Reader Question | How To Hide Varicose Veins and Still Look Summery


We know it’s time to peel some layers, Mamas, because suddenly, right around March 21, we were inundated with reader questions about what to wear to hide veiny legs during the dog days. Here are a few excerpts to give you an idea of the sense of panic ANMJ mamas are feeling as the weather warms up:

I have pants on all.the.time.  Of course, pants lend themselves to cooler-weather tops, and I look ridiculous.  When it's 90 degrees and humid, I still have on jeans or khakis. I'd love to wear skirts and dresses, but my legs make me so uncomfortable. . .

– Laura

I'm 33 weeks along with my fourth baby, and lucky me, this pregnancy I got varicose veins. UGH! And now I have the joy of wearing ugly compression stockings or old man athletic socks.  At least this has been a winter pregnancy and they are easy to cover with pants so far.  I am told that the veins will recede after I give birth (in April), but I don't know how soon, or how much longer I have to wear the ugly socks.  And I'll be nursing again. And I'll have the lovely postpartum body to deal with.  Sigh. 

– Jodi

I work in the public schools. So summers for me are all about running around with kids in hot, dry Denver, sitting by the pool, or "hiking" in the moutains (as much as one can hike with a 1-year-old and a four-year-old). In the past, for me, all of those activities have been done in a short skirt or shorts. But, this summer I cannot bring myself to bare my awful veins to the world. Please help!

– Talia

Well mamas, there are TONS of fab options for staying cool, playing with the kiddos and looking summery, all while keeping your gams covered.  Read on for our vein-hiding picks.

Palazzo Pants Are Back?  Seriously?
Yes.  One of my favorite ways to stay cool and covered last summer whilst prego with number three was by wearing wide-legged palazzo pants with skimpy tanks and sliver wedges or flops.  They let me lounge on the grass with my boys after eating too many strawberries, climb on the jungle gym and look reasonably put together running around town. 

Palazzo Pants


A New Crop
Capris can risk going all-out mom jeans, but there's a new crop (excuse the pun) of slouchy but slim pants that hit just so, either right at the ankle bone, or just below the knee, and I'm loving them for mamas who don't want to bare their legs. 

Modern Crop Pants


Prints and Brights Are Just Right
I am in love with the statement denim trend.  It's so fresh and easy to wear, and it instantly speaks to the season.  Again, pair spring/summer pants with skimpier tops to make sure you're not sending the Diane-Keaton-turtleneck-in-June-vibe.

Printed and Bright Denim


Yes to Maxis, Midis and High-Lows
Of course.  Maxi and midi skirts and dresses are back with a vengeance this season, but with a fab new update to keep the wheels of industry turning–the high-low hemline.  Love it.  Especially if your varicose veins are up higher or on the backs of your legs, this fresh take on the maxi will be perfect for you.

Maxis, Midis and High-Lows


Rompers?  Seriously?  Again?
Uh-huh.  So maybe they didn't end up being the life-changing trend I predicted a few years ago, but I seriously adore these two, and the Anthro Stonington Romper is getting fab reviews–one I read was even from a nursing mama who sang the praises of its comfort and ease for nursing.  It's in my cart.




Fake It 'Till You Make It

If your'e up for a little art project, it is a fundamental truth that everything, from veins and general pastiness to scars, flab and celulite, looks better with a little golden touch of fake bake, er sunshine.  I like a nice professional spray tan to get started in the summer, but that stuff does start to look a little kooky when you're in the pool a lot, so I'm also going to try the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs–it gets great reviews and apparently even stays on after a dip in the pool, until it's washed off with soap, water and a wash cloth (!).

And. . . I don't want to minimize anyone's discomfort with their appearance.  Our number-one goal here at ANMJ is to help mamas feel confident by taking some much-deserved time out of their busy, multi-tasking, self-sacrificing schedules for themselves.  But I have a feeling that all our worrying over our perceived flaws–varicose veins, mummy tummys, stretch marks, cellulite and all the rest–is going to seem crazy a few years down the line, when we look back at pictures of ourselves with our babes, who will then be driving cars or going off to school or finishing their post grad work or getting married and having their own–and realize how scary-fast it all buzzes by and how truly beautiful and happy we looked. 

Here's to warmer weather, Mamas!  Let's do our best to enjoy every minute of it, in spite of all our flaws.

– M.    









  1. I had the same problem during my pregnancy with Julius and they came back after his birth. It’s taken awhile to lose the weight from the pregnancy but the varicose veins have gone again as a result of less pressure from carrying around the extra weight.
    But when the veins came back I wore Venosan stockings in black without toes and coloured denim shorts from Zara during the summer here in Sydney. I bought three, red, cobalt blue and black and I made it through with a variety of t-shirts on top.

  2. Mol, these are FABULOUS! And perfect not just for hiding veins, but white, pastey, beginning-of-summer legs. 🙂
    And that romper?? D@mn you….

  3. Yay palazzo pants!!! I used to use the Sally hansen airbrush legs to help cover bruises on my legs (i am very clutzy!) in my former corporate life. It works very well!

  4. My veins are hereditary (had them since I was a teenager). Currently pregnant with #4, and they just keep getting worse, of course. It’s always a challenge to look young and cute, and still cover them up. Thank you a 1000 times for this post!

  5. I love the palazzo pants, but I wonder as a short, fat mama if they would look good on me. And, I’m sorry, but rompers = adult onsie to me.

  6. Off topic, but I love the last paragraph. After the birth of my son, I felt huge and bloated and gross. I was technically “overweight” (damn you Wii Fit) for the first time in my life. I remember sitting at my mother’s house and looking through my own baby pictures. My mom looked young, beautiful and glowing. It hit me…someday, thirty years from now, I will look at my son’s baby pictures and think the same thing about myself. I am going to embrace my body and enjoy myself and who knows…maybe I’ll even wear a bikini this summer.

  7. I am so confused about the cropped pants. The ones that are rolled just below the knee are OK? Then which capris are the ancient borderline mom-jeans type? I thought that ankle length were the only acceptable ones now? I have about 6 pairs of capris and with spring weather days away, I need clarification!

  8. I read on some blog somewhere in time about apply the Sally hansen leg spray (which I love) with your hands and mixed with a bit of lotion. It goes on better and more evenly. This is how I do it now instead of spraying it. Just be sure to wash your hands right after!

  9. Great post! I really appreciate the ideas…
    I’m wondering once you get the sally hansen leg spray on is it safe to say it won’t rub off on furniture, etc.? i am so paranoid about that.

  10. Thank you for posting that last paragraph. Really we just need to embrace ourselves the way we are. The years absolutely fly by way to fast to be concerned about flaws that in the grand scheme of things don’t matter. I myself have rarely worn shorts because of my orange peel legs for 30 years but with a 22 month old in tow in HOT Texas heat – what cellulite?! Bring it on cute rompers and shorts!

  11. I agree. Ive been looking at pictures of myself I the past and there are so many photos that I thought were hideous at the time but now I think I look fantastic. I’ve been realizing that youth is beautiful. And we are only getting older. So whenever we look back on pictures of ourselves we think we look fantastic. So I’ve been trying to remember that now when I think I look terrible. One day I will look back and not see all those minute flaws but just the radiant happy new baby/kids glow.

  12. I hated hiding my varicose veins! I knew they were still there. It was so aggravating! USA Vein Clinc completely removed my varicose veins a couple of months after I gave birth to my first child. It was easy and painless.I would definitely recommend them for anyone who is tired of hiding their varicose veins. Im due to have my second child in May and so far so good have not developed any more veins! Check out their website if you are interested.

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