I 'm not a fan of sweeping generalizations, but I'm probably not off the mark in saying that big girls love fabulous shoes. That's because, while most designer fashion is usually off-limits to anyone topping a size 12, most of us can rock a killer pair of heels with a dazzling red sole. (You know the ones!) That's not to say I haven't had my share of disappointments in the shoe department. No matter how hard I try, I still haven't figured out how to squeeze my thick calf into a Burberry riding boot. And forget about the Manolo Blahnik Mary Jane — it's just not happening without cutting off my circulation.
There just aren't enough well-made, stylish shoes for women with big calves and wide feet. Fortunately, I've picked up a few tricks working in the fashion industry, and have even discovered some under-the-radar shoe resources you need to know about. I'm thrilled to let you in on my latest finds.
Made-to-Measure Boots: Custom fits aren't just for the one percent anymore! Find your calf size by following the instructions at duoboots.com, a U.K.-based shoe line that specializes in cool boots that fit just right no matter your measurements. Choose from over-the-knee, shearling-lined flat boots to sassy mid-calf heels. Best of all: free shipping!
Alpha-Girl Pumps: You might not associate the Trump name with must-have accessories, but don't miss Ivanka Trump's line of shoes, designed with fashion-savvy working women in mind. Her polished styles are available in different heel heights, in wide widths, and up to size 11. Every woman should own Ivanka's classic round-toed pumps in black — they look just as good with a pencil skirt at the office as they do with a cocktail dress in the evening.
Supercute Flats: U.K.-based Evans, one of my favorite plus-size brands, has finally arrived stateside (evansusa.com) with a great selection of go-anywhere footwear available in extra-wide widths. I adore the pointed leopard ballerinas. So sharp, so fun, and — the best part — they're only $45!
Hot Heels: Stuart Weitzman does an amazing job of mixing the latest trends with comfortable fits and a broad array of sizes. A number of the brand's 600-plus styles are available in wide widths and with larger-than-average boot shafts, perfect for bigger calves. I'm obsessed with the Fjord black wedge booties (totally badass with straight-leg jeans) and red patent leather peep-toes (perfect with a curve-hugging LBD) that would make Mad Men'sJoan Holloway jealous.
Huge Designer Selection: Be sure to check out Nordstrom's shoe department (in-store and online), which offers lots of wide-width and wide-calf options from brands you love, like Diane von Furstenberg, Vince Camuto, and Ferragamo. I practically live there!
Got any questions? Drop me a line at marieclaire.com/biggirl. Until next time!