Ladies never sit with their legs crossed?

This is a general request for clarification on an issue far too silly for GQ.

In the movie The Princess Diaries, the Julie Andrews character tells her granddaughter that ladies never cross their legs: instead, they sit with their legs together and turned to one side and they cross their ankles (tuck one foot behind the other leg). Is this correct? Okay, of course it’s only a movie, but are there any charm school graduates here who might be able to clue me in? I’ve seen Diana sitting with legs crossed, and Laura Bush and her daughters too, and surely they’d know (very slight sarcasm indicated here)!

I just wanna look like a classy dame, is all.

Well, I’ve heard this before (and, for the record, I haven’t attended any charm school, etc). Usually if I’m in a casual situation in a skirt or something, I just cross my knees- it’s more comfortable. Sitting in this manner does tend to show more leg- so I can see why this might be considered a bit obscene.

On the other hand if I am in a rather formal situation (I do a lot of public speaking and I prefer skirted business suits…so there’s an example), I sit turned to the side with my ankles crossed. I figure it draws less attention to my legs and looks a little more ladylike.

There’s my two cents. Don’t spend it all in one place :slight_smile:

Yes, ladies cross their ankles. Also, crossing your legs at the knee promotes varicose veins. I still do it often, although not in a miniskirt; the ankles are much, much safer for that.

Yep-dead to rights.

Sources are Ms. Manners, and my kid’s ballroom dance instructor-and my own mother… :slight_smile:

According to my older sisters (who grew up in a gentler era and who actually did take charm lessons) crossing your ankles is the correct way for a lady to sit.

Under some circumstances, they will make an exception if the lady involved is wearing pants.

Yep, corssed at the ankle.

The problem with knee crossing, apart from the vein business, is that depening on the height of the chair, the lenght of the skirt, and if you’re seated on a dias, yer entire ass will hang out the skirt. That’s just not a real lady like thing to do. :wink:

I’d be really surprised if you’d seen Diana with her legs crossed in a skirt. Not saying it didn’t happen - I just have no recolection of ever seeing the spectacle that would have caused. (Diana was sort of leggy.)

yep, to the side or ankles.

there is a rather famous picture of sen. clinton sitting improperly. yes, london and paris were both seen. an underwear company used the photo for an ad campaign. she did the legs together, but missed the bit about “to the side.”

be sure to keep your legs to the side or ankle cross, esp. when cameras are around.

And it’s not just ladies, Kilt-wearing men should also obey the “don’t cross your legs while wearing a skirt” rule.

This whole legs to the side thing? Do you mean sitting sideways, or what? I’m so confused… :confused:

You face forward, but your knees together face to the left or right.

Think Basic Instinct. That’s why ladies don’t sit that way!

I am so not a lady.

I sit with my legs crossed, ankle on knee. I can’t cross my legs as described (at the knees) it’s terribly uncomfortable unless I sit on one hip, then my back gets all out of whack.

Of course, I don’t wear skirts, so I suppose it doesn’t matter.

Nope. Saw that this claim was debunked in the NY Times a week or two ago.

Really? I’ve heard it by about a billion “experts” in women’s magazines and on Oprah, even. (And I’ve seen a couple of the little bastards popping up on me at 25, grr).

I’ve forgotten the name of the author (maybe Dorothy Parker?) of this couplet:

“She crosses her legs at the knees.
That’s the kind of girl she’s.”

Yep. NY Times, April 11, 2005 F7.

Ladies wearing pants?! What’s next? Voting and driving?

Also, among the boys, apparently only fags cross their legs at the knees. (Real men, apparently, put one ankle on the other knee… or else just spread their legs really wide, preventing anyone from sitting on the adjacent seat on the metro.)

Not that this is a problem for some of us, but that’s the stereotype, at any rate.

I think it’s more of just the effeminite == gay stereotype rather than having to do with crossing legs specifically. Many men (including this one) can’t sit with their legs crossed because it hurts their balls. Ergo, crossing legs “must be” for women only. Or something.

I once heard of an American husband being pestered to cross his legs like a “gentleman” by his English wife. She meant at the knee.

You do see American men doing it, but only when they have to be very formal. You’ll see President Bush doing it, especially when sitting with Europeans who do it.

I just wonder how you do it without often having to grab your crotch and heave first.