ankle size was not an issue for women of the 18th and 19th centuries. Skirts in those days were floor-length, and social mores were such that by the time a man had a glimpse of a woman's ankles -- he was already married to her. These days, in Western culture, most of us are not so lucky. With skirt lengths at the calf, knee -- or higher -- the shape of the lower leg is routinely revealed. If your ankles come off as less than gracefully slim, a few pointers are in order.
Skip the chunky heels. Chunky-heeled shoes have a clunky appearance that will only accentuate your thick ankles. This is true whether the heels are pumps, sandals or open-toed styles.
Nix strappy sandals. Sad, but true that all those straps wending from foot to leg, once again, draw attention to the problem area. This is quite a loss, as strappy sandals can be a blast to wear. If you already have several pairs, save them to wear under your evening gowns, when no one will know the difference.
Slip on high-heeled pumps to create an unbroken visual flow from knee to foot. No element exists to draw the eye to the ankle specifically.
Wear pantyhose of the same shade as your footwear. The concept of the unbroken visual line again comes into play. If you choose a different color, the eye will be drawn to the point where foot meets shoe, accentuating your problem area.
Pass up pant styles that reveal the ankles. Cropped and capri styles are everywhere during warm weather. But these pant styles can make your ankles look bigger than ever. Instead, try straight-leg, tapered or wide-leg pants in cool summer fabrics like linen or cotton twill.
D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.