell shape will give you the best illusion of gorgeous legs.
Dr Toby Hui, aesthetic doctor
Lowdown: To slim down your legs, you need to identify your trouble spots and tackle them head on with the latest aesthetic offerings. For instance, you can reduce the fat around chunky thighs with Coolsculpting, a non-invasive body sculpting treatment that uses cold to lyse up to 20% of fat cells in one session. For the calves, some doctors in countries like Korea have tried using Botox to slim chunky calf muscles down. Finally, nothing takes away the illusion of long, slender legs more than the untimely appearance of cellulite. The best way to smoothen out cellulite is to undergo Thermage Body which can help reduce the appearance of this unsightly affliction, giving you smoother, more enviable skin on your legs. As usual, before embarking on any treatment, you will need to speak to your healthcare provider for more details.