Have you ever taken a moment to judge how you sit? Do you drop into your chair? Do you slouch? Do you shake your leg or feet? Do you sit with your legs wide open? If you haven’t paid attention to how you sit lately, we ask that you spend the next day or two, observing yourself. Note the way you approach a chair, how you bend your knees to sit, and what you do while you are sitting. Judge yourself. An elegant lady always knows the most graceful way to sit as well as the best way to display herself and the clothing she is wearing.

  1. The minute you walk into a room with chairs, start considering where and how you want to sit. The way you sit will help set the tone for your meeting. Each sitting position has its own purpose and energy. Remember, good breeding is not about being perfect. In this case, it is not about having a perfect sitting posture and position all the time. Instead, it’s about knowing what each situation needs from you to get the results you desire.
  2. When it is time, approach your chair or sofa with grace. Do not rush. Do not trip. Walk with your shoulders down, your back straight, and your chin angled parallel to the floor.
  3. Step close to the front of the chair and then, turn. The back of your knees should only be a few inches from the chair. At this point, do pay attention to how you position yourself before sitting. If you want to sit facing slightly sideways, you should position yourself that way ahead of time. This will prevent you from having to shift positions while sitting.
  4. Gracefully lower yourself onto your chair. Make sure to keep your back straight and your legs together, knees touching. Do not bend forward. This will keep your bodice and breasts in place. It also will help prevent those in front of you from seeing down your bodice. Do not drop onto your chair like a sack of potatoes. This can cause the chair to break or, at the very least, create a loud noise and make body parts jiggle in unsightly ways.
  5. Use a hand(s) to quickly and lightly skim down the back side of your hip(s) while you sit when wearing a dress or skirt. This will make sure the bottom of your dress or skirt won’t gather too much on the seat. If the bottom gathers too much, it will both create multiple creases and look disproportionate – low in the front, high in the back.
  6. Now, that you are sitting, make sure your back is still straight and not touching the back of the chair. Do not slouch. Also, make sure your legs are still together, knees touching.
  7. When you have comfortably placed your bottom on the chair, get into the position that is most beneficial for the clothing you are wearing and the type of meeting you are attending. The three top positions are: feet flat on the ground, legs crossed at the ankles, and legs crossed at the knees. For short dresses and skirt, your legs should be crossed at the ankles to prevent anyone from seeing your panty. For longer dresses, skirts, and pants, you can sit with either your legs crossed at the ankle or knees. Sitting with your feet flat on the ground is great for meetings where you want to show you are paying close attention and are ready to jump into action. This position is also good for balancing items on your lap, like notebooks.
  8. At this point, if you are wearing a dress or skirt that needs to be specially arranged for the perfect sitting look, do so. For example, if you are wearing a wrap skirt or dress, you should, at this point, bring the outer flap to the opposite leg, covering both knees. If you are wearing a wide ball gown, you may want to splay the bottom of your dress out for a dramatic effect.
  9. Now, place your hands gently on your lap. They should remain there, relaxed. Make sure not to fidget your fingers, move them around constantly, or play with any ring you are wearing.

Here are two more videos to give you a visual idea of the rules and tips discussed in this article.

Here are more tips on how to sit gracefully…

  1. Do relax into a good posture. Meaning it is better to look relaxed than perfectly stiff. But don’t relax to the point of slouching. Find a good balance.
  2. Do shift your position every few minutes. Meaning no matter how perfect your posture is, it will appear unnatural to sit as still as a wall for the entire meeting.
  3. Do change your hand position every few minutes. If you are one who talks with your hands, you do not have to worry about this tip. But if you are one who can sit with your hand in your lap for more than 10 minutes, prevent yourself from doing so. Stillness is like stiffness, disconcerting.
  4. Do not slap or rub your knees while sitting.
  5. Do not hold your knee in clasped hands while sitting.
  6. Do not fidget – adjust your clothing, touch your hair, twirl a hair lock, play with your jewelry.
  7. Do not tap or swing your feet continuously.
  8. Do not shake your leg(s).
  9. Do not tap or shake your neighbor’s chair with your feet.
  10. Do not uncross and cross your legs with your legs wide open. Keep your legs together when crossing and uncrossing.
  11. Do keep your hands folded and placed in the middle of your lap when wearing a short skirt or dress. Placing sufficient weight there will prevent your panty from showing.
  12. Do not cross and uncross your legs continuously when wearing a short skirt.
  13. Do not place your hand on the person with whom you are speaking.
  14. Do try to keep your hands, legs, and feet in your space – the width of the chair or your seating area.
  15. Do take into consideration the height of the chair and the length of your legs when sitting down. For example, a long-legged lady in a low chair would have her knees as high as her chest if she were to cross her legs at the knees without proper positioning.

Sitting in a chair can be as beautiful and graceful as a ballerina performing a pirouette. On your journey to becoming an elegant lady, you should continuously practice this art form. Don’t wait for an event. Practice at home. Practice at your neighborhood cafe. Practice.

See how close to a chair you need to be to get the best sitting position. Practice how to cross your legs with the least amount of movement. Learn the best way to sit for each type of clothing item. Practice how to sit without jiggling, bending forward, or bouncing. Practice on different chairs and sofas, and in different locations. The more you practice, the more graceful you will become.