One of the reasons my personal styling business is called style&grace is because I truly believe how you present yourself is equally as important as how you dress. In other words, I think things like how you treat other people, how you speak and how you carry yourself (also known as ‘deportment’) really do matter.
Deportment is quite an old fashioned term, meaning the way a person stands and walks, particularly as an element of etiquette. And it’s something that used to be taken quite seriously, right up until the 1960s. Young women, for example, used to practice walking with books on their heads to get them to stand up straight and walk upright. Those women knew that having good deportment gives a fantastic first impression, as well as making them look taller and more poised.
Of course, modern life (and technology) does not encourage good deportment. These days, so many of us slouch and hunch our shoulders – particularly from using phones and devices – and this affects how we carry ourselves. There are a number of particularly bad habits that we all indulge in, including hunching over our desks, carrying heavy handbags, slouching on sofas and constantly looking down at our smart phones.
But walking tall and sitting up straight have been proven to have mental health benefits too. These include looking and feeling more confident, sending a positive message to colleagues and generally looking more poised and elegant. A recent US Huffington Post article also suggested that good posture can actually make you more productive at work – power poses anyone?
Now I’m not suggesting we return to the stiff formality of years gone by. But perhaps paying a bit more attention to how we walk, sit and carry ourselves just might pay off in surprising ways.