The knack: How to look your best

Don't cross your legs and arms, says image consultant Eleri Sampson

"If a woman wants to look more alluring to the opposite sex, she should wear lighter, brighter colours and soft flowing crepe, as opposed to a stiff gabardine. Reveal more body shape or skin - a hint of cleavage. Suss out your audience - would they prefer subtlety or you gift-wrapped and on a plate? Short, tight clothes are obvious; it's more subtle to wear something longer, with a slit that falls away. Be well-groomed, but not glaringly so. Look open and interested. Notice how a cat lies on the floor, stretches and offers up its tummy. Open your face so it is relaxed and smiling and your eyes are wider. Don't cross your legs and arms - it makes your chest cave in and toes point inward - and gives out signals of `don't approach'. Men can overdo the macho thing. There's something called the `crotch thrust' which you see on the Tube. A guy sits and uses up the equivalent of two seats, with knees and elbows wide apart. It's saying, `I own the place', but it's also giving out signals of aggression and doesn't always work with women. There are certain things men do that women find ridiculous, such as combing a bit of hair over from one ear to the other. It doesn't make us think, `Gosh, hasn't he got gorgeous long hair'; we think, `What a prawn!' And white socks with dark trousers. Or having socks too short. Poor grooming is a turn-off: women notice things like dirty fingernails or a shirt that's not quite fresh"

Eleri Sampson's book, `The Image Factor', is published by Kogan Page, pounds 8.99

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