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How to sit elegantly?

The etiquette of setting down

· French Etiquette

The way we sit, just like the way we walk or the way we speak, tells a lot about ourselves.

Think about it: a lady sitting with legs all twisted could make her look insecure, or a man sitting with legs wide open could easily appear arrogant.

Not only the way we sit could betray our emotions, it is also picturing a certain attitude towards life.

Today, let's go through the do's and don'ts of sitting down, and reveal proper postures for both ladies and gentlemen!

Sitting with legs crossed 

Placing one knee on top of the other is a common and comfortable position that shows a relaxed attitude, especially appropriate when being a listener, rather than a speaker.

When sitting, both men and women should avoid the « figure four leg clamp », which is where the ankle is pulled over the knee, as this indicates a dominant or stubborn attitude, resisting to debate.

A note to ladies, avoid the double cross position which makes you look insecure or shy.

For a more "royal" look, you may imitate the greatly missed Lady Di, or in more recent times, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, by crossing legs at the knees, slanting legs to the side.

Sitting with legs uncrossed

Ladies, an elegant and appropriate position would be the parallel legs one, putting your knees together with legs slightly slanting to the side, which shows confidence and attractiveness.

Gentlemen, ever heard of "manspreading"? This is an allusion to the way some men sit on public transportation, occupying excessive seating space.

Although it would not be comfortable for men to sit with knees close together, maintain a decent posture and avoid spreading out your legs with more than 25cm between them.

Sitting with ankles crossed

Crossing your legs at the ankles is another lovely posture for ladies especially, that is both comfortable and elegant. While doing so, position your legs at an angle for a more feminine look.

Other considerations 

To display a more engaged and active attitude, avoid leaning back into your chair, but instead sit straight, with a bit of distance between your back and the chair.

How about your hands? To display a relaxed yet gracious image, keep them slightly jointed together and lay them on your lap. It's that easy!

Founded in 2018 by Matthieu Ventelon, Hedonia is the first institution in China combining professional Wine and Etiquette expertise in the same training offer.

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