How to sit like a lady

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How to Sit Like a Lady

Two Methods:

Traditional etiquette dictates that women sit with an erect posture and both legs together, keeping the skirt's hem low and undergarments out of sight. Maintaining this posture when in trousers also adds elegance. Additionally, there are ways of crossing your legs, appropriate for formal occasions, which effectively prevent wardrobe malfunctions. Practicing these postures will add an element of class while becoming seated at formal affairs and in day-to-day life.

Quick Summary

The easiest way to sit like a lady is to sit upright in your seat with your knees touching. Cross one ankle over the other and angle your legs so your feet are off to one side. Don’t forget to rest your hands in your lap when you’re not using them.To learn how to sit like a lady by crossing your legs, keep reading!

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Sitting With Traditional Posture

  1. Stand in front of your seat as close as you can.By starting out close to the chair, you will have less work to do and are much less likely to expose yourself or miss your mark and fall.
    • At most formal functions, it is customary for a gentleman to help you be seated. He will pull out your chair, wait for you to stand in front of it, and then nudge the chair forward to touch the back of your legs. This is sometimes done by your date, a waiter, or another man seated nearby.
  2. Put your knees together.Make sure both your knees and most of your legs are lined up and squeezed next to each other. One leg should not be in front of the other. By sitting down with your legs together, you will keep your undergarments from showing, no matter how short your skirt may be.
  3. Ease down gently.Do not bend forward; make sure to keep your torso straight. Keeping your knees together, sit down smoothly by bending your knees. Your calves will naturally tilt forward, which is a position you will want to hold.
    • Try not to use your hands for balance. Keep your arms either straight down or slightly bent at the elbow.
  4. Smooth your skirt under you.If you are wearing a skirt or dress, it may have become rumpled while you sat down. Sitting will also have raised its hemline. If you don't want your skirt looking rumpled or shorter than it actually is, smooth it down gently with your hands.
  5. Decide how to place your feet.You have two main options for your feet: flat on the ground or crossed at the ankles. If you are short enough that your feet don't touch the floor, be sure to go with the ankle-cross. When crossing your ankles, be sure to do so with your knees still together. There should be no space between your ankles.
  6. Angle your legs.If your legs are long or you've chosen not to cross your ankles, you will likely need to angle your knees to either your left or right. Such placement will make you look less stiff and more feminine. You do not need to maintain this angle for the duration of the event. In fact, it is polite to shift your knees towards the person you are speaking to.
  7. Sit up straight.Do not lean back into your chair. For formal occasions, it's most appropriate to sit in the center of the seat with your back not in contact with the chair.Likewise, do not lean forward and slouch in your chair.
  8. Place your hands in your lap.When not in use, keep your hands folded or holding a clutch. Rest them just above your thigh. However, if you are attending a formal dinner in France, be sure to place your hands on the table on either side of the plate instead. There, it is considered rude to place your hands underneath the table on your lap.

Sitting With Crossed Legs

  1. Ease into your chair with your knees together.Keep your torso straight without leaning forward. While you will eventually cross your legs, the act of sitting down is identical to the one used for maintaining traditional ladylike posture.
    • Keep in mind that crossing your legs at the knee is much less modest than keeping your legs parallel. It will both emphasize your legs while raising your skirt's hemline.
  2. Place your hands in your lap.Once you are seated, fold your hands and place them on your lap between your legs. Maintain this placement when your hands are not in use. This position will also weigh your skirt down, preventing you from flashing your undergarments while crossing your legs.
  3. Move your right leg to the left.Begin by raising your right thigh slightly. Then, place your right calf in front of your left. Be sure to keep your thighs together. Spreading your legs, even when adjusting in your seat, is traditionally considered unladylike. Also, even with your hands in your lap, spreading your legs runs the risk of momentarily exposing your underwear.
  4. Position your right calf over your left.Your right knee should now be directly on top of your left knee. Your calves should be tight together, forming a diagonal with your feet pointing towards either your right or your left.You will not be able to have a straight up-and-down leg placement with both feet on the floor in this position.
  5. Maintain a straight line with both legs.Your right and left calves should remain as parallel and as closely lined up to each other as possible. Be sure that your legs remain firmly together while you sit. Keep your toes pointed downward.
    • Remember to always sit up with your torso straight.
  6. Switch legs gracefully if necessary.At some point while sitting, you may want to switch positions so that the opposite leg crosses over the other. This can be done if you are quick and graceful enough but should be avoided if you are wearing a particularly short skirt. Simply uncross your legs so that they are in the same position they were in right after you first sat down. Then, simply move the chosen leg over the other to return to a crossed position.
    • Remember to make sure your hands are in your lap while uncrossing and recrossing your legs.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How can I sit in dresses that reach my feet?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Cross your feet at the ankles so that your shoe does not get caught in the dress.
  • Question
    How can I properly double cross my legs?
    Ashley Chan
    Community Answer
    Cross your right leg over your left leg at the knee. Try to cross your legs as much as possible so that your knees are pointing at the most opposite directions and your thighs firmly together without any gaps. From the side view, your right leg should appear slight behind your left leg. Next, tiptoe your left foot and curl your right foot around and over your left ankle just the way we normally do our ankle-cross. Make sure your right foot "pops out" to your right side and firmly hooked to your left ankle. From the front view, your legs looked clearly crossed at both the knee and the ankle.
  • Question
    Is it acceptable for a woman to sit with her knees pulled up when sitting on the ground?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, as long you are careful not to show your underwear when wearing a dress or a skirt.
  • Question
    How can I sit with a long skirt?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Whatever you wear, you can always sit cross-legged tightly at your knees. Proper locking of two knees is essential.
  • Question
    Would a princess follow these steps?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, she most likely would since it's usually important for royals to come across as dignified.
  • Question
    I am a male whose life dream is to sit with my legs crossed like a lady every time I sit in a chair, and I've always wanted to make out with a girl when we're both sitting with our legs crossed. How?
    Top Answerer
    Women's hips are placed slightly differently, which results in women walking differently and being able to cross their legs farther than most men. Women also tend to be more flexible. That said, there is no reason why a man could not cross his legs while sitting; with practice, you can reach a comfortable and relaxed position. Finally, there's no problem with kissing a girl in this position. With your legs crossed, your upper body still has most of the reach it does when you sit without your legs crossed.
Unanswered Questions
  • Should I cross my right ankle over my left or left over right?
  • How do I sit like a lady if I'm male?
  • What is the best way to sit like a lady if I am wearing a top and jeans?
  • How can I sit in a posture so that my panties are unseen?
  • I have heavy friends and they sit with their legs spread apart. It looks so unladylike. What would be the best way for them to sit?
Ask a Question
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  • When are you about to stand up, pull the bottom hem of your skirt down to cover your legs. This will prevent you from exposing your underwear.
  • Remember that, above all, you should avoid sitting with your legs spread, even when wearing trousers.
  • Keep in mind that these are just traditionally "ladylike" ways to sit and mostly apply to formal occasions. In everyday life, women can of course sit however they want.

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