How to fix hairy legs and cankles

DISGUISE MASTER: Say no to the cankle. Ziera Zeus boot, $399.
DISGUISE MASTER: Say no to the cankle. Ziera Zeus boot, $399.

Dear Fashion Doctor,

My friend has cankles and she has never ever shaved her legs. She loves wearing cropped pants with flat shoes. She has brown hair.

Any tips on how to play down her cankles and how do I tell her that hairy legs went out with the ice age?

Many thanks, Lorraine

Lorraine, I love your friend already. Will she come to tea at my place just so I can goggle?

First, to address the hairy issue at hand – well, it's a touchy subject. I've met fashion-forward women who shave their legs and get a Brazilian, but keep their armpits long. I've also met women who choose to do it the other way around. Each to their own, I guess, and while you can't force your modern beliefs upon your friend, as she might not be your friend for much longer, you could gently bring up the subject with her over a cup of tea.

Is she doing it (or not doing it) because she doesn't want to do it? Is she a feminist or is she just plain lazy? I'm afraid there's no arguing with feminists – believe me, I've tried – but you can help her if her chosen hairstyle is because she's more of the lazy type. Send her to the waxers. She'll get the job done and have to go only once every few weeks. What about laser hair removal? She'll never have to shave again.

On to the ankle conundrum – sadly we are not all blessed with dainty dancer's ankles, but this doesn't mean we need to be showing our not-so-pretty ankles off to the world. Cropped pants worn with flat shoes are one of the worst clothing mistakes one with cankles can make. The only thing worse is wearing footwear with ankle straps (and please don't tell me she does this too).

Cropped trousers not only shorten the legs, but widen them, and this is something a wide ankle doesn't need. However, if she insists on keeping her cropped pants around, then try to get her into some boots with a slight heel. Gorgeous leather boots will disguise the width of the ankle, and if she wears both dark cropped pants and boots, then the leg-shortening effect won't be so dramatic. If your friend is wearing flat shoes, insist she get full-length trousers. Alternatively, a high heel will help to slim down the ankle. Keep away from straps that cut through the ankle – they only shorten and widen. Try instead for a pump or sandal with an open vamp.

The Dominion Post