Your Elegant Posture: 7 Tips For Greater Poise

Elegant posture

An elegant posture is a simple yet powerful way to be more chic. The way you carry yourself affects how people respond to you and, at least as important, how you feel about yourself.

Some years ago, before I switched to fitness classes, my regular workout was to ride one of the stationary bikes while reading a book. I’m not a social person and I dislike small talk and this was not people time. So I’d wear a baseball cap pulled low, never speak to anyone, and avoid eye contact.

Then one day the guy on the next bike leaned over and asked about a book I’d been reading the previous week. Wait – he could see me? I was shocked! I know it sounds strange, but I really felt I had constructed a kind of psychological cloaking device for myself and was utterly disconcerted to find myself exposed.

As I walked home that day, I realised my attempt to hide from people extended to my posture. In trying to make myself invisible I had developed an unattractive habit of hunching over. And I was carrying it with me beyond the gym and into my everyday life. Worse than how graceless I looked was how I felt – a kind of shame. From that day I switched to earbuds as a way to stay in my own little world without looking like sad Charlie Brown, and I resolved to stop slouching.

You may be more social than I am, yet still relate to the idea of contracting your posture to make yourself smaller. If so, you’ll know a slumping carriage saps your sense of personal power and poise, it stops you presenting your best.

Cultivate an elegant posture and your clothes will sit better, your frame will appear more slender and elongated, you’ll feel more confident and empowered – and you might even notice you’re more motivated. With an elegant posture, you’ll certainly exude more grace and poise.

An elegant posture is a simple yet powerful way to be more chic. The way you carry yourself affects how people respond to you and, at least as important, how you feel about yourself.

How To Cultivate An Elegant Posture

If you have back pain or your posture is very poor, then see a medical professional – you may need rehab or prescribed exercises.

But if you simply have a habit of slouching or want to improve your deportment, then these suggestions will help. Cultivating an elegant posture is less about precise technique and more about awareness – observing how you hold your body and making minor adjustments to toward greater confidence and inner poise.

  1. Stand straight. Think about your body lengthening through your head toward the ceiling.
  2. If your shoulders are hunched forward, gently pull them back.
  3. Let your head and chin rest comfortably on your neck – don’t jut your chin out or pull your head into a downcast bearing.
  4. Sit down and stand up slowly and mindfully. Don’t thrash about like you’re taking an Elaine Benes dance class. Be aware of your movements.
  5. Move with grace – think of Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly or anyone whose poise you admire.
  6. Walk with a gentle, inner confidence. Neither strutting nor shrinking into yourself.
  7. Sit with your bottom toward the back of the seat so you can keep your back straight and your head and neck comfortable.

Your Chic Life 'Assignment' For The Week

  1. This week, be more mindful of your posture. Add reminders to your phone or place post-its in strategic places around your home as triggers to check in on what your posture is doing.
  2. Notice the posture of people around you, on TV, in pictures online. Be aware of how you respond to people based on the way they carry themselves. Think about the level of poise you would like for yourself.

With practice you can cultivate an elegant posture habit. Compose yourself. Remain present in your body and aware of how it feels. That growing sense of inner calm? That’s poise. And it’s the cause and effect of an elegant posture.

Cultivate an elegant posture and your clothes will sit better, your frame will appear more slender and elongated, you’ll feel more confident and empowered – and you might even notice you’re more motivated.