Kimberly Scott has skinny legs.
There, she’s said it: loud, proud, and not embarrassed in the slightest. And if you have skinny legs, she wants you to say it that way, too — no matter whether you’ve been teased about your slender legs or bullied because of them or just looked at funny.
She has. As a little girl growing up in Detroit, her mother would pay a cobbler to restitch her go-go boots so they wouldn’t be loose cylinders around her legs. In seventh-grade gym class, Scott remembers a boy gesturing toward her legs while touching his thumb to forefinger — as if he could put that small circle around them.
As an adult, she’d either make sure she tucked her pants into her boots or wore skirts covering the top of them. “I went through life wearing boots so you couldn’t see the stirs — my skinny legs — in the boots,” she says.
But if Scott hadn’t had those skinny legs, she would have had no reason for starting Skinny Leg Tribe — a business venture she’s more passionate about than she has been for all her successful decades in the financial field.
“My goal is to focus on body positivity,” says Scott, whose emerging company sells custom Italian leather boots designed for women who nod when she describes the need for such footwear. “Everybody thinks being skinny is a big deal. Well, society embraces skinny, but not skinny legs.”
Similarly, she says, drinks or products with “skinny” in their names — Starbucks’ Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte, Skinny Cow Ice Cream, SkinnyPop popcorn, or Skinnygirl jam — are savored. Skinny legs are not.
“I guess you can get skinny legs if you don’t eat,” she says. “But that’s not natural. Skinny legs typically are an actual body feature. I work out; my calves get shapelier but don’t get bigger.”
Skinny legs or not, Scott has never let the slender legs she inherited get in the way of her zeal for fashion. With her degree in journalism (along with one in political science) from Eastern Michigan University, she had hoped to write for fashion magazines upon graduation. But they weren’t hiring, so she worked in a department store as a buyer in the young men’s department, which she loved. But then the recession hit, and she was laid off.
Scott moved to Houston in 1981, where she began the banking and financial career that eventually led her to Dallas. She didn’t wear boots much then; instead, she donned pumps that are ubiquitous for women wearing business suits. But fashion was always on her mind. She accented that stern attire with beautiful blouses, pins, and scarves.
Then, during the pandemic, she talked her grown son Nicolas into going to a store that advertised boots for women with slender calves. She tried on a pair and was stunned at their fit — they were even looser than boots she’d bought in the past.
That was her turning point.
“I love clothes; I love fashion, color, and fit,” says Scott, who also earned a master’s degree in communication from SMU. “These things have always been in me. Now is the time to call in my tribe.”
She started asking herself questions, beginning with the basic one: Has she been wandering the skinny legs woods by herself/alone? The answer: Hardly.
“I hired a consultant and did surveys,” Scott says. “Almost half the people we surveyed complained about boots not fitting because their legs were too small. On the flip side, women with larger calves responded that they struggled with boots that were too small, which is an opportunity I’d like to pursue as well.”
But for now, she’s all about skinny legs, especially when people she surveyed could identify merchandisers who sell boots that fit larger calves — but not those to fit smaller. So, she decided to be that merchandiser.
“I had to research and find designers, producers, and material suppliers,” Scott says. “I learned that exceptional leather projects come out of Italy. I researched more in-depth and found a gorgeous little seaside town and a perfect business to partner with.
Each family member has a role in the production: fathers cut the material, mothers stitch the boot, and the sons add the details. It’s so beautiful how they all work together. The family has been crafting footwear for decades.”
“We designed the boots for women whose calves measure 11 to 14 inches,” Scott says. “Bella, the riding boot, has a two-inch heel. Heels of the other seven styles measure three inches and are comfortable and sexy.”
“I didn’t want a stiletto,” Scott says. “I want them to be comfortable, to fit members of our tribe like a second skin.”
They’re so soft and yummy, she adds, that women will still be wearing them a decade from now. Additionally, when customers pay $795 to $995 per pair, the boots must last a long time. Which they will, she assures.
“Besides being comfortable, I wanted to make sure they would be stylish, elegant, and timeless.”
The boots are sold online (skinnylegtribe.com) and at pop-up stores around Dallas. The research she conducted pegged women ages 25 to 45 as the primary purchasers, but online customers have ranged in age from 25 to 65.
“I want women to be confident in their bodies and what they’re wearing,” she says. “How you feel about your outfit directly correlates to your confidence and how you portray yourself.”
“Wearing something beautiful changes your walk, your presence. You attract the room,” she says.
So yeah. Take that, those who tease or bully or look at you funny — for skinny legs or for any number of issues that some people feel compelled to mock. You’re strong, you’re confident, you’re you. And you have a tribe of supporters surrounding you.