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The Lady-Like Elegance of Sitting Gracefully

To sit gracefully is an outgoing quality. It's a life-giving charm that emanates flair and subtlety. This is not for imagery but merely a trait of reasonable ease. For any girl who sits without care, however glamorous, is a dead-weight.

Nothing is as charming to the eye as a perpetually preening woman

Nothing is as charming to the eye as a perpetually preening woman

A lady who moves with grace and elegance is a woman of poise and beauty. But such a woman is not too common these days, and lucky you are if you hold one of the most cherished graceful manners of traditional women - the graceful way they sit.

How to Sit Gracefully

Sitting gracefully is sitting with dignity. Some may find it too prim and proper that sounds a bit strange in today's fast and forward world. But believe it or not, it brings back the softness and sweetness so captivating in a woman.

  1. Step as close to the front of the chair as you can. Turn and prepare your body for the sitting posture.
  2. As soon as your back leg touches the chair seat, slide one foot back then lower yourself smoothly into the seat, slightly sideways. Your weight should be carried by the thighs of your back leg, not with your knees.
  3. Sit up straight with legs together and heels slightly to the rear. You can sit with both legs in front of you, with your knees angled to either the left or right side, or you may cross your ankles.
  4. Never sit with legs apart, it's a mortal sin to poise. If you're crossing your legs at the knees, there should be no space between the heel and the other ankle.
  5. Place your hands together on your lap.
  6. Lengthen your spine, free the neck, and balance the head above the shoulders. In short, sit tall.
  7. When a chair has arms, use the arms to support you to move a little bit more backward inwards the chair.

The training process may be quite challenging. If that is so, think of good posture -- it will help you achieve it.

Let's Talk About the Legs

For a natural and confident look, put your feet a bit closer together so you get an easy stance when you stand. Keep them together straight and firmly on the ground.

If you like a more elegant look or the royalty way, you'll love:

The Duchess Slant. Keep your knees and feet together and then incline them at the same time either on your left or right side, whichever you prefer.

The Cambridge Cross. This one crosses your feet at your ankle but with your knees together -- a position that creates a lock and a very secure and confident sitting with your feet resting firmly on the ground.

A Mixed Cross & Slant. Here, you'll have to cross your legs and then slant them. You can choose to slant either side. This leg position creates an illusion of longer legs.

When Is It Proper to Cross the Legs?

Ankles crossed, as a lady should sit

Ankles crossed, as a lady should sit

If you’ve been asking the same questions,

How do you really sit like a lady? Do I have to criss-cross my ankles each time? When is it correct to cross my legs at my knee?

The answer is – it all depends on the length of your skirt.

If you’re wearing a long dress or knee-length skirt, then it's all right to cross your legs at the knee. If you’re wearing anything shorter, it’s only proper to cross your legs at the ankle. Something a refined lady would not do is cross her legs at the knees when wearing a short skirt.

How to Sit When Wearing a Short Dress?


At times when you're wearing something that is above the knee, gently turn your body a little sideward. This way, your legs are not facing the person in your front and you'll be able to sit with ease.

It's normal for the dress to rise up a bit - let it be. There's no use trying to pull and arrange it again and again. The worst situation will not last forever, so pace yourself to keep calm and regard the difficulty philosophically.

Instead, you may put your hands or your bag on your lap for a graceful guise.

Wearing a shorter dress in the first place means you allowed it and you're ready to face the world. Hence, sit as becoming as you can be. Everything is easier when you think and act with smoothness.

When You Are in Doubt


According to the Institute of Etiquette,

When sitting, a woman should cross her legs at the ankles. For one reason, it is not considered lady-like to cross one's legs at the knees, especially if one is wearing a short skirt.

If you're in a social situation and in doubt, always err on the side of conservative -- cross your legs at the ankle.

Why Should a Lady Have to Sit Gracefully?

Other than good bearing, sitting gracefully means sitting with a correct posture. Training the back to sit up straight prevents the spine from adapting to harmful positions. It ensures adequate alignment of the body and minimizes strain.

If we look around, many girls seem to have ignored the posture of sitting with grace. By all means, women are expected to sit properly with their legs together and their skirt hems low to keep undergarments out of sight.

Sitting gracefully exudes excellent manners. Not only does it boost confidence but helps present a lady to sit consciously.

Sitting Gracefully Is a Woman's Charm

While it seems fine to go with anything you feel comfortable with sitting, nothing beats proper etiquette. A lady who sits gracefully cares about how she presents herself respectably in any situation.

The "rules" on how to sit gracefully are simply guidelines and need not be that ironclad to make it fun and rewarding. Genuine poise comes from within and it's not something that can be taught very well just through words.

Some women have an innate grace that just works no matter what they do. Sitting gracefully is behaving with a touch of class and it's the lady-like elegance that's just being the best that you can be.

© 2011 Tonette Fornillos