Look in any store window these days and, alongside gorgeous summer wedges, floaty gypsy dresses, and lots of neon resides shorts. Now, shorts leave many women gasping. The sight of so little fabric and the idea of so much leg on show makes many run a mile, but there are a few things you can do to get your legs summer ready. You’ll feel far more confident and you might even decide to give a pair of shorts a whirl.
Exfoliate and shave
Exfoliating your skin is really important, because it gets rid of dead skin. Your legs will feel far softer and, if you use fake tan, it’ll take to your skin in a more even manner so you’re less likely to be left with unsightly streaks. Exfoliate in a circular motion and then either wax or shave with a razor that has at least three or four blades. This will give you a really close shave, so even the smallest of hairs disappears. Follow with a good lathering of moisturiser. If you suffer with cellulite, use a moisturiser that has caffeine in it; this will boost your circulation. Avoid drinking caffeine, though, as this has been linked to cellulite.
Spray tans and fake tans are amazing these days. Gone are the days of bad smelling splodgy creams that leave your skin an awful shade of orange. The products available these days are hard to beat and, of course, far better for your skin that tanning. Get a good layer of fake tan on your legs (or get a spray tan if you’re not confident with at-home products). The deeper colour will make your legs appear slimmer than they are and look longer too.
If you aren’t good at painting your own toe nails, get a pedicure. Unsightly toenails never make us feel good. And a pedicure will tackle dead skin around the foot, too, so you can wear open-toe sandals or wedges with pride.
They hurt, yes, but squats work. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and squat down repeatedly for as long as you can bear to but, ideally, for at least 15 minutes every day. Hold yourself in that squatting position for at least two seconds before slowly rising up and then squatting again. Don’t allow your hips to drop lower than your knees or you may end up causing damage to your back.
Focus on your calf muscles
Shapely legs are enhanced by well-defined calf muscles. Do any exercises that focus on that part of the leg. One simple and easy move to do at home is to stand facing a wall, hook one leg behind the other and rise up on the ball of your foot, a move that requires srength from the calf. Hold for a few seconds and repeat. Aim for 15 minutes a day if you can.
High heels do lengthen the appearance of legs (match your shorts with wedges if length will give you more confidence), but do be aware that wearing heels often can shorten hamstrings, making legs appear shorter than they are when heels are removed. In order to avoid this, throw on your flats and walk as much as you can. Walking is the best leg-lengthening exercise there is and you’ll feel short-ready in no time.
When buying shorts, only purchase those that fit properly and that you feel really good in. Don’t be tempted to go too tight if your bum isn’t your favourite feature and don’t go too short if your thighs aren’t either. There is a whole range of wonderful cuts out there, so spend the time carefuly shopping and find your perfect pair. Chances are, there’s a match out there and you’ll live in them between now and autumn. Match with a blazer and heels for a smarter look.
More summer tips
Top five summer fashion trends
Get your body summer ready with the top exfoliators
Best books for summer reading